Like the scriptures of the Indian mythology guide and direction for a meal that caters to all kinds of tastes that a human being can feel the Odiya food too has a lot to offer for all types of your food cravings. A whole Odiya meal consists of the staple served with two to three types of curries and some kind of dal to liquidate the rice, usually along with something dry, something savory and something sweet.
A meal complementing all your taste buds is considered a whole meal in the state. Some of the widely loved street food and snacks in the state are Dahibara with aloo dum, Gupchup popularly known as panipuri in the entire country, Chaat and JhalMudi.
Odiya food usually is not available in other states as easily as cuisines like the north Indian Punjabi food is, which makes it even more special about the cuisine here that always brings the Odiyas back to their home. The reason behind this could be its procedure of preparation.
Most of the Odiya dishes are slow-cooked and involve a one-time investment of time in them, which means once prepared can be stored and eaten for a couple of days, but the fast-food culture that the younger generation has caught up to is always on a hunt for something hot in both ways, something freshly prepared and something really spicy.
Odiya food, on the other hand, is very balanced, not too spicy neither too sweet although the cuisine’s slight inclination towards the sweeter side could be noted to be perfect for the gut. It is the perfect comfort food and is one of the healthiest of cuisines that India has to offer.
Mansa Chakuli actually refers to a typically unique recipe of mutton curry and rice pancakes. Originally the mutton is seasoned in the simple mixture of five spices and cooked in an earthen pot called “Mati-Handi”. Therefore this mutton recipe is popularly known as “Mati-Handi Mansa”.
The natives who live in cities and can’t use earthen pots and earth ovens prepare this dish through pressure cooking but everyone here is Odisha believes that the authentic essence and flavor of the recipe comes when it is prepared in the traditional manner.
“Chakuli” is basically rice pancakes. It is the supporting actor to our main hero the mutton and is prepared through a batter of rice and other pulses, some like it thick and others like it thin and crisp.
“Mudhi” is basically puffed rice. It’s crispy and absorbs any flavor it’s given. Mansa here refers to the same mutton recipe that we talked about in the previous dish. The mutton is seasoned and left to simmer and cook on low flame for hours together in earthen pots.
There is not much addition of water and oil as the meat is cooked in its own fat that acts as oil and the moisture that the meat releases.
CHUNA MACHHA PATRA PODA
“Chunamachha” basically refers to the small freshwater fish which is very rich source of iron and is extremely beneficial for health and “PatraPoda” is a cooking technique that involves the traditional cooking method of wrapping the main dish (usually some kind of meat or roots) along with the added flavoring and was cooked in earthen ovens.
The fish is seasoned in the minimal five spices and cooked in this method. This method of cooking was not only popular in Odisha but was used by the Rajputs of Rajasthan to the tribes of the north-east.
This was a very popular technique because it could be done anywhere and with just anything. So this technique of cooking was the main favorite among the warriors who had to travel and fight wars and among Hunter-Gatherers who basically were nomads.
This is another mutton recipe that is a favorite among the locals. This recipe involves a little elaborate technique of marinating the mutton in minimal spices and putting the marinated meat inside a bamboo stick and cooking the meat in medium flame. This is a typical tribal technique and recipe that has built a big fan-base in the state.
This is an authentic Odiya dish, especially popular in the southern parts of the state. It is consumed with rice which is the staple of the state. But unlike Dal, it has a soupy, creamy texture because of the curd in it and has a subtle sour taste.
This is a traditional Odiyarecipe, that is consumed as a side sour dish. The savory and crunchy taste of this dish just easily blends with the main menu and gives a wholesome feeling to the meal. Badi is basically a sun-dried dumpling made up of lentils and comes in many variations.
Kankada is basically the Odiya word for the word crab and as the name suggests the main hero of this dish is the crab! You will never have a better crab dish than the one we are talking about and once you taste it, you will know why it’s such a local favorite. This recipe also involves the slow cooking method that we talked about earlier in the mutton recipe.
The Odiyas believe that slow cooking not only makes the meat healthier but it also preserves the natural flavor of the flesh making it tastier. So most of the traditional Odiya cooking techniques require a little patience, hard work, and love.
