Hey, I  cooking! and honestly, I find it one of the most creative acts under the sun.  Ever tried to count the mind-boggling varieties of cuisines made around the world out of  a limited number of ingredients! Just amazing!!

Be it health, wellness, bonding or celebration… the role of good, tasty and nutritious food can never be overemphasised. In this section, I will share my treasure of recipes, learnt from all possible sources, including my own adaptations, improvisations and  wild experimentations. Hope, you will try them out, eat and make others eat with love. Love is perhaps the most important ingredient in any recipe.

Yes, apart from flavours from all over my country and a few from foreign lands, this is also an endeavour to popularise some of the typical great recipes from my own state, Odisha – the land of Lord Jagannath- from the eastern part of India.

Welcome to my World of Flavours and Con-fusions :)

Simple Kobi Gajar Khichdi | Vegan Recipe |Moong Dal Khichdi | Simple Arua Khichudi | Sadha Odia Phula Kobi Gajar Khichudi| Non Onion Garlic Vegan Khichdi

January 7, 2016 by Snigdha

Simple Moong Dal Khichdi with Cauliflower and Carrots| Simple Kobi-Gajar Khichdi ( Arua, No Onion-Garlic)

2-3 serves

In the body of a pressure cooker, heat pure ghee ( 1 tsp). Splutter jeera( 1 tsp). Add hing( 1/4 tsp), haldi( 1/2 tsp) , salt to taste, chopped cauliflower( 5-6 florets), carrot( 1 medium), moong dal( 3/4 th cup), rice( 1 cup) and water( 3 1/2 – 4 cups). Just give it a stir and close the lid. Cook for one whistle on high flame. Open after 1 minute or so, by cooling under running tap. Finish with some more pure ghee and chopped fresh coriander.

Optional: Red chilli powder may be added while adding turmeric etc.

A super- quick, tasty, wholesome dish!

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Habisa Dalma | Vegan Recipe | Authentic Odia Food

May 14, 2014 by Snigdha


Habisa Dalma


 Habisha or Habisa Dalma is typically prepared in the month of ‘Kartik’ in Odisha, especially in Puri- the land of Lord Jagannath, when many Odias observe “habisha” in which only satwik( veg without onion –garlic-mustard oil) and humble food is consumed. The specific dish for this month is  Habisha Dalma made out of moong dal(skinned & split green gram) with only kadali/kaccha kela (raw banana), saru/arbi(colocasia),  oou( elephant pear), ginger, grated coconut and pure ghee.

 *Oou is a typical vegetable available in Orissa/Odisha and it tastes tangy               (khatta). 


OOU  ( perhaps called Elephant Pear ) . 


      Oou when halved. The slimy interior          oou is a layered vegetable. Layers

     needs to be taken out & discarded             need be separated & skinned before




Procedure  ( traditional type)


For 3-4 serves

Place a deep bottomed pot on fire with enough water( 4-5 cups) in it. Add  ( 1 cup or a little more) and bring it to the boiling point. Lower the flame and let it boil. Take out the scum (white foam) as they come up.  After 2-3 mins, add salt, diced arbi (saru/colocasia – 7-8 nos). After 3-4 mins of cooking, add diced kachha kela ( kadali/raw banana – about 1 large or a little more), 1 slit green chilli, generous amount of crushed ginger ( 1-2 inch) and sliced Oou*( 6-7 slices). Cook on sim, half-covered, till dal is tender and each grain splits ( say for 12-15 mins after adding kela. Do not overcook, otherwise moong dal turns slimy. By that time, both raw banana and colocasia would have got cooked right also. Adjust consistency by adding some more water, if necessary. Keep the consistency of dal a little running- not thick at all.Add grated coconut ( 5-6 tbsp, or more if you like). Switch off.


Heat refined oil/dalda. Splutter jeera ( 1 tsp) and dry red chilli pieces.

 When jeera turns fragrant, add this seasoning to the dal and cover immediately for the flavour to get absorbed. Add 1 tsp of pure ghee ( or a little more). Serve hot with plain rice.


Usually, the platter contains plain rice flavoured with pure ghee, habisha dalma, baigan bhaja, kankana bhaja, arua saaga, tomato khajuri khata/oau khata etc. accompanied by slices of tender cucumber, lemon, green chilli and salt on the side!! Tastes divine.

Must eat freshly made and hot. Smash-n-grind a bit of green chilli with your fingers into the dalma while eating.

Do not want such an elaborate platter ? Just go for rice, habisha dalma, one simple fry and cucumber+green chilli+lemon+salt on the side. Soul-satisfying.

Habisha Dalma, with kela ( which blackens the dish) and without haldi, looks a bit uninviting – but taste it and you will promise never to go by the appearance ever again.



1. if you do not have Oou ( which is seasonal & mostly not available elsewhere), add a bit of amchoor ( mango powder) instead of OOU towards the end.  Follow rest of the procedure.

2.Avoid seasoning and just add pure ghee to the dalma after adding coconut and serve.

3. Avoid tanginess altogether by not using oou or aamchur. Just use lots of crushed ginger and coconut. Add pure ghee without /with seasoning.

