Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cuttack-ia Dahi Bara Aloo Dum with CLICK post and a Me-Me

Dahi Bara (aka Dahi Vada) with Aloo Dum is a favourite street-food of the city of Cuttack in Orissa. Dara Bara is urad dal fritters in spicy yogurt gravy. You can't escape from the aroma of the same from the street vendors. Very enticing, I should say!

Cuttack is a very vibrant city in Orissa. It is more than thousand years old and was the capital of Orissa before Bhubaneswar. I have plenty of memories of the fun-filled summer vacations at my granny's place. My cousin would plan all the outings - movies, eating out and visiting other relatives. Time would just fly by. This is also the city where I was born. :) Check out more about Cuttack in wikipedia here.

When my mom was here with me last year, she laid out this fan-fare for us one evening. Amazing! Sending this to the event Curry Mela being organized by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons. The due date for this event is August 20, 2008.

Dahi Bara recipe Makes about 20-25

Urad dal - 1 cup
Rice flour - few tbsps, about 2 tbsps
Salt - as per taste
Ajwain seeds - 1/2 tsp
Canola oil - for deep frying

Yogurt gravy

Canola oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2-3
Curry leaves - about 6-10
Grated ginger - 1 tbsp
Salt - as per taste

Ground and roasted cumin-red chilli powder - as per taste

  • Soak urad dal overnight.
  • Blend it in food processor next morning and let it sit at room temperature for the urad dal to ferment. On summer days, usually by evening, it is adequately fermented.
  • If the mixture is too free-flowing, add a few tbsps of rice flour to thicken it. It should be thick enough such that you can just hold the mixture with your hand and fry it. It should not be too thick or too thin.
  • Add salt and ajwain seed. Mix well.
  • Deep fry in hot canola oil. Put your hand in the water before taking the mixture in your hand. The prevents the mixture from sticking to your hand.
  • Keep stirring the bara in the oil so that it is uniformly cooked.
  • Once removed from the oil, drop it into a bowl of water. It will remove the excess oil and make the bara soft and easy to soak the yogurt mixture.
  • How to prepare the yogurt mixture? Heat a tbsp of canola oil. Add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add dry red chillies, curry leaves and grated ginger. Beat the yogurt with some water to thin the yogurt. Add the oil mixture to the yogurt with salt and ground roasted cumin-red chilli powder.
  • How to prepare the ground and roasted cumin-red chilli powder? Dry roast 1 cup cumin seeds in a hot pan. When the cumin is half-done, add 1 cup whole red chilli (no need to pack it in the cup). Continue roasting till the flavors are easily detectable. Note of warning - It is pungent. So keep your exhaust fan on and if possible, a window or door open.
Aloo Dum

Potatoe - 5 large
Onion-Ginger-Garlic-Tomato paste - 10 tbsps (Blend 2 onion, 6 garlic clove, 1 inch ginger, 2 tomato)
Dum Masala - 1-2 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Canola oil - 1 tsp
Dry red chilli - 2
Dry bay leaf - 2-3
Salt - as per taste
Coriander leaves - few tbsps

  • Heat canola oil. Add dry red chilli and dry bay leaf.
  • When the chilli and bay leaf is roasted, add the onion-ginger-garlic-tomato paste. Stir and let it cook on High heat. The paste will tend to splutter initially. So take care in this stage. You can half-cover it with a cover, if that helps.
  • Add the dum masala, salt and garam masala and continue cooking.
  • When the raw smell is gone, add the boiled potatoes. Continue stirring and cooking. You can reduce the heat to Medium during this stage. Takes about 10-15 minutes.
  • Garnish with Coriander leaves.
Note - You can have this Aloo Dum as-is with Roti, Paratha or Puri\Luchi.

How to assemble the Dahi Bara-Aloo Dum?
Take two pieces of Dahi Bara in a container. Add a spoon or two of the Aloo Dum. Top it with Bhujia, chopped onions, chopped chilli and coriander leaves. You can add a sprinkle of rock-salt (optional).

