Indian cuisine is a melting pot of various regional food cultures. Some gain global popularity, while some remain unexplored. One such cuisine, which has not been explored much, is of Odisha. The food culture of this state from Eastern India has a history of its own and immense scope for exploration. What defines the flavours of Odia cuisine is the strong aroma of mustard oil and panch phoron (or as they call it panchaw phutana). For the unversed, it is a blend of five spices (mustard, cumin, fenugreek, nigella seeds and aniseeds/fennel seeds) that is widely used in the various dishes of Eastern India.
Compared to most of the other regional cuisines, food here has less usage of oil and spices; however, that doesn't make the dishes of Odia cuisine any less flavourful! One such dish is 'dahi baingan'. It is called 'dahi baigana' in Odia language. It is a sour side-dish, referred to as 'khatta', usually served alongside Odia thali. As the name says, it is made with yogurt/curd and baingan, with several other spices. Let's find out the recipe!
Here's The Recipe For Odia-Special Dahi Baingan:
Eggplant (baingan) - 2 (small sized)
Turmeric (haldi) powder- Half teaspoon
Cumin (jeera) powder- half teaspoon
Coriander (dhania) powder- half teaspoon
Red chilli (lal mirch) powder- half teaspoon
Asafoetida (hing)- 1-1.5 teaspoon
Panch phoron- half teaspoon
Whole red chilli- 1 (broken into two halves)
Currry leaves (kadhi patta)- 8-10
Curd (dahi)- 500 gram (not hung curd)
Ginger- 1 teaspoon (grated)
Salt and sugar- as per taste
Mustard oil- 3 tablespoon
Slit each of the eggplants into 4 pieces and clean them well.
Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and some salt to the eggplants and mix them well. Keep the spice-mixed baingan aside.
Take dahi in a bowl and add salt, sugar and grated ginger to it and make a liquid raita-like consistency of it. Add some water if needed. Keep the dahi-mix aside.
Now, heat a kadhai and pour maximum of the oil in it. Add the spice-mixed baingan to the kadhai and fry both the sides well.
Then close the lid and let the eggplant cook on medium flame for a minute or two, till it turns soft.
Transfer the baingan into the bowl of dahi-mix.
Pour rest of the oil to the kadhai and heat it well. Add panch phoron, curry leaves and whole red chilli to it and temper the spices.
Pout the spices in the baingan-dahi bowl and give everything a good mix with spoon.
Serve it hot!
You can also cook Odia-style dahi bhindi in with the same recipe. All you need to do is replace the baingan with bhindi and deep fry the latter. In this case, do not slit or cut the bhindis; instead, fry them as is.
Doesn't this recipe remind you of North Indian dahi-tadka? Try it today and let us know if you feel the same!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.