Monday, May 31, 2021


Enduri pitha is a variety of pitha made in the Indian state of Odisha. A fermented batter made with rice and black gram is spread on turmeric leaves with a sweet filling and steamed. Traditionally these used to be steamed in an earthen pot with a cloth tied on the rim for placing the pithas. Now-a-days we use steaming pots for convenience. Apart from Odisha these are also popular in Bengal, Assam, UP and Bihar. Each region has its unique flavours.

When are the pithas made ?

Pithas are made on festive days as an offering to the Gods. Odisha celebrates 13 festivals in a year. Each time a different pitha is made as an offering depending on the seasonal availability of the raw ingredients. 

Variety of Pithas:

We have a large variety of pithas, sweet as well as savoury ones. Apart from the steamed version we also have deep fried and pan roasted pithas. 

Rice ............... 1 cup
Urad dal ........ 1/3 cup
Salt ................ to taste
Turmeric leaves or banana leaves ...6. or  as needed.

For the filling:
Grated coconut ........... 1/2 cup
Organic jaggery powder .. 1/2 cup or (add as per your liking)
Paneer chena .................... 1 cup
Cardamom powder .......... 1/4 tsp
Ghee / clarifird butter....... 1 tbsp

1. Soak the rice and urad dal for 4-5 hours.
2. Rinse and grind them adding little salt and water as required.
3. Allow it to ferment for 7-8 hours or evernight.
4. Add little water if needed to the fermented batter and whisk it well to make it light and fluffy.
5. In a pan dry roast the grated coconut for a minute or so.
6. Add the paneer chena and saute it a bit.
7. Now add the ghee and the jaggery powder and keep stirring until the jaggery melts.
8. Finally flavourthe mixture with cardamom powder and allow it to cool.

To make the Pithas:
1. Wash the turmeric leaves (or banana leaves) well and wipe them.
2. If using banana leaves cut them into a longish shape.
3. Grease the surface and spread some batter on them leaving the edges.
4. Spoon some filling and spread it.
5. Fold the leaves vertically with utmost care .
6. Steam them in steaming pot for 10 minutes. You don't have to flip the side.
7. Removethem from the leaves and serve.

Recipe adapted from - HERE
Information source - Wikipedia.

Yield - 6-8 pithas (depending on the size)

Check out the video

About the group:
Shhhhh Cooking Secretly is a monthly challenge in a facebook group where we are paired with a different partner every month. Two secret ingredients are  chosen by each partner for the other one and we prepare any dish with those ingredients based on the selected theme of the month which was Pithas. This was suggested by Sasmita Sahoo Samanta. My favouriterecipe from her blog is Nuchinunde - Steamed lentil dumplings from Karnataka. 
My partner of the month was Aruna Saraschandra. She gave me the two secret ingredients - Paneer Chena & Desi Ghee and I came up with this delicious and healthy Enduri Pitha.
I gave her Cumin seeds and Ginger since she chose to make savoury pitha. She made Biri Gaja or Biri Manda Pitha. An interesting pitha variety made in different shapes. Do check itout.

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Saturday, May 29, 2021


 Golden milk is made by combining milk, turmeric and some other beneficial spices. This is is an Indian drink that has been gaining popularity in Western World as Turmeric Latte. As kids we were given this miracle healing drink whenever we were sick, had a soar throat, cold, cough or flue.

Turmeric is said to have amazing healing properties. This is the key ingredient of this recipe. Other spices can be added or skipped as per your liking and preference.

Why we should drink Haldi Doodh ?
There is not one but many reasons why you must have the age-old time-tested haldi doodh every night. From inducing better sleep to boosting immunity and aiding better recovery, a cup of haldi doodh can take you a long way in terms of achieving good health.

Milk ............ 3 cups (or as needed)
Cardamom powder .......... 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder ............. 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder .......... 1/4 tsp
Ginger powder ............... 1/4 tsp
Fennel powder .............. 1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder .... 2 pinches
Saffron .......................... 2-3 pinches
Sugar ............................ 5 tsps (you may substitute it with honey as required)

1. Boil the milk. Add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron while boiling.
2. After simmering for few minutes addthe remaining spice powders.
3. Give it a nice stir. After one or two boils switch off the gas.
4. Cover the pan and set it aside for at least half an hour for the flavours to be infused in the milk.
5. Just before serving warm it up and strain.

Check out the video:

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Thursday, May 20, 2021


This is a Maharashtrian speciality. Bombil fish also known as Bombay Duck is coated with semolina and fried to a crispy texture. It makes a perfect accompaniment with dal chawal.

Why is this delicate fish called Bombay Duck ?

It is said in the time of the British Raj, tonnes of bombil used to be transported from  Bombay via a mail train called the Bombay Daak to other parts of the country. (Daak means postal mail ) When the train arrived it used to stink of fish. People wolud know even before it arrived from the smell. Bombay Daak eventually became Bombay Duck.

How can we cook Bombay Duck ?

This fish tastes best when it is coated with semolina and fried to a crispy texture. However you can make various types of curries as well. Ittakes very little time to cook as it is very delicate in texture. It is also available in the dried form which can be boiled and used to make a variety of dishes. People in Maharashtra avoid eating fresh fish during the monsoon season and they sun-dry the fish and store it for this time.

Ingredients: Bombil fish - 250 gms (For marination) Turmeric powder - 1 tsp Red chilli powder - 1 tsp Garam masala powder - 1 tsp Salt - to taste Garlic paste - 1 tsp Vinegar or lemon juice - 1 tbsp
(For coating) Semolina / rava - 1 cup Corn starch - 2 tbsps Maida /APF - 2 tbsps Oil - for frying (You can also replace the corn starch and maida with 3 tbsps of rice flour)
Method: 1. Marinate the fish with the ingredients in list 1. 2. Mix the ingredients for coating and coat the fish with the mixture.
3. Heat oil and fry the fish. Serve immediately.

