Dalma is essentially dal (lentil) cooked with an assortment of vegetables and spices. Apart from being a part of the main course, people relish the dish with a variety of dishes like Dalma with Pitha (local pancake), Dalma with Vada (fried lentil cake). The high protein and healthy dish is the most essential component of any Odia meal.
Pakhala is essentially rice which is fermented overnight with water and consumed with an accompaniment of fried vegetables and fish. Pakhala is the food for an Odia especially during the summers. The food is known to be a preventive for heat stroke- which is quite prevalent in the region during the summers and some researchers opine that it’s the only food which has vitamins for the nerve cells.Having Pakhala by spoon is akin to having chowmein by hand!
Pitha is essentially cereal based steamed cake. It’s the food for any occasion from the perspective of an Odia household. The dish has many variants and much sought after amongst them are ChakuliPitha, PodaPitha, Monda, etc.
The popular variant is prepared by grinding black gram cereal and leaving the batter to ferment for some time, then it’s thinly spread in a pan and fried with minimum oil till it’s crispy.
Usually coveted for its rich texture and taste. The fermented rice batter covered with sal leaves is slow cooked in an earthen pot which adds to its aroma. It’s usually prepared during festivals like raja.
Boiled rice dumplings with filling made of grated coconut, jaggery is a popular dish during major festivals of Odisha and is very easy to make which adds to its popularity.
The aroma of turmeric leave and the jaggery-coconut filling make it extremely delicious. This is the most essential item of ‘Prathamastami’.
The fried sweet fritter prepared with semolina, grated coconut and cardamom is another popular variant of the Pitha.
The sweet which melts the gods. Known in ancient Odisha as Kheera Mohana, it is one of Lord Jagannath’s favourite sweet. During the ritual Niladri Bije – When the Lord returns to the temple after the Chariot Festival, he woos his consort Goddess Lakshmi with a bowl of Rasagulla. The dish is made from Cottage Cheese which are rolled into round shape by hand and boiled in sugar syrup
The quintessential sweet dish of Odisha. A very popular sweet dish of Odisha, chennapoda is prepared when cottage cheese is mixed with sugar and put in a bowl to give it the round shape. Then it’s baked in an earthen oven covered with sal leaves. The burnt upper layer gives it that typical smoky flavour and adds to its taste.
One is never enough. Typical to Nimapada a quaint town located 39KM from Puri, Chenna Jhili is essentially Jalebi made out of Cottage Cheese. What makes the sweet alluring is the sugar quotient, which doesn’t bind the mouth.
Crunchy and Tangy. Korakhai which is carmalised ‘lia’ is the favourite of Lord Lingaraja. The crunchy sweet is prepared by an exclusive group of confectioners for the Lord in Old Town of Bhubaneswar. They follow the centuries old process which adds to its distinct flavour and taste.