Unique and Remarkable Dishes from Traditional Food of Odisha


Abadha, traditional cooked Oriya food – Subhashish Panigrahi/Flickr

The Indian state of Odisha (previously known as Orissa) is famed for its scenic beauty, unique tribal culture, and archaeological brilliance. It is already a popular destination for adventure lovers. Apart from this well-known fact, visitors are most impressed with the state’s delectable food.

Gastronomy is a regional culinary technique; it is the art and science of creating and presenting one-of-a-kind foods. Food has the ability to affect the growth of the hospitality and tourism industries in every location. Odisha’s culture and religious beliefs have influenced the development of its cuisine. Odisha has a distinct cooking technique that is both basic and distinct, making it a popular culinary tourist destination in east India. Odisha is a rice-growing state with rich plains and hot, humid weather. As a result, the state’s cuisine is predominantly rice-based. In comparison to the cuisines of other Indian states, traditional Food of Odisha employs a variety of locally obtained vegetables, grains, pulses, dairy products, and seafood, as well as fewer spices and oil. Despite this, the dishes and cuisine are rich in flavour, scent, and taste.


Traditional Food of Odisha-Khichdi
Image- Wikimedia

The fundamental food of Odisha, khichdi is definitely going to cause you to salivate with its sweet-smelling flavour and savouring taste. Khichdi, as we call it in different states, is a simple yet healthy feast. Odisha khichdi is perhaps the main dish, being presented as the primary bhog to Lord Jagannath at the Puri Temple. The ideal mix of rice and lentils cooked together in ghee gives a one of a kind and savoring flavour to it. This encouraging feast offers an extraordinary taste as well as much more prominent sustenance. Softly flavoured, frequently presented with curd and papad, this tantalising supper will undoubtedly make for a comforting meal.

Chungdi Malai

Image – Eli’s Vlog Odia

A prawn curry decorated with coconut milk and flavourful flavours. That summarises the meaning of chundi malai. Powerful. Isn’t it? All things considered, you can taste it in practically all eateries and lodgings in Odisha that serve its staple cooking. This delicacy is true to Odisha and is generally cooked during unique events at home. The aggregation of sweet-smelling flavours hoists the flavor of prawns manifold. Try not to miss this delightful formation of Odisha when you visit the state. Group it up with fine Basmati rice and lose all sense of direction in the richness of this mouth-watering renowned dish of Odisha.

Macha Ghanta

Traditional Food of Odisha-Macha Ghanta
Image- ODIA FOOD/ Facebook

Every odia’s heart and soul is matcha (or fish). In this way, how might we talk about Odisha food without referencing fish! Macha ghanta is a thick curry made with a singed head of fish, vegetables and a variety of spices. The flavour profile made by a combination of fixings like cumin, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and straight leaf will overwhelm your palate and leave you happy. The ghanta’s second primary part is the flavour-infused potatoes! Taste this dish and you will know what delight a potato can add to any food, particularly curries. To adjust the extravagance of the macha ghanta, you can have it with plain rice. If you ever end up visiting Odisha, attempt to have this popular food in Odisha at a customary Odia home, rather than a café for its most credible and authentic variant.

Kadalai Manja Rai

Traditional Food of Odisha-Kadalai Manja Rai
Image- Maninee’s kitchen/Youtube

In the event that you are a veggie-lover, this is an ideal dish for you. Most likely you have eaten bananas, yet have you at any point contemplated how a banana stem tastes? On the off chance, you have not, then try this lip-smacking delicacy made with banana stems. Pan-seared and prepared with flavours, this dish is certainly going to be on your list of most loved dishes once you taste it. Flavours like cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, red bean stew and cumin prompt spices to the banana stem and make it delectable. A significant portion of it with rice will always leave you wanting for more! In the event that you are inclined towards non-vegetarian food, you can simply make your own combination form of this dish by adding fish or meat to it. For a genuine kadali manja rai, the roadside food stalls, hotels and inns are the best places to visit.


