Served fried, hot and crispy, Odisha style


I’m staying in a colony where you have neo-riches. To take advantage of the affluence and purchasing power, some dynamic entrepreneurs have launched their start-ups in the food sector in strategic locations. To some of these entrepreneurs, I give my menu engineering expertise. Knowing the culinary culture of the city, one knows what the general public likes or dislikes. At the end, they prefer to have something fried and crispy.

We’re gonna drool when we wait our turn to get this bhaji, chicken pakoda, fried momo. The most sought after is pakoda with everything that needs to be chewy inside – mirchi, baingan, tomato, piazi (the local falafel), chicken and the list goes on. We salivate because of our DNA — obsessed with texture: crispy and not crunchy — visualize the gol gappa a.k.a pani puri. To top it off, the sound enhances the pleasure. It’s the brain that lights up the whole system, that makes the food disappear just by mapping the texture. The phrase that comes back — the food is there and swallowed.

Fried food is unstoppable as it is delicious (when served hot). This is due to the complex sensory sensation (assessment) – the cracking, melting in the mouth and biting that releases the flavor. All of this happens when you bite food, and the sound you make while biting is enough to trigger the brain – to feel good. Tell that when you bite the fried momo, chicken pakoda, the onion covered in batter which, when bitten in the center, melts in your mouth with a crispy (healthy) batter on the outside. The sensation felt is quite unique compared to raw foods or roasted foods (which are drier). For fried foods – it’s the oil and fatty medium that adds the flavor and the batter (rice, flour, cornstarch, chickpea flour or Japanese breadcrumbs aka panko) gives the crunch. The end result of crispiness is crispness and flavor.

It is the absorption of oil that makes the fried item greasy or flavorful. The fat indicates that the oil temperature was too low to extract the moisture. The best temperature should be around 170-190 degrees Celsius, which gives a good result. The process and the science behind it is simple – when the battered food is placed in the oilseed medium, bubbles begin to appear. It is due to the hot oil: as the temperature of the frying medium is twice that of the food to be fried, and on contact the water contained in the food is released into the oil, to be quickly replaced by oil molecules. To get that perfect crisp, you have to make sure the dough doesn’t have too much moisture, which makes the (natural) activity of gluten higher, thus adding some fat, the activity of gluten is less in the dough and ensures crispness. results.

At Odisha, we have mastered the art of frying – be it pumpkin blossoms, eggplants, greens, bananas, potatoes, prawns, fish, chicken: you name it and we have a delicious fried result. The crowd of street food evenings proves it.

Linga & Bijay bhaina (famous street vendors) rules for frying: They are of the opinion that ghee (clarified butter) is the best frying medium and it is always the best recommendation. As it is expensive, we can instead turn to sunflower or peanut oil.

Although at home, cold-pressed oil is used for shallow frying; it may not have the same flavor, but it still works. To ensure even heat distribution, a heavy-bottomed pan is recommended for a crispy fried dish.

Follow the golden rules to get a crispier exterior and a chewy interior, like at KFC or piyazi and pakodi. These have been discussed, noted and the procedures verified and documented with experienced chefs and cooks over time.

The coating : It is important that the food has a good, even layer of batter. This will help the meat or vegetable stay moist while developing a crispy exterior. Remember moderation is key. Even with “naked” frying, as in the case of French fries, if a crispy exterior is desired, dusting with corn flour, besan, rice flour, or all-purpose flour works great.

Celsius: A simple way to evaluate is to sprinkle a little flour on the oil. If it sizzles, you know the oil has reached an ideal and optimum temperature. If the oil is too cold, the food will sink to the bottom of the wok. If the oil is too hot, it will stay on the surface. When the oil temperature is right, the ingredient will first sink and then rise to the surface. What are you looking for. It is important that fried foods rest on a tea towel as soon as they come out of the pan, to allow any extra oil to drain off.

Maintain Traffic: Do not overcrowd the pan; too many people will cause the temperature of the frying medium to drop and food movement will be restricted. Go when it’s hot.

For the road: Frying was the only way to preserve food longer. It was called ‘SAFRI’ food or traveller’s cuisine. Along with the basic guidelines, feel free to play around with ingredients and batters; inspiration is everywhere – from cookbooks to your favorite street vendors.

Fried food is bad: The same goes for alcohol, wine, cheese and coffee. So moderation is the key.


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