https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgObk7ALNQM

Nuakhai festival, literally meaning ‘new food’, is observed to welcome the new rice of the season. This is the most important social festival of Western Odisha and is marked by preparing traditional dishes. The festival is seen as a new ray of hope, especially by the agrarian community, and is held on the day after Ganesha Chaturthi.

To celebrate the occasion, Ootkal created a delicious platter with some of Nuakhai’s most famous dishes, like Ghaanta, Makhan Saag otherwise known as Kakharu Saga and Aambila. Interestingly, one of the most unique ingredients used is Bamboo shoot! We are sure that piqued your interest. As the Goddess Samaleswari is worshipped on this day, usually the meal that is prepared is free of any onion or garlic. Go ahead and try these simple, healthy and culturally rich dishes on the occasion of Nuakhai!

Ghaanta

Ingredients

  1. Potato- ½ cup
  2. Boiled white horse gram- ½ cup
  3. Raw banana – 1 cup
  4. Beans, sautéed- 1 cup
  5. Pumpkin/ kakharu – 1 cup
  6. Pointed gourd/ potala- 1 cup
  7. Eggplant/ Brinjal- 1 cup
  8. Carrot- ½ cup
  9. Spiny gourd/ kankada- ½ cup
  10. Ridge gourd/ janhi- 1 cup
  11. Cucumber- 1 cup
  12. Ginger- 2 small pieces
  13. Green chilies- 3
  14. Roasted cumin, coriander, garam masala powder- 4 tsps
  15. Red chili powder- 1 tsp
  16. Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  17. Vegetable oil- 2 tbsps
  18. Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  19. Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  20. Bay leaf- 1
  21. Dry red chilies- 2
  22. Sweetened grated coconut
  23. Salt
  24. Water

Note: Dice the vegetables as shown in the video (size can vary as per your preference)

Add Asiatic yams (Desi aloo) and Taro root (Saaru) for a more traditional flavor

Procedure

  1. Add 1 glass of water to the kadai
  2. Add turmeric powder
  3. Add 1 tsp salt
  4. Mix well
  5. Add potato
  6. Add boiled white horse gram
  7. Cover for 7-10 mins
  8. Add raw banana
  9. Add sautéed beans
  10. Cover for 5 mins
  11. Add pumpkin
  12. Add pointed gourd
  13. Add egg plant/ brinjal
  14. Add carrot
  15. Add spiny gourd
  16. Add ridge gourd
  17. Add cucumber
  18. Add half glass of water
  19. Add crushed ginger and green chilies
  20. Mix well
  21. Cover for 10 mins
  22. Add roasted cumin, coriander and garam masala powder
  23. Add red chili powder
  24. Cover for 10 mins
  25. Add ½ glass of water- 1 glass 
  26. Cover for 5-7 mins
  27. Mix well
  28. Remove and keep aside

For the tempering

  1. Add vegetable oil
  2. Add mustard seeds
  3. Add cumin seeds
  4. Once it splutters add the bay leaf
  5. Break the red chilies into half and add
  6. Add the veggies
  7. Cover for 5 mins
  8. Add sweetened grated coconut
  9. Mash with the back of the spatula
  10. Turn off the stove
  11. Ghaanta is ready

Makhan Saag/ Kakharu Saaga

Ingredients

  1. Pumpkin, diced- 1 cup
  2. Ridge gourd/ janhi, diced- 1 cup
  3. Kakharu saga/ pumpkin leaves, chopped- 2 cups
  4. Vegetable oil- 2tbsps
  5. Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  6. Dry red chilies- 2
  7. Karadi/ bamboo shoot- 1/4thcup
  8. Milk- 1 cup
  9. Sugar- 1 tsp
  10. Salt
  11. Water

Procedure

  1. Add 3/4thglass of water
  2. Add ½ tsp salt
  3. Add pumpkin
  4. Add ridge gourd/ janhi
  5. Add pumpkin leaves/ kakharu saga
  6. Mix well
  7. Cover for 10-15 mins
  8. Remove and set aside

For tempering

  1. Add vegetable oil
  2. Add mustard seeds
  3. Break the red chilies into half and add
  4. Add karadi/ bamboo shoot
  5. Add the boiled pumpkin leaves
  6. Add milk
  7. Mix well
  8. Add sugar
  9. Mash with the help of a potato masher
  10. Turn off the stove
  11. Makhan saag or kakharu saga is ready

Aambila

Ingredients

  1. Raw papaya- 1 cup
  2. Cucumber- 1 cup
  3. Pumpkin- 1 cup
  4. Egg plant/ Brinjal- 1 cup
  5. Sautéed okra/ ladies finger- ½ cup
  6. Dry pickled mango/ Aambula -1
  7. Bamboo shoot/ Karadi – 1/4thcup
  8. Plain Greek yogurt/ curd- 1 bowl
  9. Gram flour/ besan- ¼ th cup
  10. Red chili powder- 1 tsp
  11. Vegetable oil- 3 tbsps
  12. Phutana/ Panch phoran- 1 tsp
  13. Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  14. Dry red chilies- 3
  15. Curry leaves- 15-20
  16. Coriander leaves
  17. Salt

Note: Dice the vegetables as shown in the video (size can vary as per your preference)

Procedure

  1. Add 2 glasses of water
  2. Add 1 tbsp salt
  3. Add turmeric powder
  4. Add raw papaya
  5. Add cucumber
  6. Cover for 5 mins
  7. Add pumpkin
  8. Add eggplant/ brinjal
  9. Cover immediately for 10 mins
  10. Add the gram flour to the curd and mix well
  11. Add equal amount of water to the mixture
  12. Pour the mixture into the kadai
  13. Stir continuously or the curd might curdle
  14. Add sautéed okra
  15. Add red chili power
  16. Let it boil for few (4-5) mins
  17. Remove and set aside

For the tempering

  1. Add vegetable oil
  2. Add panch phoran/ phutana, let it splutter
  3. Break the red chilies into half and add
  4. Add curry leaves
  5. Add the soup
  6. Let it boil for few (3-4) mins
  7. Add chopped coriander leaves
  8. Turn off the stove
  9. Aambila is ready to be served

Special thanks to Mrs. Trupti Dash