Odisha, on the Bay of Bengal, is much renowned for its long coastline and splendid historic architectures like the Konark Sun Temple. But did you know that apart from the scenic beauty, in this eastern Indian state, there are oodles of flavourful traditional food options? Here is a list of 10 such out-of-the-box, extremely delectable Odia dishes.
Dalma is one of the best preparations of the Odia cuisine, usually enjoyed as a main-course dish with plain rice. The aromatic curry of Dalma is made with toor dal, chana dal, pumpkin, potato, brinjal and other nutritious vegetables. The dish is not only high on taste, but it is healthy too. Only during the Kartika mahina of Hindu Calendar, that usually takes place between the month of October and November, people of Odisha make a special kind of Dalma known as the habisha dalma. Meanwhile, here are 6 authentic dishes that will transport you to the lanes of Kolkata.
2. Chhena Poda
If you’ve got a fetish for baked delicacies, Chhena Poda will win your heart for sure. It is one of the iconic sweets of Odisha, made with fresh chhena. The chhenna, infused with semolina, ghee, raisins and other dry fruits, is baked until it turns brown. After baking, it looks like a cake which is cut into slices and served. Also, did you know about this immunity sandesh with 15 herbs?
3. Poda Pitha
This is yet another baked caked-style Odia dish. It is alternatively called urad dal jaggery cake. The main ingredients of this recipe are jaggery, coconut, bay leaves, rice flour, dry fruits and milk. It is prepared during Odisha’s popular Raja festival. This festival takes place for three days in which women take a break from their daily household work and play indoor games.
4. Enduri Pitha
The star ingredients of this dish are grated coconut, jaggery and turmeric leaves. A mixture is made with sauteed coconut, jaggery and spices. Dollops of this mixture are then put inside the turmeric leaves, which are folded and steamed for around 10 minutes. Enduri pitha is also called haldi patra pitha.
5. Kakera Pitha
Kakera pitha of Odisha are deep-fried semolina dessert infused with fennel and cardamon. It is one of the most loved desserts in Odisha and is offered in various temples as prasad. One bite of this juicy dessert will definitely make you crave for more.
Manda pitha or the rice flour dumpling looks like a twin sister of rasgulla from outside but has a coconut stuffing inside. It also resembles South India’s Kozhakkattai and Maharashtra’s Modak. It is usually prepared during monsoons and post-monsoons for festivals like Gamha Purnima, Manabasa Gurubara or Kumar Purnima.
This old-town crunchy caramelized delicacy is whipped up with jaggery, coconut, khai and cardamoms. Korakhai too is served as a prasad to many deities. These are available in packets and since they are dry, many tourists prefer to carry them on their way back home. A shop named Baya Baba Kora Khai in Bhubaneshwar is highly reputed for selling this dry sweet.
Khaja, or fritter dunked in sugar syrup, is the crispiest and most delicious coastal sweet. It is one of the items of Chaapan Bhog of Puri’s Jagannath temple. The Chappan Bhog consists of 56 types of food served as prasad. Puri receives a large number of Bengali tourists every year and Khaja is in high demand among them.
9. Badi Chura
Looking at this dish might remind you of Upma. To make this dish, sundried red lentil dumplings ( masoor dal badi) are fried in low flame. The fried dumplings are crushed and blended, along with chopped onions, garlic, cloves and green chili. A pinch of salt is added to this mixture and the ready Badi Chura is served with plain rice or Pakhala.
This is a soothing summer dish of Odisha made from rice soaked in water overnight. In the morning, the water is strained out and fresh water is added to the rice. The damp rice is sauteed with salt, tempered spices, mint or basil leaves and then curd is added to it. The dish is often served with Badi Chura. Locals say that Pakhala aids in bringing sound sleep.
Also Read: Khandadhar Waterfall In Odisha
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then Odisha has to be your go-to place. So, the next time you plan a trip to this beach state, don’t forget to try these amazing grubs. For now, you can enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the forests of Odisha’s Similipal, virtually: