Monday, October 31, 2005

Ootti- Veg delight from manipur

I Shall introduce to the world, today, a manipuri delicacy, very simple to cook but I promise you, its very very addictive and very heavy. I sugest you try it on a lazy sunday noon. In manipuri, we call it "ootti"( 'ti' read as in liberty not as in ooty). A grand feast, and we have many grand feast( for any occasion from shradh to childbirth, marriage to death anniversary), house warming to festivals, is never complete without this dish. We Prepare it on the Manipuri New Year.
And my Mom cooks the best Ootti, and she cooks a lot when she does because, if our neighbour comes to know that my mom cooked OOTTI and was not shared at least a bowl, hell would have had hath no fury than the neigbour denied of my mom's Ootti.
I have cooked the same dish many times by now, with cell phone in one hand, spatula in another.It was almost as if my Mom remote cooked them. And thats how I learnt most of the recipes. And I am passionate about cooking, not gourmet cooking per se but simple Home meals. I prefer 5 Stars hotels for Gourmet Food and don't even wanna try cooking them, or maybe I do. Someday, when I retire, maybe.

Now for the Ootti.
A small onion or half a big onion cut into thing slivers, not chopped both ways but chopped finely in top down fashion.
A small finger of ginger, crushed.
Teaspoon of whole JeeraFew bay Leaves,
A few dried red chillis,
Cooking Soda,
Peas(White mattar)..
OK Peas, not peanuts not chick peas but Peas. tell the bania that you want white Mattar( green also serves). The peas should have been soaked overnight. 4 hours also might do depending upon the Pea's quality :-)

1) See if you can get green garlic leaves. These are not actually garlic leaves, but the barcode in Foodbazaar( of Bigbazaar) says its garlic leaves. It looks like spring onions but thinner and not hollow. Spring onion is hollow while this herb is not. Its a long leaf, looks like grass but longer and soft and very nice smelling. It is the Manipuri substitute of Spice. Gives instant flavor to any dish, when fried along with the onions. If you are lucky you might get it in Food Bazaar, otherwise just the onions will do.
Cook the pre-soaked peas in a pressure cooker. Peas to water ratio should be 1:2. Give about 2 whistles and let cool. After the cooker has cooled down, open the cooker and see if the peas are cooked. This is very crucial. The peas cannot be over cooked or undercooked. Take out a few peas in a spoon and crush with your find. The peas should give away without any pressure, yet it shouldn't crumble or break-down easily.

Let it boil, for some time.
Add salt to taste.
Now, in the boiling peas, add the cooking soda.
Measurement? Ahh!!! ok, slightly more than half the amount of salt you have put.
Now Beware!!!!!!
Don't forget to lower the heat when you put the Soda, because there will be lots of bubble formation and might spill out like boiling milk. Don't worry, it normal.
Let it boil in low flame.
In the other burner, heat a pan( preferably concave bottom and non stick).
Heat two table spoon of oil,
Add the BayLeaves(2 or 3).
Add the Jeera.
Add the Chilli, and turn them.
When chilli becomes dark brown( takes less than a minute to burn, don't burn).. remove the chillis and add to the Boiling mattar.
Add the onions to the oil. Fry till golden brown.(Had you got the green garlic leaves, you could have added it along with the onions after cutting them one inch long)
Add the Ginger.
Pick up this whole tadka and pour into the boiling Mattar.
Cook for a minute and its done.
Serves well with Rice, but even better with Manipuri Khichdi..


Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Sounds delicious! And very similar to a Bengali dish called ghughni, is it not? By the way, I think garlic leaves basically what are known in the West as garlic chives. Used a lot in Chinese cooking and native to the Himalayas.

11/01/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

yep.but not garlic leaves.. garlic leaves are diff from that..

11/01/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

but i haven't tried ghugni.. But i had tasted some soda based food curry though.. i guess made from papaya.. will try for sure. Anyway we have a lot of bengali influence in our food habit... like macher matha diya favorite only we add a whole roi mach not just the matha hahaha

11/01/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I cooked the khichdi and ooti using your recipes and we enjoyed the meal.
You can find my post about it at
Thank you.

6/22/2008 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Admin said...

That is awesome Aparna.. Thx

6/22/2008 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Aparna Balasubramanian said...

It's me again. Thanks for checking out my post.
I know, traditional cooking doesn't use measures, just a pinch or a bit or a handful of this and that.
In fact, I started measuring stuff only for posting on my blog! :)

6/22/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Would love to have this recipe in ? Can I publish this .. of course with a link to ur site and credit to u.

A Ooti Eater :-)

7/30/2008 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never made ooti but would love to. tasted it when i used to live in manipur many years ago. can i make it with fresh green peas also?

8/11/2008 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Admin said...

@mano~ please feel free to add it.. BTW I know you.. we met in bangalore.. You were waiting for your call from Infy during that damn recession.. I was going for my MBA . I know che monica too very well

It taste awesome with green peas as well.. the green ootti... Try it.. if you can get some Chives from any markets where foreigners shop like INA in delhi :)

Chives add a good flavor if you temper the ooti with it..

8/15/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger sh suraj sharma said...

i like ur recipe and its tasty i have cook alot time .but the thing is the real ooty in manipur that we used to eat in festival or some function thoses not used garlic and onincs so i used maroi ,and some root ..try the original way i think its better..

5/30/2013 02:27:00 AM  
Blogger sh suraj sharma said...

i like this dish i i have cook severals time and ur recipe is good too..but the original ootti does not used onion giner i prefer the original one..

5/30/2013 02:29:00 AM  

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