Traditional Food of Odisha-Gupchup.jpg
Image- Wikimedia

This well known road food is called by different names like golgappa, pani puri and puchka. You got it, isn’t that so? We were certain you would! This most loved speedy snack of India is nicknamed gupchup in Odisha. With a  brief glance at the formula, we can see that the Gupchup comprises little firm dollops of bliss made with atta, suji and maida, and are presented with crushed potato chaat and tamarind water. Additionally, the squashed potato is clubbed with chana masala, chhola, coriander passes on and green chillies to draw out the ideal hot flavour. Where to track it down? All things considered, this food treasure needs no furious expedition. Simply stroll around in Odisha and you can detect small stalls selling gupshup in pretty much every niche and corner of the state.


Traditional Odia cuisine-Pitha
Image- Wikimedia

Pitha is a cereal-based steamed cake that will entice your taste buds very much like different dishes of Odisha. Being a well-known dish of Odisha, the dish is made as numerous variations, for example, poda pitha, chakuli pitha, and some more. They are made both on special occasions and as a common dish in Odisha’s homes since they represent one of the state’s remarkable pleasures. Here is somewhat more with regards to the variations of pithas:

  • Chakuli Pitha: It is produced using dark gram cereal and is a fresh enjoyment to chomp on during your excursion.
  • Poda Pitha: It is an extraordinary tasting delicacy known for its luscious texture. Ready during celebrations, this variation of pitha has an amazing aroma.
  • Kakara Pitha: Made from semolina, cardamom, and ground coconut, this sweet fritter is a famous dish of Odisha.

Chhena Poda

Traditional Odia cuisine-Chhena Poda
Image- Wikimedia

The ‘Chhena poda,’ which loosely translates to ‘burnt cottage cheese,’ is arguably the most popular of them. Sudarshan Sahu, a confectioner and hotelier, invented it in the twentieth century. Mr Sahu made the mistake of leaving some sweetened ‘chhena’ (cottage cheese) in a heated tandoor overnight one evening. The gur in the chhena caramelized as a result of the heat, giving the soft cheese a roasted taste and a firm gritty outer layer. The chhena is traditionally created by curdling milk and binding it in a muslin cloth, then kneading it into a loose batter with sugar, cardamom powder, and sooji (semolina). It’s wrapped in Sal or Banana tree leaves and baked in a coal oven for 3 to 4 hours.

The Odia people’s favourite sweet is the Chhena poda, which is now presented to Lord Jagannath. It’s not just prepared in every modest roadside booth, but it’s also mass-produced for fans all throughout the state by the Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation. After receiving the geographical indication for ‘Odisha’s Rasagola’ last year, the state is requesting the same for Chhena Pudo.


Traditional Food of Odisha-Rasabali
Image- Wikimedia

This sweet delicacy hails from the Odisha area of Kendrapara and is one of the 56 meals (popularly known as Chhapan bhog) presented to Lord Jagannath. These chhena patties, deep-fried and drenched in rich sweetened milk, will satisfy your sweet needs. This sweet is mostly offered at low costs in local sweet stores, but it may also be found in a traditional restaurant in Odisha.


Traditional Food of Odisha - Pilaf
Image- Wikimedia

Pilaf, often known as Indian pulao, is a popular Odisha meal. From the moment it’s prepared, you can smell its seductive scent. The scent of the rice is heightened with a blend of spices such as cloves and bay leaf. The rice’s delicate flavour won’t overshadow your side dish, and it won’t be as bland as a bowl of regular rice. Pair this flavorful sautéed rice with a curry with a lot of flavour, such as chicken or mutton. We can already see you drooling!


Traditional Food of Odisha-Khaja
Image- Wikimedia

Khaja is a traditional Odisha dish that is provided as a prasad to visitors visiting the Jagannath Temple. Its intricate form and texture will pique your interest. Each khaja is a unique form that emphasises the beauty of imperfection. Consider a crunchy chip that has been dipped in sugar syrup. Doesn’t it sound delicious? It’s tastier now! The crispiness of the fried exterior layers combined with the chewiness of the sugar-drenched inside layers will leave you wanting more! But wait, there’s more! Did you think it was only served in temples? No! Odisha’s favourite meal is also available in a variety of local businesses.

Taking delight in life’s small joys, the people of Odisha are down-to-earth with minimal needs which reflects in their food habits. Most of their dishes are best prepared and enjoyed at a traditional and simple home. The next time you visit the state, make sure to go through the entirety of the list to give your taste buds a marvelous experience!

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