Chena-pani Ambila is a famous side dish in western parts of Odisha. It’s prepared with chena-pani (whey) as base. Whey is the water left after separing the solids (paneer) from split milk.
Ambula or karadi (long and thin cut bamboo shoots) is generally used as the souring ingredient in this recipe. It also has many green vegetables. This dish goes well with hot white rice.
- Chena-pani (whey) – 2 cups
- Yogurt – 2 tsp
- Rice flour – 1 tsp
- Mixed vegetables of your choice (tindli, bean, pumpkin, okra, radish, raw papaya, egg plant etc) – 1 cup- all veggies should be cut length wise
- Bamboo shoots (thin) – 2 tsp
- Salt – as per taste
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Water – 2 cups
- Panch phoran ( combination of mustard seed, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, kalonji) – 1 tsp
- Curry leaves – 8 to 10
- Dried red chilli – 2
- Asafoetida – 1 pinch
- Oil (preferably mustard oil) – 1 tbsp
Method of Preparation:
- Keep the whey in a bowl at room temperature overnight.
- Next day add yogurt and rice flour to it. Keep aside.
- In a pan, take water. Add salt and turmeric. Let it boil and then add the veggies (if using okra, then fry it separately. Don’t boil it.) Cover and let it boil till the veggies are tender.
- Then add the whey mixture and bamboo shoots to the veggies and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Switch off the flame.
- Now we need to season the soup.
- Heat oil in a seasoning pan. Add panch phoran once the oil is hot. Let those crackle. Now add asafoetida and curry leaves. Let it splutter for few seconds and then add to the vegetable soup.
- Our ambila is ready.