Features & Business
From Orissa With Love
The book's cover speaks for itself. Orissa is known for its delectable cooking methods and the cuisine is fine and distinct. The masaalas the Oriyas add give each dish a flavour of its own. It is true that the neighboring states of Bengal and Assam draw inspiration to their cusine from Orissa.
The chapters are finely written with due importance to all health issues, including the medicinal properties of vegetables and meats. Traditional vegetarian Oriya dishes like Moong Daalma, Manja Daalma and Saag Bhaji are "taught well" well with coloured photographs for most preparations.
While for the fish-lovers there are a plethora of recipes such as Fish Badi, Jhara Besara, Small Fish Haldi Pani and Fish Coconut with Vegetables are some of the fine fish recipes that are a must try for every home fond of this sea delight.
Equally well elucidated are the goat-meat recipes like the famous Oriya Meat Jhol (meat curry), Meat Mustard and Meat Chana Daal. Enough recipes are there for those who like sweet dishes. This is followed by a brief of the Oriyas' post-meal savouring of paan (betel leaf) that has anti-sceptic medicinal values, good for mouth and intestines and is eaten as a grand finale to their nutritious and exotic food.
Having an Oriya journalist friend (now relocated to Mumbai) he would often invite me over to share the goat-meat (dry), he used to cook so passionately. He would painstakingly grind the masaalas on the stone crusher with his hands adding a myriad condiments to it one by one; I am aware of the finest culinary style of cooking in the country. The Oriya cusine is indeed very light and is easy on the digestive system as well. Some of the finest chefs come from Orissa.
The book is priced at Rs 295, Published by Rupa & Co, 2007. Good job done by the authors Bijoylaxmi Hota and Kabita Pattnaik. The book would go well with those who wish to know about one of the finest cooking states in the country and try them out in the comfort of their kitchens.