Bamboo shoots or bamboo (karadi, or karida) form an interesting part of the food traditions of Odisha. It is popular mostly in the Berhampur and Sambalpur areas; and also in areas adjacent to dense forests. It is available in the markets during the sprouting season of bamboo.
100 gram tender bamboo shoot (baunsa karida)
1 cup rice (arua chaula)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 cloves garlic (rasuna)
1 inch ginger (ada)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder (haladi gunda)
1 cup refined cooking oil (rifaain tela)
salt to taste (luna)
We would first prepare rice paste for frying the bamboo shoots. So first of all, soak rice in water for about half-an-hour. Make a paste of the soaked rice, cumin seeds, garlic and ginger by adding a little water in a grinder. Grind it to a coarse paste till it gains consistency like the 'dosa' batter. Shift the paste into a container and add turmeric powder, chili powder and salt to taste and mix well. Keep it aside. Now wash the bamboo shoots ('Karida') and cut them into thin slices, or even grated pieces, if you prefer. Put a kadai / pan on the flame and add the slices of bamboo shoots into a quantity water that would completely soak all the slices. Add salt to taste. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes. Remember that we are here para-boiling rather than completely boiling the bamboo shoot. Now strain the vegetables and drain out water. Then heat a 'tawa' or pan on medium flame and pour a generous quantity of oil so that oil is spread all over the 'tawa'. Now soak the para-boiled slices of bamboo shoot one by one in the rice paste and place them on the 'tawa'. You can cover the whole 'tawa' with vegetable slices. After one minute turn each slice upside down and fry. If a little bit more oil is required, add the same and allow all the slices to be fried well on both sides till they turn crisp. Your 'Banusa Karida Bhaja' is ready. Tastes best when served with rice and Dal, or with a complete meal.
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