Monday, 21 April 2014

Aloor Potoler Rasa and Luchi ~Indian State Odisha

Aloor Potoler Rasa and Luchi ~Indian State Odisha

Oriya Cuisine is rich and varied, while relying heavily on local ingredients. The flavours are usually subtle and delicately spiced, quite unlike the fiery curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Food pattern is largely the same as that seen in the neighbouring states of Bihar and West Bengal due to the proximity and similar geographical conditions.
Rice is the major food crops and the staple food for the people of Orissa. Vegetables are integral part of the meal in the state. Fish and other seafood such as crab and shrimp are very popular. Chicken and mutton are also consumed, but somewhat occasionally. Only 6% of the population of Odisha is vegetarian, and this is reflected in its cuisine.
The oil base used is mostly mustard oil, but in festivals ghee is used. Panch phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella) is widely used for tempering vegetables and dals, while garam masala (curry powder) and haldi (turmeric) are commonly used for non-vegetarian curries. Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yogurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end.
 Festivals and fasts witness a cuisine without onion and garlic, whereas other days witness an aroma of garlic and onion paste in curries. One can find restaurants serving food without onion and garlic in major places like Puri and other coastal area, which is run by Brahmin owners.

My memories with Odisha are when I was in Std. IX. My mama was posted here in Bhuneshawar and we visited them as usual. This was a tradition where ever mama was posted we had to visit them and they had to visit where we were staying.
So Orissa, as it was called then, was something that I remember a lot. The beautiful temples, the most treasured visits were to Nandankan Sanctuary, Puri,  Konark temple and Dhavalgiri the hillock where Samart Ashoka watched the Kalinga war, then after seeing the aftermath converted to Buddhism. There was a museum close to where we lived but no one was interested in visiting and mama actively discouraged me. I could not then understand why but now with hindsight I realise he was not happy with me going there on my own!
But what hit me most was when we returning from Konark it was late evening and was getting dark. There was a man standing with a pile of tender coconuts. He quoted a rate and mama brought the whole pile. Afterwards the adults were discussing the poverty and how mama felt bad that the man was selling the coconuts cheap and hence he did not haggle with him. 
For me this was all new, so I told mama that he had the option to sell them the next day. Anyway they will not go bad! Mama’s word are etched in my mind they translated as when there is hunger in the stomach and mouths waiting to be fed  what I make today is important!
 I opened my eyes and looked around from that day to see the squalor that people lived in there. How people lived hand to mouth!
This was then, ages ago maybe things have changed a lot but it helped to sensitise me to avoid wastage of any kind!
Wow how gloomy I sound, sorry!
Anyway enjoy Aloor Potoler Rasa which is Potato and Parwal Curry with Luchis!!!

Aloor Potoler Rasa ~Indian State Odisha

Aloor Potoler Rasa

Indian State: Odisha
Adapted from: Hawkins Futura Cookbook
Serves 10

  • 6 laung/cloves
  • 6 green elichi/cardamom
  • 5(2 ½ cms) stick of dalchini/cinnamon
  • 6 tblspn ghee
  • 8 whole dry chillies
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 2 large onions, chopped fine
  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ¾ kg parwal, scraped and cut across in halves
  • 1 ¼ tsp haldi/turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups water

  • Crush the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon in a powder.
  • Heat the ghee in the pan for 2 minutes.
  • Add the chillies and jeera. Stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the remaining cinnamon, onions and fry till onions are golden brown.
  • Add the powdered spices and all ingredients except the water. Stir fry for about 3 minutes.
  • Add water and cook for 2 whistles.
  • Once the pressure drops open and cook on the open flame for 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve hot with luchi or chapattis.

 Luchi ~Indian State Odisha

 Luchis are deep-fried flatbread typical of Bengali cuisine, Assamese, Maithili and Oriya.
 They are usually served with curries or gravies. If maida is substituted with Atta is called poori. Luchi that is stuffed is called kochuri; kochuri stuffed with mashed peas (koraishutir kochuri) is one notable variety.


Yeild: 6

  • 1 cup maida
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp ghee
  • Water as needed
  • Oil for frying

  • In a bowl mix the maida and salt.
  • Add the ghee and with your fingertips rub the ghee in the flour.
  • Use a little water knead the mixture to a soft pliable dough.
  • Apply some oil to the surface of the dough.
  •  Cover and set aside for at least ½ and hour.
  • After the resting period make small lemon sized balls with the dough.
  • Roll out using a little oil about 4-5 cms in diameter.
  • As you roll out the luchis heat oil in a kadhai/wok.
  • Test the heat of the oil. How? See notes.
  • Gently drop the luchi in the oil from the side.
  • With the slotted spoon put some of the hot oil on the luchi.
  •  It will, (if you have rolled it well) puff up.
  • Gently flip it and fry on the other side.
  • Okay like pooris these will not change colour much. So test with your eyes and nose. After all you cook with your eyes and nose too.
Aloor Potoler Rasa and Luchi ~Indian State Odisha


  •  Gently drop a small thin piece of dough in the hot oil.
  • If the dough sinks and then gently rises to the surface of the oil it’s just right temperature. please fry all your luchis.
  • The other thing that may happen is that dough may just rise to the top you oil is too hot. Cool it by switching off the flame and wait for 4-5 minutes. Test again.

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  1. Lovely combo. I am yet to cook with parwal. The luchis look very tempting.
    Your memories are quite an eye opener to the kids of this age. I believe that we should always have a compassionate outlook and appreciate the blessings bestowed upon each of us.

  2. Give me that plate, aloor potoler rasa and luchi makes a prefect pair, am just drooling here.

  3. the last pic with broken luchi had me floored completely and also made me are very well travelled should open your travel potli nuggets more often

  4. Archana, you fried luchis!!!..amazing combination and I can have luchis anytime..

  5. I like the combo..and I yet like the combo of parval and potato..I am sure to try it soon, but I somehow feel 6 cardamoms will be quite least I might not use..was there a strong flavor or did it balance with other ingredients?

  6. Delicious combo.. very flavorful.

  7. Very interesting write up Archana. The combination of luchi and the potato looks absolutely delicious...

  8. Even I made aloo potala rasa but mine has gravy than your does. It looks delicious and the luchi are irresistible.

    From what my friend tells me nothing much has changed in the state and it is still a very poor state.

  9. looks like a flavorful combo for sure

  10. wow such an delicious combo for aloor potoler rasa, looks lip smacking .. Can't take my eyes from those puffed up luchi's :)

  11. wow such an delicious combo for aloor potoler rasa, looks lip smacking .. Can't take my eyes from those puffed up luchi's :)

  12. archana thanks for simplifying poori, luchi,kachori..
    Love the combo.. yum combo


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