Among the different rudiments of the rich, artistic heritage of Odisha is its unique cuisine, with a tradition saturated with history. Odia food is a bright tapestry of flavours with an unbelievable assortment – dynamic as the all-time favourite Pakhala, soft-hearted as Salepur’s famous Rasagolla, powerful as Kankada Jhola, awesome as Besara prepared with Pancha Phutana, and the list is unending.
If you are a food lover, and you are always looking for new cuisines and new cultures to explore, this year try out Odisha’s food and flavours. I remember when we flew down to Odisha and then booked a car rental in Bhubaneswar to travel through the city easily and comfortably, exploring its various attractions and delectable cuisines.
Exploring the cuisines
We have some friends in Odisha who beautifully guided us through the wide variety of cuisines that Odisha offers. We started by visiting the famous Jagannath temple. The culinary legacy of Odisha is inseparably interwoven with the biggest kitchen on the planet at Jagannath Temple in Puri. We got a chance to enter the kitchen and see for ourselves how food is prepared at such a large scale so quickly, and honestly, we were stunned to see the management.
Mahaprasad, famous for its taste, is a must-try when you visit there, particularly during celebrations and festivities. It caught our eye that a lot of temples make their offerings to the presiding deities. The Mahaprasad consists of 56 dishes, hence, also known as Chhappan Bhog.
It’s a nice way to try out a whole lot variety of dishes in just one thali which includes rice, dal, kadhi, ghewar, chila, pakoda, khichadi, brinjal sabji, lauki sabji, poori, tikkis, Makhan mishri, mohanbhog, kheer, rasgulla, rabri, malpua, moong dal halwa, mathri, paan and so much more.
Fish and different sorts of seafood are eaten primarily in coastal areas. A few curries are made from prawns and lobster. We went to ‘Ostra’, which served lip-smacking seafood delicacies like Maccha Besara, Kukuda Tarkari, Chingudi Malai Tarkari, and Kankada Jhola. My personal favorite was Kukuda Tarkari. It is basically a chicken curry but is prepared very differently. The recipe is very basic; however, the taste contrasts unquestionably with some other basic curry. This merits a one-time try.
After trying these authentic delicacies, we were craving some homemade food and were also eager to know what local people eat in their daily meals. So, our friend invited us to his place to try out his mother’s scrumptious Odissi recipes. For appetizers, we had Manda Pitha, rice flour dumplings with coconut stuffing inside them, and Aluchop, which are potato fritters. Then for the main course, we had Dalma, it’s made with Toor dal, chana dal, pumpkin, potato, brinjal, and other nutritional vegetables and is served with rice.
Along with that, there was Potato Alu Rasa, one of the notorious dishes of Odisha, which is made of potatoes, minced gourd, spices, and sautéed bay leaves. This dish is a commodity that you shouldn’t miss out on. The delicious flavours of Potato Aloo Rasa are bound to stay with you for long indeed after your trip. For desserts, aunty made Chhena Poda, one of the iconic sweets of Odisha, made with fresh chhena, and Kakera pitha, a deep-fried semolina dessert infused with fennel and cardamom.
Odisha ought to not simply be visited for the archaeological marvels it houses and the astounding beauty of it yet in addition for its mouth-watering cuisines, which makes your voyaging experience a much more fulfilling one. With plenty of spots to visit in Orissa, relying upon Bhubaneswar outstation cabs for safe travelling and nearby food varieties to try, who knows, you may wind up adding a popular dish of Odisha to your list of most loved foods.