The dishes from Odisha – Sweet or Savory are easy on your palette and mainly because they use less oil and spices. Be it the world famous Chenna Poda, Manda Pitha , Kheer or even the Khira Gaintha. Simple ingredients yet amazing taste.
The food is usually made fresh and daily with locally grown produce. The cuisine of Odisha is very much influenced by recipes developed and used by temple cooks for thousands and thousands of years. The menu is called: Mahaprasad or Avada. The menu contains various type of food items and feeds to thousands and thousands of people on a daily basis. The temple cooks were much sought after due to their ability to cook food in accordance with Hindu scriptures.
One of the dishes from Mahaprasad is Kanika. Kanika is a sweet pulao or sweet rice made with ghee, basmati rice and sugar, and dry fruits. The dish is mildly sweet and extremely flavorful from the whole spices like cardamom, clove, and cinnamon. Kanika takes the color of yellow from the turmeric. Not saffron.
I had a Satyanarayan Puja done at our place for my older son’s birthday and I cooked everything without ginger, garlic or onion. Kanika was one of the dishes that I had made. The dish was licked clean. And what could be a better compliment to the chef than her cooked food is loved and adored so much that, the platter is clean. 🙂
Coming back to the recipe and ingredients of Kanika, as I mentioned earlier, simple ingredients and extremely good taste.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup pure ghee
- 1 cup sugar
- a handful of cashews, raisins, and almonds
- 2 cardamom, 2 cloves, 1inch cinnamon, 1-star anise
- 1 tbsp. turmeric
- 1 pinch salt
- Wash the rice clean and drain
- Heat ghee in a deep bottomed pot
- Add the cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and cloves
- Add the dry fruits and fry for a minute or two.
- Once the ghee is hot enough, slowly add the cleaned rice and fry for 7/8 minutes in low flame
- Now slowly add the sugar and water and increase the heat to high
- Let the rice boil in the sugar water for 3/4 minutes
- Then reduce the heat to low-medium and cover the pot.
- Cook the rice covered in low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir once in a while to make sure that’s the rice is not burned.
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