April 21, 2014

Orissa -- Mitha Khechudi & Mitha Dali

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 21
State: Orissa
Dish: Mitha Khechudi & Mitha Dali (Sweet Khichdi with Sweet Dal)
Today we are going to Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, located in the east coast of India. Orissa shares a border with Andhra Pradesh, but I never had a chance to visit it. My dad went there for work years ago and brought back a souvenir from Konark Sun Temple. I've seen his pictures at Puri Jagannath temple and Bhubaneshwar. That's the most I knew about Orissa.
Cuisine: Odisha has culinary tradition spanning centuries. I was really surprised to read that rasgulla actually originated from Odisha, I always thought it was from Bengal. Also Kheer or rice pudding, that is relished all over India, also originated in Puri 2000 years ago.
Oriya cuisine is rich and varied and relies heavily on local ingredients. The flavors are usually subtle and lightly spiced, unlike the fiery curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Only 6% of the population of Odisha is vegetarian. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no Oriya meal is complete without the dessert course at the end.
Specialties: Dali, Dalma, Khechedi, Mittha Dali, Pakhala, Chena Poda, Dahi Bara, Kalakand etc.

Today's Dish(es): After reading about the Oriya cuisine, I initially planned on making a dessert. But after making quite a few desserts for the marathon, I decided against it. I wanted to make something simple, yet traditional and authentic to Orissa. So after a lot of searching, I found this Oriya blog, Turmeric Kitchen, by Jagruthi. She has a ton of traditional dishes and I picked two that were simple and easy to make.
Orissa: Mitha Khechudi

First is a sweet rice dish that is a spiced up version of good old khichdi. I didn't add too much sugar to make it too sweet, but the sweetness can be adjusted as per personal preference.
Recipe adapated from Turmeric Kitchen:
Mitha Khechudi:
Ingredients:
Rice - 1cup
Moong Dal - ¼cup
Warm water - 2½cups
Cinnamon stick - 1" piece
Cloves - 2
Bay leaf - 1
Cardamom - 1
Turmeric - ½tsp
Ground Nutmeg - ½tsp
Cashews - 1tbsp
Raisins - 1tbsp
Sugar - 1tbsp (adjust as per taste)
Salt - to taste

Method:
  • Rinse rice and dal; soak them together for 20 minutes.
  • Heat 2tsp ghee/ oil in a pressure cooker; add the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom pod and cinnamon stick. Cook for 1 minute or until the spices are fragrant. Add the cashews and raisins and cook till lightly brown.
  • Drain the water from the rice and dal and add it to the cooker. Mix well and cook for 2~3 minutes, stirring constantly, until very lightly browned.
  • Add the warm water, sugar, salt, turmeric powder, ground nutmeg; cover with the lid and cook for 2 whistles.
Note: This dish can be made without the cooker as well, just cook in a heavy bottomed pan covered for about 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Orissa: Mitha Khechudi

Orissa: Mitha Khechudi & Mitha Dali

Mitha Dali:
Second dish is an slightly sweet lentil based dish that is cooked with an aromatic spice paste. This dish is one of the "Chhappan Bhoga (56 offerings)' that is offered to Lord Jagannath as Mahaprasad in Puri. Jagruthi says that this rustic dish pairs well with Mitha Khechudi.
Orissa: Mitha Dali
Recipe adapted from Turmeric Kitchen:
Ingredients:
Chana Dal - 1cup
Masoor dal - 1/3 cup
Turmeric powder - ½tsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery/ Sugar - 2tsp (adjust as per taste)
Ginger - ½tsp, grated

For the Spice Paste:
Dried Grated coconut - ¼cup (Use 2tbsp if using fresh grated coconut)
Cinnamon - ½" piece
Ground cardamom - ½tsp
Cloves - 2
Black Pepper - ½tsp
Coriander seeds - ½tsp
Fenugreek seeds - ¼tsp
Hot water - ¼cup

Method:
  • Make the Spice paste: Combine all the ingredients for the spice paste along with the hot water and set aside for 5~10 minutes. Grind to a coarse paste adding more water if required.
  • Soak dals for 20~30 minutes. Pressure cook the dals along with 3 cups of water for just one whistle.
  • Add the spice paste, turmeric, salt, jaggery and grated ginger to the dal. Mix well and cook for one more whistle. Dals should be cooked and tender, but not mushy. If there's water left, then cook it over medium flame.

Orissa-Mitha Dali


Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.




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16 comments:

  1. oh that should have been yummy!! delicious!!

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  2. Pavani I love that tray and that orange mat..they look stunning and highlight the dishes..Both the dishes look wonderful specially the rice.

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  3. Both the dishes look great. Mitha khechudi sounds interesting, spiced up sweet pongal. Mitha dali also looks good.

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  4. Lovely combo. Perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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  5. Mitha dali sounds super different dish and this khechudi is just inviting me, both dishes are super tempting.

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  6. didnt know there were other states using jaggery in dals as well..this one looks very delicious combination meal. I would love to try

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  7. Both the dishes look so good Pavani..enjoyed reading about these..as usual your pictures makes it much more beautiful!

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  8. Very interesting. Very new dishes to me. And as usual beautiful snaps...

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  9. Both of them look equally tempting.

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  10. Nice choice of dishes,both the dishes sound very interesting and innovative..Sweet dhal looks so creamy and delicious...

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  11. Same pinch Pavani! The dishes look really good :)

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  12. These look so very delicious. I wish I could eat them straight off the screen Pavani.

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  13. I would have in my life never assumed that you would need a spicy accompaniment to a sweet dish like that! What do I know? That's what I have learned exploring these regional cuisines / variations. :)
    Both the dishes look yummy but that mitha khechudi gets my points.

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  14. what a sweet platter tto be enjoyed

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  15. wow thats a very delicious and interesting sweet kechudi and sweet dal to accompany :) they are tempting me !!

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  16. such a nice combination. nicely presented. looks inviting

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