Habisa Dalma is the recipe of Dal that the people here consume during the several of the fasting days round the Odiya calendar, especially during the Kartika month (mid-September to mid-October). It’s a Dal, so what’s different about it? This Dal is strict no onion and no garlic recipe that is almost present in all the Indian recipes, which makes it way healthier than the normal Dal recipes.
PuriUpma is consumed as a breakfast meal in the state both of which are consumed with the curry of peas or matar, locally called Ghuguni.
Wait but that’s a Bengali dish, right? Wrong! This famous sweet dish that so widely loved across the country is actually an Odiya dish! This was such a serious matter about who will own the “birthplace” tag of this sweet cottage cheese dish is that the state’s government took it to the court to snatch the title that the Bengal had been holding since quite long.
Odiyas take their food quite seriously it seems! So now it is officially an Odiya dish now with the GI tag to a village named Pahala between the twin cities of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar.
This is an Odisha delicacy and a personal favorite! The Kheersagar is a sweet dish very similar to that of the BegaliRasmalai but the sizes of the rasagolas are smaller in fact tiny. Therefore it is also called AngooriRasmalai.
This is a famous Odiya sweet dish with the main hero of this dish being a kind of fried paneer (cottage cheese) left to absorb in a sweet gravy of milk and served when the cheese is hot but the gravy is cool!
This is one of the popular traditional sweet dishes which is also a part of the Chhappan-Bhoag that is offered to Lord Jagannath at Puri.
This is made out of a special mixture of wheat flour and banana which is given a typical shape and is fried in ghee served after dipping in sugar syrup.
This is an age-old recipe that comes in multiple shapes and varieties, some are less sweet and some are sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.
This is crunchy sweet dish which also vary widely served in the Puri Lord Jagannath Temple and is considered such a favorite of the Lord that if people want to take some “Prasad” for their loved ones but cannot take the whole meal, they can take back some of these and hence these are called “sukhilabhoga” which can last the heat and humidity a longer time and be still available fresh to eat by the time the devotees reach their home. How thoughtful! It is basically a mixture of different flours which is fried in ghee and served after dipping it in sugar syrup.
This is another native traditional favorite. They are freshly made, deep-fried cottage cheese otherwise known as paneer and dipped in sugar syrup.
This too is a deep-fried cheese sweet served after dipping in sugar syrup. Only the shape and taste vary.
Last but not at all the least, this is another paneer or a cottage cheese sweet and a personal favorite. This dish is actually a baked sweet dish. The sugar is baked until it attains a brown color and then the freshly made cottage cheese is added to it.
This dish predominantly derives its flavor from the caramelized sugar and the smokiness comes from the earthen ovens. The district Nayagargh specializes in making it and it’s such a delight a definite must-try!
These sweetened sesame balls are otherwise very popular by the name “Till Laddu” in the rest of the sub-continent but have a particular fan base in the state of Odisha. This is recipe is prepared with some very basic ingredients like sesame seeds, jaggery and nuts like cashews and peanuts.
ChakuliPittha is an Odiya flat rice-based pancake. Some like is thick with the addition of some coconut and onions and some like it crisp and thin. Extremely easy to prepare and is served with a variety of curries and chutneys.
Poda Pitha is a slow-cooked pitha. It is made by slowly baking fermented rice, grated coconut and black gram and jaggery for over a couple of hours at stretch and hence preferably made at night, the crust is quite burnt and the inside of the cake is soft and has a greyish color when it’s made traditionally.
Enduri Pitha is another variety of pitha which is mostly made during the festival of Prathamastami. This is made from a batter of black gram, rice flour, and addition of grated coconut, jaggery and some black pepper steamed after wrapping it with turmeric leaves.
MandaPittha is a white dumpling stuffed with a mixture of caramelized coconut and black pepper. It is mostly prepared during the monsoon season and is eaten with some mango pickle or some kind of chutney.
Kakara Pitha is a deep-fried sweetened sooji cake. Served both cool and hot with some kind of chutney or pickle. It’s delicious!
It is another pancake made out of a batter of rice flour and mixed with some pulses and has a unique technique of making.
This is another dumpling and this time without any stuffing. This is served with sweet gravy made of milk.
This is another traditional pancake that is especially made during the “Marghasira” month when the ladies of the house celebrate the “Manabasagurubaar”. These dry hardened pancakes are sweet in taste and quite earthy is texture.