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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Manipur Cuisine ~ Manipuri Khichdi & Mangal Ooti



State: Manipur 
Original name: Meeteileipak / Kangleipak
State capital: Imphal
People: Meetei, Pangal, Bishnupriya Manipuris, Naga and Kuki
Official Languages: Meeteilon or Manipuri and English
Staple diet: Rice, Fish and leafy vegetables

Apart from wiki, here are some interesting articles on Manipuri people here, their food habits here and Kang festival here.

Manipur is one of the 8 states from the Northeastern region of India. And this was one of those states where I didn't have to explore much to get a vegetarian recipe. People here are mainly rice eaters and so there was mention of rice dishes from the region, online. This khichdi was one of them and it is served with the mangal ooti. Mangal being the dry yellow peas. I read somewhere that this khichdi is prepared on Kang festival. The rath yatra that takes place in the Sri Govindajee temple is called the Kang festival.
Honestly, I had no expectations on this dish when I decided to give it a try but was very much impressed after trying it. I am not that into pulao - biryani kind dihes but I genuinely enjoyed this khichdi. It was simple and flavorful. Even I didn't need the ooti to accompany the khichdi. 
Ingredients for the khichdi: (3 servings)
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup tuvar dal

2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp oil
3 tbsp peanuts, skinned
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 each of bay leaves, cardamom pods and cloves

3 red chillies
1 tsp minced ginger
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste


Method:
1. Cook rice and dal adding about 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker. It must be cooked but not turn mushy.
2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add peanuts and sauté until golden.
3. Now add cumin and saute until they start to turn brownish. Then add bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, red chillies and stir.
4. Next add onion, salt and turmeric powder. Sauté until onion turns golden and soft.
5. Then add the cooked rice and dal mixture. Gently mix so that rice is coated well with the onion mixture.
6. Serve hot with ooti.

Note:
The dish can be cooked directly in a pressure cooker. You can start from step 2 directly using a pressure cooker. After the tadka and sauteeing the onion in step 4, add rice, dal and 2 cups of water and cook for three whistles. Add salt at the end and mix well.
Ingredients for the ooti:
1 cup dry yellow peas / mangal
2 green chilies, sliced lengthwise (optional)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 dry red chillies
2 bay leaves
1 tsp minced ginger
1 onion, chopped / chives
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp baking soda

Method:
* Soak peas overnight. Drain and wash the peas. Add 2 cups of water, peas and green chilies if using, to a pressure cooker and cook until soft.
* Now the tadka / sok touba part. Heat oil and add cumin seeds. When they start to brown, add red chillies, bay leaf, ginger and onion. Fry until onions turns brown and crisp.
* Then add the cooked peas, salt and baking soda. Adjust the gravy by adding water if needed. The mixture may bubble up and so be careful.
* The recipe also mentioned to add a little milk at the end if preferred.
* It is served with white rice or khichari.





12 comments:

Priya Suresh said...

Khichdi and ooti looks excellent and makes a prefect pair together.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Sounds very good. I also read about the temple. From what I have experienced in Assam, these khichdis are served in temples in that region as Prasadam.

Usha said...

Khichdi & ooti looks delicious and especially the that bowl of khichdi . Contrasting colors you used; the bowl, background and the color of khichdi is lovely.

Nivedhanams Sowmya said...

looks so much like lemon rice... but so much more beautiful!!

Jayanthi Padmanabhan said...

khichdi and ooti looks like a popular pair.. i love it that your khichdi is not mushy

Srivalli said...

I like how neat you give all the info Suma..very nice..coming to the Khichdi, I also didn't expect it to be as good it was..nice combination..

Gayathri Kumar said...

That kichdi looks so yumm. And the ooti combo also looks so good. You are tempting me with your snaps...

Pavani N said...

Khichdi & Ooti combo sounds delicious.

Chef Mireille said...

a great combo meal

Archana Potdar said...

Perfect combo. Actually was drooling .

Padmajha PJ said...

Both the dishes look so good.Nice choice :)

vaishali sabnani said...

This was one of my first choice for Manipuri...till I discovered the Black rice..the ooti looks lovely.