 4. Use dry-roasted moong dal, instead of raw dal, follow the full procedure and garnish with chopped dhania patta( coriander leaves).

Some people also add other vegetables like brinjal and pumpkin. But I stick to only colocasia and raw banana(plantain) for this recipe. And guess what! I love the aamchur version without seasoning, but with a generous dollop of pure ghee !! So, now-a-days, I do not miss oou , though I am a great fan of Habisha Dalma J

 ………………………………………………………..Jay Jagannath……………………………………………………………………………………


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MUTTON(GOAT MEAT) RECIPE 5: Mansha Kasa ( Spicy Mutton-Dry)

June 11, 2013 by Snigdha

Mansha Kasa ( Spicy Mutton – dry)

 Heat 4-5 tbsp oil( mustard/refined) in a pressure cooker. Crackle whole spices – 1 bay leaf, 2-3 pieces of cinnamon, 4-5 green cardamoms( lightly crushed), 1 black cardamom( slightly crushed) and 5-6  black peppers.  Add chopped onions( 2-3) and fry till golden brown.  Add chopped ginger( 1 inch long) and garlic( 7-8 cloves). Saute for a minute and add meat( ½ kg goat meat). Saute well till oil separates. Add haldi, salt, 1 tbsp dhania powder and a paste of red chilli( 2-3 soaked red chillies ground to a fine paste). Stir and saute the mix for a minute or two. Add curd( 2 tbsp) and cook covered on low fire for 2-3 mins. Add 3-4 tbsp of tomato puree. Saute for 2-3 mins. Add a few spoons of water and close the lid. Pressure cook on high flame for one whistle and then cook on sim for another 10 mins till meat is well done. Switch off and allow to cool normally for opening the lid. Flavour with ½ tsp garam masala powder. Consistency will be dry, with gravy just coating the mutton pieces.

May add ½ tsp jeera powder, and ½ tsp kasuri methi, if you like.



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MUTTON( GOAT MEAT) RECIPE 4: Dahi Mansha ( mutton in curd in Odia style)

June 11, 2013 by Snigdha

Dahi Mansha ( my simple style)
Marinate goat meat( ½ kg) with OGG paste (2 onions+6-7 cloves of garlic+1/2 inch healthy ginger), haldi, salt,1/3 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 4-5 tbsp curd and 1 tsp sugar.
Heat 3-4 tbsp mustard / refined oil.  Put 2 pieces of dalchini stick, 3-4 green cardamoms, 2-3 cloves and 1 tejpatta. Pour the meat along with the marination. Stir-cook on medium flame for some time. Cover and cook on medium to low fire – stirring intermittently, till oil separates.  Either cook covered on sim for long enough till mutton is fully cooked; or add a bit of water ( say 1 cup) and pressure cook on high flame for 1 whistle and then on sim for 10 mins. Cool, open and put back on the gas to adjust consistency by reducing gravy fully till oil shows up. Finish with dalchini powder  & green cardamom powder. Serve hot.

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MUTTON ( GOAT MEAT) RECIPE 3: Mansha Stew ( Mutton Stew without oil)

June 11, 2013 by Snigdha

2-3 serves
( ½ kg good quality goat meat with fat of its own)
I fondly recall, we actually used to call it “Papa’s ” Mutton stew. Anytime, my mother or anyone else( including me ) dared try this, we used to reject saying – no, it does not give that “ papa, papa” flavour !!  I have made it quite a few times – comes out nicely – but not as good as when bapa used to do it. Perhaps, his trick was being subtle with each of the ingredients – I tend to be a little louder.
A confession !  Although no oil is used for this recipe, we do require good quality goat meat with fat of its own.  Yeah, it would be like soup only – so may not look too great to many – BUT I and my family just love the aroma and the great taste of the stew. Again, this is certainly a healthy way to take red meat.
In the body of a pressure cooker, mix together :  ½ kg  goat meat, 1-2  onion(sliced), ½ inch ginger(crushed), 7 to 8sgarlic cloves (crushed),one small  tomato ( chopped ),whole dhania(1 tsp), whole jeera ( ½ tsp), whole black pepper(about ½ tsp), cinnamon pieces (2), small elaichi ( 3 to 4, pounded lightly), laung (3-4),  whole dry red chilli pieces(1 or 2, de-seeded and halved), 1 bay leaf, sprinkles of dhania powderjeera  powder & red chilli powder, ½ tsp dalchini powder, a dash of haldi , salt, sugar(1/2 tsp) and enough water for soupy gravy( 2 cups or a bit more).
Close lid and cook on high flame for 1 whistle. Then bring gas to sim and cook for about 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool normally. Serve piping hot as a soup or with rice /roti /puri.

