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HomeA Story of FoodThe Cuisine of Odisha: Amazing Dishes from India’s undiscovered cuisine!

The Cuisine of Odisha: Amazing Dishes from India’s undiscovered cuisine!

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Orissa is one of the country’s hidden gems. The state has a great deal to offer in terms of tourism and food. You wouldn’t know the vastness of this state’s beauty in terms of location and food unless you’ve been there. Odia cuisine is less oily and spicy but packed with flavour. We feel Odisha’s unique geographical location contributes to more balanced food. It can be viewed as a meeting point for both Southern and Northern flavours. They use coconut which shows the influence of south Indian cuisine and even mustard from Bengal in their dishes. 

Temple cuisine has also had a significant impact on the state, as these religious sites have been the main focus of socio-cultural activities in Odisha. The Mahaprasad, also known as the Mahaprasad offering, is the most popular temple cuisine dish in the state. It is the offering to Lord Jagganath of Puri. The Mahaprasad is prepared in an unusual manner. Over the burner, earthen pots are stacked one on top of the other. The top pot cooks first, followed by the bottom pot near the burner.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu meditates in Badrinath, dresses in Dwarka, eats lunch in Puri, and spends the night in Rameswaram. What more can we say about Odia cuisine?

The temple cuisine consists of locally grown cereals and vegetables cooked using traditional methods such as wooden charcoal and earthen pots. Along with vegetarian dishes the state has some scrumptious non-veg dishes too. They have some amazing authentic recipes of fish, prawns and crabs

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu meditates in Badrinath, dresses in Dwarka, eats lunch in Puri, and spends the night in Rameswaram. What more can we say about Odia cuisine?

So, here is our collection of authentic Odisha dishes

Dalma

Dalma can be easily mistaken as Sambhar of the East without tamarind. This everyday staple is made with Arhar dal (Split Toor Dal), and seasonal vegetables such as raw banana,  potato, tomato, yam, papaya, and many more. This mouthwatering dish is loaded with flavours and slow-cooked in a large wok. This dish is seasoned with Panch Phutana and is extremely healthy and nutritious. It is served hot with rice.

Macha Ghanta- Most popular Odia dish

Fish dishes are extremely popular in Odisha, and what better than every Odiya’s favourite, Macha Ghanta? This tempting curry, which consists of the fried head of the fish and is served with hot steamed rice and salad, is a must-offer to Durga Maa on Dussehra. The curry is a hearty concoction of onions, potatoes, garlic, and the usual spices. Vegetarians can make a plain ‘Ghanta’ by omitting the fish. This is one dish that has no equal, no matter where you are, and it will most likely tempt you to eat it again and again until you leave Odisha.

Pakhala Bhat

Pakhala is a type of fermented rice that is best in the summer. It’s a staple in every Odisha household, and it’s made by soaking cooked rice in water and sour curd. This dish is extremely healthy and beneficial to the gut. It is served with Badi choora, aloo chokha, fried fish, papad, roasted tomatoes, and pakoras. The rice is typically kept in water overnight or for two days, and on March 20th, Odisha celebrates Pakhala Dibasa (Universal Pakhala Day). This summertime favourite is excellent for avoiding heat stroke. According to researchers, it is also the only food that contains vitamins for nerve cells.

Chungdi Malai

As the name suggests, this dish is all about the delicious creamy prawn curry, which gets its creamy texture from coconut milk. The richness and silkiness of this fantastic dish are further enhanced by light and mild spices that give it a distinct flavour. Absolutely delicious, mouthwatering, and flavorful! This delicacy, which is best served with steamed basmati rice, is a must-try if you are in or near Odisha.

Dahi Vada Aloo Dum

Dahi vada and Aloo dum are two more popular street foods in Odisha after gupchup. Even at 5 a.m., you can see thela walas with their big pots of dahi vada and smaller pots filled with aloo dum. While dahi vada and aloo dum are considered separate dishes elsewhere, Odisha offers a unique combination of the two. The delectable taste of dahi vadas delicately balances the spiciness of aloo dum, providing the flavour that every Odia craves. This dish, also known as the ‘Vada Pav’ of Cuttack, has undoubtedly paved its way into people’s hearts and daily lives.

Chhena Poda

Odisha has its very own cheesecake! Odisha is famous for its sweet, Chhena Poda, which is also Lord Jagannath’s favourite and is frequently offered to him at the Puri Temple. The lingering flavour of burnt homemade cottage cheese and semolina mixed with sugar syrup will simply blow your mind. This unusual dessert is baked for several hours until it turns red, and the caramelised sugar enhances the distinct flavour of Chhena Poda. This dish is simple, easy, and absolutely delicious, and can be found in almost every single corner.

Kanika

A traditional Orissa dish made of sweet pulao takes pride in place among the 56 items in Lord Jagannath’s ‘Chappan Bhog.’ Kanika was the most popular Odiya dish before biryani, and fried rice has since taken its place. The aromatic basmati rice can be used in place of the raw rice that is usually used to make Kanika. Kanika rice is a staple meal in Orissa, usually prepared as an offering in temples. It goes best with a mouthwatering chicken/mutton curry.

Rasagolla

The Rasogolla from Odisha is extremely popular for a variety of reasons. It has been a hot topic due to its original battle with Bengal. This sweet dish is sure to win hearts all over the world with its mouth-melting texture and divine flavour! It’s one of the best desserts because of the white goodness dipped in sugar syrup. It’s a wonderful indulgence because of the delicate softness of the chhena and the perfect balance of sweetness. This delight simply cannot be missed! Khira Mohana, Odisha Rasogolla, has served as bhog in Puri’s Jagannath Temple.

Meanwhile, have you ever tried Odia Cuisine? If not, I’m sure you’d like to try it right now. If you have been cooking Oriya cuisine or visiting places that serve delectable authentic Oriya dishes, Share your experiences @ 

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