5 Traditional Dishes from Odisha That You Must Try
The cuisine of Odisha – commonly known as Odia cuisine – is a beautiful melange of flavours, history and surprisingly, nutrition. Ordinarily, Odisha is known to echo architectural brilliance, scenic beauty and a flavourful culture. What a lot of people are oblivious to is that this state embraces a rich food culture that is unique, unlike any other, and begging to be tried! Aromatic, packed with oodles of flavour and served on sal leaf plates – authentic Odia dishes are an unmissable affair. Now that we have you salivating – here’s a list of 5 traditional dishes from Odisha that will leave you love-struck and wanting more!
Kakharu Phula Bhaja
Okay, let’s get one thing straight – fritters are everybody’s weakness! Now that we’ve mutually agreed, we’ll let you in on a secret – Odisha does fritters better than anyone else! Pumpkin flowers are a much loved local delicacy in the eastern parts of the country and are available throughout the year. In Odisha, pumpkin flowers are coated in rice batter and then shallow fried to create the most delicious crispy fritters called Kakharu Phula Bhaja that go oh-so-well with… well… anything!
Fish is by and large loved by locals of Odisha who use the meat to creatively cook up so many delectable dishes. Machha Ghanta – one of the many – is a delicious curry made with fried fish heads, served with a side of steamed rice. This dish is offered to Durga Maa on Dussehra and is one of the most popular dishes of Odisha. We’re not surprised – who doesn’t love fish curry and rice?
Think of Chenna Poda as Odisha’s very own version of a cheesecake – which is famous for being offered to Lord Jagannath at the Puri Temple. You may think the preparation is fairly simple considering it is prepared with minimal ingredients, but, hold your breath, it is baked for several hours! Chhena Poda is made using homemade cottage cheese, semolina and sugar syrup. While baking, the sugar caramelises, giving it its distinct aroma and taste that is enough to knock your socks off.
Manda Pitha is one of Odisha’s delicacies that you will unmistakably find at any and every Odisha festival. It is prepared by making rice dough balls which are stuffed with coconut and jaggery and then steamed to perfection. Odisha boasts of many flavourful varieties of Pitha, but Manda Pitha is considered a hot favourite.
Kanika – a sweet, aromatic rice dish – is a well-known delicacy of Odisha and is loved dearly by the locals. This flavour-packed dish is made with local spices, dried fruits, a whole lot of ghee and rice. Kanika is a very important part of Odisha’s culture as it is a part of Chappan Bhog (56 types of prasad that are offered to the lord) at the Puri Jagannath Temple. Kanika is often cooked in clay pots, which the locals believe adds to its flavour.