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MUTTON(GOAT MEAT) RECIPE 2: Mansha Mahura ( mutton with vegetables in odia style)

June 11, 2013 by Snigdha

Mansha  Mahura ( Mutton with Mixed Veg in Odia style)
3-4 serves; 300-400gm goat meat
Method 1 
Pressure cook mutton adding water, salt and haldi.  Keep aside.
In a pressure cooker, boil bhaja mooga dali( roasted moong dal) and vegetables         [aloo(potato), saru(colocasia), desi aloo(a kind of yam), papaya, kakharu( pumpkin), mula (raddish), kadali( raw banana), baigan(brinjal), beans/jhudang( long beans), jahni ( ridge gourd), potola( striped gourd), kunduri etc. Or whatever of these are readily available ) adding water or gravy of boiled mutton, salt, haldi, tomato( just a bit), jeera powder, pepper powder and a bit of dalchini powder.
Cool and open lid and place the cooker back on burner. Cook on high flame for a minute or so to adjust consistency.
Heat mustard oil. Splutter jeera( or paanch phutan), red chilli, tejpatta and 1-2 crushed green cardamom – add chopped onion ( chunky pieces). Add boiled mutton and saute for a while. Add this to boiled veg-dal mix (mahura). Put a bit ofsugar, dalchini powder and dhania patta(optional).
Method 2 :
Heat mustard oil. Splutter jeera/paanch phutan n tejpatta – add chopped onion. Fry till onion is brown. Add  tomato, jeera powder, pepper powder, dalchini powder and crushedsmall elaichi, haldi, salt, a dash of sugar and a dash of red chilli powder. Saute adding boiled mutton ( boiled addingly salt & haldi) or          pre-cooked left over mutton curry.  Add the chopped veggies ( aloo, papaya, saru,kakharu, mula, kadali, baigan, beans/jhudang, jahni, potola, kunduri etc.) and saute for some more time.  Add bhaja moong dal, a bit of masoor dal and water.  Transfer this to a pressure cooker and cook on high flame for one whistle. Switch off and cool. After opening cooker’s lid, adjust consistency ( semi-solid) and flavour with some more ofdalchini powder and fresh coriander leaves.
You may add a spoon or two of OGG paste while frying masala powders.(optional)
Note : while personally I prefer using roasted moong dal for these recipes, plain moong dal can also be used without much difference to the taste.s
Method 3 :  Cook the mahura only with meat and vegetables following any of the above two methods, avoiding use of any dal.
In Odia Cuisine, any mixed curry with jeera powder & pepper powder as the main flavours is known as “Mahura” – just as any curry with mustard paste as the main flavour is known as“Besara”.

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MUTTON ( GOAT MEAT) RECIPE 1: Mutton Curry ( Mansha Tarkary-Usual Odia homely Style)

June 7, 2013 by Snigdha

Mansha  Tarkari ( Usual Odia Homely Style)
( Goat meat)
(For 2-3 serves) with oil quantity restricted to a very low level
Wash 2 medium sized potatoes with jacket(skin) and chop into 2-3 logs each. Heat  1-2 tbsp of mustard oil in the body of a pressure cooker ( in which the curry will be prepared). Fry the potato chunks well covering with the lid in between. Keep aside the fried potatoes.
Add 2-3 tbsp more of mustard oil to the Cooker. Add 1 tsp sugar, 1 tejpatta, 1-2 dalchini sticks, 2-3 cloves and 3-4 whole black peppers. Add 1 small onion ( sliced), 2-3 green cardamoms roughly crushed and fry till brown. Add OGG paste (2 onions+ 7-8 big garlic cloves  + 1 inch ginger). Saute a bit and add turmeric powderred chilli powder( ½ tsp or to taste), ½ tsp dalchini powder and salt. Saute for 4-5 min on medium to low fire. Take care not to burn.Add chopped tomato ( ½ of a small – very less) and fry on low to medium fire till oil separates and it leaves nice  aroma. Keep sprinkling drops of water as masala gets fried to prevent burning because of less oil. After masala is sauted brown for about 10-15 mins, add mutton( ½ kg). Sprinkle a few drops of water, if needed and saute well, intermittently covering the lid – for about  15mins. When mutton gets half-cooked and nicely sauted, the whole mix looking reddish brown and leaving oil, add 2-3 cups of water, fried potatoes and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook on high flame for one whistle; then on sim- total for 12 mins after closing the lid. Switch off gas and allow cooker to cool normally.
Open the lid and put back on burner. Let it boil a bit; adjust water & salt, as needed for gravy. Switch off. Flavour with a dash more of dalchini powder and small elaichi powder (or a freshly made ground paste of cinnamon, green cardamom, cloves and a few pepper). Cover. Serve hot with rice/roti.
i. Especially in Puri, instead of using only mustard oil, a combination of mustard oil, vegetable ghee and pure ghee is used for sauteing the spices, which gives away a pretty different and nice flavour & gorgeous look to the curry. However, to avoid bad fat, only mustard oil can be used.
ii. dhania powder( 1 tsp), jeera powder( 1 tsp) and ½ tsp garam masala powder may be added to masala as the OGG paste starts leaving oil.
iii. Along with potato, large chunky pieces of raw papaya or quarters of cabbage can also be added.
iv. Instead of fried potato, raw potato halves can be added while adding water for gravy. Tastes as good.


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