Watch the video

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Thursday, May 6, 2021



What is Mishti Doi ?

Mishti Doi is a sweetened yogurt from Bengali Cuisine. Mishti means Sweet and Doi means Yogurt. Traditionally palm jaggery was used to make it which not only gives a rustic taste but a lovely colour too. 

How do we make Mishti Doi ?

Milk is boiled and simmered until it reduces to half. It is then sweetened using jaggery or sugar and set it for fermenting after adding the yogurt culture.

How I made Mishti Doi ?

I have used some full cream milk powder along with the full cream milk. It reduces the cooking time and thickens the milk. The texture of Mishti Doi comes out lovely with this tip.

Can Mishti Doi be made with sugar ?

Yes, it can also be made with sugar. To get a brownish colour it is caramelized and added to the milk. However the traditional one made with palm jaggery tastes better.

How do we serve Mishti Doi ?

This can be had as an accompaniment with meals or as a dessert. 

Can we add any flavouring or garnishing ?

Traditionally no other flavouring ingredients were added. But you may add a pinch or two of cardamom powder. You can garnish with rose petals and crushed pistachios to make it look presentable.

Full cream milk ...... 3 cups
Full cream milk powder ... 3 tbsps
Organic jaggery................ about 1/2 cup  
Yogurt ...................... 2 tbsps (for culture)

For garnishing (optional)
Rose petals .... few (fresh or dried)
Cardamom powder ... 2 -3 pinches
Crushed pistachios .... 1 tbsp 

1. Put the milk into a thick bottomed pan.
2. When it is hot stir in the milk powder.
3. Bring it to a boil stirring continuously.
4. Let it simmer for few minutes. Keep stirring intermittently.
5. Allow it to cool a bit and stir in the jaggery little by little. Whisk it well. Check the taste and add as much as you wish to your liking (less or more)
6. Now let it cool until it becomes luke warm. Check it by inserting your finger.
7. Mix little milk with the yogurt culture in a small bowl and whisk it well.
8. Stir it into the milk pan and mix it with the ladle or a balloon whisk.
9. Pour it into a bowl or preferably an earthenware container.
10. Cover it with a foil and set it aside in a warm place for 7-8 hours or overnight.
11. Sweetened yogurt takes longer time to set (ferment ) than the normal one.

1. Make sure the milk is luke warm when you mix the yogurt culture. If it is hot Doi will not set.
2. Keep it in a warm place in the kitchen or inside the oven or a microwave. 
3. In winter wrap the container with a warm or a thick cloth and place a large dish or a vessel over it. This helps in setting it faster.
4. It sets well in an earthenware containers as they are porous. 

Check out the video 

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This recipe is part of the "A-Z Recipe Challenge in a facebook group wherein we bloggers come together and choose key ingredients alphabetically to make and post a dish every month. The alphabet of the month is Y. So I chose Yogurt and made Mishti Doi (Sweetened Yogurt) from the Bengali Cuisine 

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Saturday, May 1, 2021



Chicken 65 is a popular dish of South India. Itwas  created by Chennai's famous chef A M Buhari at his Buhari Hotel  There are many stories as to how this chicken preparation got its name.

This is a great party dish. Make and enjoy it with your family and friends.  

What is Chicken 65 ?

Chicken 65 is a spicy chicken preparation from South India. It is a fried chicken which is well marinated in a bright red sauce made with yogurt and chilli powder and spices. It is usually served with onions and lemons wedges. This Indian chicken dish is traditionally eaten hot, as a starter, aperitif or snack.

How did the dish get its name ?

Some say that the chicken was cut into 65 pieces and hence it was called by this name. While some believe that 65 ingredients were used to prepare this dish and that's how it was named. But the Buhari Hotel version says they called it Chicken 65 because it was first created in the year 1965 which sounds acceptable.

Do you need to serve any sauce with Chicken 65 ?

No, you do not need any sauceto serve with this snack as it is well marinated with many spices and is very delicious by itself.

Information Source - Google

Chicken ..... 250 gms (with bones cut into small pieces)
Egg ............. 1
APF / maida ........ 1 tbsp
Corn flour (corn starch) ... 1 tbsp
Yogurt ....................... 1or 2 tbsps
Ginger garlic paste....... 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder ......... 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala ............ 1/2 tsp
Red food colour ......... 1 pinch
Red chilli powder ....... 1/2 tsp (add more if you like)
Kashmiri chilli powder ... 1/2 tsp
Salt ..................... to taste

For tempering:
Curry leaves ......... handful
Slit green chillies ... 5-6 
Ginger julienes ......  from 1 inch piece 
Lemon juice .......... 1 tbsp

Oil ... as needed to fry 

1. In a large bowl marinate the chicken with the ingredients from the first list. Cover and set them aside in the refrigerator for few hours or overnight.
2. In a pan heat sufficient oil and deep fry the chicken pieces on medium flame turning them intermittently so that they get fried evenly and get cooked well.
3. It takes about 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Boneless chicken takes less time.
4. Remove them on an absorbant paper towel.
5. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and lightly saute the ginger, curry leaves and green chillies.
6. Tip in the fried chicken pieces and toss them well. 
7. Squeeze some lemon juice on them. 
8. Serve them immediately with some onion slices and lemon wedges in a platter.

Check out the video

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