The Barpali Days

This blog is the Facebook of Barpali which picturise its "life" and "culture". It was a "palli" or a village a century back where the all time great Oriya poet swabhaba kabi Gangadhar Meher had taken birth. Now this bustling little town is renowned world-over for the weaving of Sambalpuri ikat handloom fabrics. Agriculture is its prime economy. And when you happen to visit this little town don't miss to taste Chaul bara.


Jan 4, 2013

Kakharu Badi [କଖାରୁ ବଡି]

In the cities and the towns when people don’t have green vegetables stored in their refrigerator they  resort to cooking the sabji made with soya bean badis. Where as in the villages of Odisha our  women folk cook subji with Kakharu Badi. Now you might have the curiosity to know what this food stuff might be called in English. I ask you not to waste your time while searching for the right word in an English dictionary as it’s an Indian food substitute. This  writer would like to coin a word for it and that is “Desi Nuggets” for the reason these are chunks of biridal.

[Kakharu - The white pumpkin]
Badi is a Oriya food supplement that is prepared by every household. Badis are prepared along with biridal. These are prepared and stored in air tight container  for rest of the year. Badis are mostly cooked along with green vegetables or saag (green leafs). Whereas the making of Kakharu Badi is  once in a year event, which is scheduled to be prepared only in the winter i.e in the Hindu calendar month of Margasira, may be for the reason it is the time  when the kakharu, the big white pumpkins  are being  harvested. In case you   miss the bus to prepare  these Kakharu Badis in the winter, then you need to resort to buying the badis that are available in the open market. But I tell you that stuff  may not meet the needed hygienic standards.

It needs a meticulous planning and its execution to prepare the kakharu badis. The entire family members are involved to prepare the badis at home. Mostly the older lady or the granny of the family takes the charge to make the badis. On the other hand the man go to buy the grocery, while ladies prepare the badis manually  with hand. Finally the children of the family help the ladies to gather the dry badis from the sun.

How to make Kakharu Badis :

You need to choose the most healthy  biri dali (urad dal)  without chilka from the grocery store. Make sure to buy the newly harvested biri dal of this year to get the best results. If you make use of old dal of a year or two, it will make your  badis brown and dull in colour. If you use the newly yield dal  than your badis will appear  to be of snow white.  That is why I suggest you to inspect the dal properly while holding them in your palm. 

The day before you schedule to make the badis, cut the kakharu into convenient pieces so as you could hold it in your hand with ease.   Make sure not to remove the green skin of the kakharu. Remove the seeds and other waste from inside. With a slicer you swipe the kakharu pieces.  Now put the entire stuff of scrapped kakharu  in  a cotton cloth and tie it into a bundle. You place the shila (stone grinder) available at home on top of the kura and leave it for the night. By morning the water of the kakharu would be strained.

You need to soak the skinless urad dal in fresh water, the night before the scheduled day. The dal need to be soaked in water at least for four to five hours. In case you got the urad dal with its green chilka, then also you need not worry.  Just soak the dal in fresh water for at least five hours. When the dal become soft, crumble it with your both the hands. Drench the water properly so as to filter out the outer layer (green skin) of the dal. Now you need to mince  the dal in a thick form. Mince it in a grinder or mixer. You are advised to grind it in a thick form. You could mince it in a shila,  the hand operated stone crusher to get the best results. However you need to be from the old school to undertake this herculean task. And the only way to do the litmus test if your grinded biri is worth making bari is to put a drop of it in water. If it floats on the surface of the water, then it is perfect to be made into badis. In case the drop immerse in the water than you need to grind it further to make it smooth.
[Oriya ladies while making badis in a winter noon]
Now you  add the kakharu kura in the dough. Make sure not to add even a pinch of salt in the grinded biri. Badis are made of salt free. Salt is added only while  cooking the badi subji. In the dough add a spoon of juani and cumin seeds, which would act as a digestive enzyme. Our stuff is now ready to be made into badis. No modern tools or instruments are so far invented to make badis. These need to be made manually with hands only. For your convenience, place a charpai or wooden bed under the sun. Spread a clean cotton bed sheet on top of it.  Manually now you need to put the chunks of badis on the cloth. Allow it to dry on the sun for two days until it is completely dry. You need to dry these for one more day  in the sun by putting them  down side up.  The second cycle of drying is very important to dehydrate the badis completely. When they  are dried, collect the badis.

It is not only making of the badis, but storing of this stuff is a vital thing. You need to hoard them in an air tight container.  In case they absorb moisture than in no time they would catch the bacteria and your stuff would be spoilt. Kakharu Badis got a shelf life of somewhere six months. You should use these before the monsoon approaches in the month of June. 

And do invite E.Kiran Mohan  for lunch when you cook your subji with the kakharu badis. 


C\o. Dr. E. R. Rao (M.D.),
Tehsil Chowk,
At\PO - BARPALI - 768 029
Orissa, India
Cell # 91 99 371 20565


  1. Interesting article on indigenous recipe, i wish modern oriya girls carry this unique art of making and cooking. to add about khakhura, it is worshiped in andhra pradesh,one can see a khakura hung in weavers house, some says it is sacred object for the ritual,it has replace the animal sacrifice in andhra.
    in context of cooking ,i am sure it must be having essential nutrients for the winter.Pumpkins are known to be good for eye sight also. Odhisha in modern times is also very rich in cooking,i counted sixteen different recpie made in combination of rice and biri on every Thursday in Margasira,month.
    salute to remarkable cooking venture of oriya females.

  2. Dear sir,
    Kakharu Badi ra maza au nei milbaar.

  3. thanks a ton for sharing...if possible can you also share the keonjhar phula badi recipe??? thanks in anticipation...

  4. Hello, thank you so much for the detailed information on badi and its origin. I recently visited Attapur in Keonjhar and saw women preparing these badi. Due to language barrier i could not understand anything more than word badi. I have bought some badi with me. Cant wait to try some reciepe with it. And yes if you can please share some reciepes with it. Thanks- Chris

    1. Christie thanks a ton for inquiring about Badi. Rather am mesmerized as a foreigner wanted to know about this ethnic food which is native to India. I just asked my mother and she suggesting you to take a pressure cooker. Put one cup of Badi and add one and half cup of water to it. Chop one onion, one tomato, two green chilies, crush two garlic cloves. Add spoon of cumin seed powder, one spoon coriander powder, two pinch of turmeric powder. Add salt and dry red chili powder as par the taste. Boil all these with one blow of whistle. When steme evaporates, you put the stuff in a pan and add oil and fry it until it turn red. And serve it with possibly rice and daal.

    2. Excuse me my mother is asking you to try the above mentioned simple recipe. If you like it get back to me I shall suggest another recipe. I am inviting you to Barpali, she would prepare and serve it to you. Please do add me in case you there in Facebook :

  5. Gote kakharu ku kete matra biri nebaku padiba Sir?