Pakhala Dibasa: Beat The Summer Blues With This Odia Dish
Summer has already made an onset in Odisha. But speaking ‘officially,’ it starts today. The ‘Pakhala Dibasa’ celebrated on March 20 is a reminder of the onset of the summer season and the ‘official day’ to start relishing a bowl of the delicacy.
‘Pakhala’ translated to watery rice in its most literal explanation, is the state’s way to beat the summer blues. A bowl of Pakhala Bhata followed by an afternoon nap is all you need to spend the summer well. The delicacy has become so popular that it is served everywhere – from home to roadside eateries and even star hotels which price it over Rs 1000!
While there is no such hard and fast rule of making a ‘Pakhala’ and one can opt for anything as per choice, we have curated some of our favourite Pakhala dishes.
1) Dahi Pakhala – Short and simple describes Dahi Pakhala well. A few spoons of fresh curd on the rice and some accompaniments can give you a soul-satisfying dish. Raw onions and cucumber will be a bonus.
2) Jeera Pakhala – Pakhala with jeera ‘chhunka’ (tempering or tadka, but we prefer the Odia way – ‘chhunka’). Just add some fried cumin and curry leaves to the rice and feel the difference in taste!
3) Basi Pakhala – As the name suggests, leave the rice in water overnight and let it ferment a bit. The ‘Torani is best to relish in this.
4) Sugandhi Pakhala – Besides fried cumin, a lot of people also prefer adding grated ginger to the mixture which gives a nice little tinge of sourness to the dish.
While the accompaniments can also be according to one’s choice, but the best ones include Badi Chura, Dahi Baigan, Kakharu Phula Bhaja and fried fish or prawns if you are a non-vegetarian.