Click, Click and click! Love photography even though have always had a problem with the lighting of the pictures. I am working consciously on that aspect of my photography these days. The following is one of the pics that I feel I have done justice in terms of the lighting. The first photo below is my entry to Click: Citrus event due August 30th, 2008.

Enjoy some of the other pics taken by yours truly of the radiantly beaming and shiny fresh oranges, my favourite fruit and flavour lately!

Book MeMe

When Sra tagged me for this MeMe, I was pleasantly surprised and excited. Really appreciate the gesture and for thinking of me, dear Sra! :)

Being the single child and pretty shy one (have surely come a long way since then!), books were my best friends. To date, they are. Give me a good book, I am out of your way for days. When I get gifts for kids, I am perpetually tempted to buy books. However, books are no longer the same craze with kids these days..shocking that even some parents don't appreciate books as gifts!

Coming back to me, I really don't get that much time to read novels these days..thanks to work, school, household work and entertaining friends/families. Not that I mind any of the mentioned items, but I do wish I could make more time and revive my reading passion! And of course, complete the numerous half-read books lying around the house crying to be read and conquered!! :) The one I am using for the MeMe is one of those crying bleeding books...

The rules of the MeMe are the following:
  • Pick up the nearest book
  • Open to page 123
  • Find the 5th sentence
  • Post the next three sentences
  • Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.
The book I am picking is Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. After reading The Da-Vinci code, I bought all his past novels. However, have not been able to read them till date. I picked this one up during our Dominican Republican trip. I still need to finish it..sigh!

Mortati knew that all the exits to Vatican City were guarded, and the missing cardinals could not have gone far, but still with less than an hour before opening prayer, he was feeling disconcerted. After all, the four missing men were no ordinary cardinals. They were the cardinals.

Hope this intrigues you to read this book! So surprising that one of the main plots of this book was in the above lines :)

I would like to tag the following dear blogger friends for this MeMe:

Thanks, everyone, for reading through this long post! Look forward to hear from you. Have a great week ahead and enjoy the Summer Olympics! :)


Cynthia said...

I have a fruit basket just like yours :) Your CLICK pics are so bright, beautiful and full of life.

Rachel said...

Love your so vibrant..

been tagged already for this meme..will do it shortly!!

bee said...

thats a beautiful bowl of oranges. thank you.

sra said...

I've been to Cuttack, shopped for some filigree stuff too there! Thanks for taking up the tag - I've only read Da Vinci Code of Dan Brown's so far.

Anonymous said...

You will kill me with these ... and also with the memories that come rushing back with your posts. Whenever we visited Cuttack(my mamu ghoro) we cousins would get bora and mash it up and have it with pokhalo(my pokhalo hangover is not gone yet).:-)
Love the shadow of the fruit basket on the oranges. Great pics.

sunita said...

Love the dahi baras and those glowing oranges.
...will try to take up the meme :-)

lubnakarim06 said...

Click picture is awesome. Dum aloo looks gr8.

TBC said...

Love your CLICK! :D

Thanks for thinking of me for the meme.

Roohi Mandrekar - Wagle said...

Hey Pragyan,
Your dahi-baras look so awesome and so does the bright "fruity" basket !
Best Rgds,
Sam !

Unknown said...

This is my first visit to your blog,you have a very nice one.
You citrus pics are awesome and your dahi bara aloo dum looks delicious :)

Sagari said...

this looks deleciousssss pragyan

Sum Raj said...

looks tempting and delicious pic...loved the click...

Anonymous said...

I like the look of your Aloo Dum recipe. What's in dum masala?

Unknown said...

Wow Pragyan, How did I miss such a great evening fare.The dahi baras look out of the world.U have done so beautifully and esp the click, it is gorgeous.
The new look of the blog is great.I loved it.

Unknown said...

Your dum aloo looks great. whats dum masala? Can anything else be substituted?

Madeline said...

Those oranges sure look pretty. Your photos are screaming summer!

Srivalli said...

Thats really a rocking dish.thanks for the entry...never knew something like this was there!

varsha said...

Hey am from cuttack presently abroad.Am so glad to stumble upon this homemade aloodum-dahibara recipe !!will try it out soon...thanks for bringing back home in home :):)keep up the good work..