Cuisine of Odisha
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Compared to other regional Indian cuisines, Odia cuisine uses relatively less oil and is less spicy, but very flavourful. Rice is the staple food of this region. Mustard oil is used in several dishes as the cooking medium, but ghee is preferred in temples. In old times Food was traditionally served on disposable plates made of sal leaves.
Odia cooks, particularly from the Puri region, were much sought after due to their ability to cook food in accordance with Hindu scriptures. During the 19th century, many Odia cooks were employed in Bengal and they took several dishes with them. Yoghurt is also used in various dishes. Many sweets of the region are based on Chhena (cheese). The period saw a heavy demand for Brahmin cooks, leading many Odia cooks to fake their castes.
- 1 Ingredients and seasoning
- 2 Local variation
- 3 Temple food
- 4 Odia Restaurants
- 5 Fish and seafood
- 6 List of dishes
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Ingredients and seasoning
The ingredients used in Odia cuisine typical to the region are plantains, jackfruit, and papaya. The curries are also garnished with dried raw mango (ambula) and tamarind. Coconut is also used in several dishes. Panch phutana is a blend of five spices which is widely used in Odia cuisine. It contains mustard, cumin, fenugreek, aniseed and kalonji. Garlic and onion are also used, but these are avoided in temple environs. Turmeric and red chillies are also commonly used.
The food in the region around Puri-Cuttack is greatly influenced by the Jagannath Temple. On the other hand, kalonji and mustard paste are used mostly in the region bordering Bengal and curries tend to be sweeter. In the region closer to Andhra Pradesh, curry tree leaves and tamarind are used more. The Brahmapur region has influences of South Indian cuisine and the Telugu people living there have also invented new Odia dishes.
Various temples in region make their own offerings to the presiding deities. The prasada of the Jagannath Temple is well known and is specifically called "Maha Prasad" meaning greatest of all prasadas. It consists of 56 recipes, so it called chhapan bhoga. It is based on the legend that Krishna missed his 8 meals for 7 days while trying to save a village from a storm holding up the Govardhan hill as a shelter.
Concerted efforts are being made, of late, to promote and popularize traditional Odia cuisine as a distinct food genre. In this respect occasionally Odia Food Festivals are organized at several places to showcase the food heritage of Odisha. A few Restaurants serving traditional Odia food have also come up at several places. However such activities are yet to be widely visible. There is a need to establish more number of such exclusive Odia Restaurants all around.
Fish and seafood
Fish and other seafoods are eaten mainly in coastal areas. Several curries are prepared from prawn and lobster with spices. Freshwater fish is also available from rivers and irrigation canals.
List of dishes
Rice dishes and rotis
- Pakhala: It is a rice dish made by adding water to cooked rice. It may then be allowed to ferment overnight, this is called basi pakhala. The unfermented version is called saja pakhala. It is served with green chillies, onions, yoghurt, badi etc. It is primarily eaten in summer.
- Khechidi: A rice dish cooked with lentils. It is the Odia version of khichdi.
- Palau: A rice dish made from vegetables and raisins. It is the Odia version of pilaf.
- Kanika: A sweet rice dish, garnished with raisins and nuts.
- Ghee Rice: A rice dish, fried with ghee and cinnamon
Dals and curries
- Dalma: A dish made from dal and vegetables. It is generally made from toor dal and contains chopped vegetables like green papaya, unripe banana, eggplant, pumpkin, gourd etc. It is garnished with turmeric, mustard seeds, and panch phutana. There are several variations of this dish.
- Santula: A dish finely chopped vegetables which are sauteed with garlic, green chillies, mustard and various spices. It has several variations.
- Chaatu Rai: A dish made from mushrooms and mustard.
- Alu Potala Rosa: Curry made from potato and parval.
- Kadali Manja Rai: A curry made from banana plant stem and mustard seeds. Manja refers to the stem which can also be used in dalma.
- Besara: Asserted vegetables in mustard paste tempered with panch phutana
Khattas and chutneys
- Dahi Baigana: A sour dish made from yoghurt and eggplants.
- Khajuri Khata: A sweet and sour dish made from tomato and dates.
- Amba Khatta: A khatta made from raw mangoes.
- Ouu Khatta: Elephant apple khatta
- Dhania-Patra Chutney: A chutney made from coriander leaves.
Saaga (salad greens)
Odias typically eat lots of cooked green leaves of various types. They are prepared by adding "pancha phutana", with or without onion/garlic and are best enjoyed with pakhala. One of the most popular saaga is Lali Koshala Saaga made from green leaves with red stems. Other saagas that are eaten are pita gahama, khada, poi, koshala, sajana etc.
Pithas (sweet cakes)
- Poda pitha
- Enduri pitha
- Chitau pitha
- Arisa pitha
- Kakara pitha
- Manda pitha
- Parijata pitha
- Nurukhurum pitha
Fish and other sea food
- Machha Besara: A fish curry prepared with mustard paste.
- Machha Mahura: A curry prepared with fish and various vegetables.
- Machha Chadchadi: Small fried fishes
- Chingudi malai tarkari: A prawn curry.
- Kankada jhola: Crab curry.
- Machha chhencheda
- Chingudi Chadchadi
- Kokali Sukhua Rai 
Chicken and chevon
Fritters and fries
Desserts and sweets
- Kheeri: Kheeri is the Odia word for kheer, predominantly made of rice.
- Chhena Poda: A sweet made from soft cheese dipped in sugar syrup and baked. It may also contain dry fruits.
- Chhena Gaja
- Khira sagara
- Chhena jalebi
- Chhena kheeri
- Chhena Jhili
- Rasagolla: The sweet was invented in the city of Puri to appease the deity Mahalaxmi about 700 years. However, the Bengali people claim that it was invented in the nineteenth century by a Calcutta sweetmaker.
- Gulab jamun
- Attakali 
- "The coastal edge". The Telegraph (India). 27 March 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
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- Charmaine O' Brien (15 December 2013). "Orissa". The Penguin Food Guide to India. Penguin Books Limited. p. 188. ISBN 978-93-5118-575-8. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- Rocky Singh; Mayur Sharma (25 July 2014). Highway on my Plate-II: the indian guide to roadside eating. Random House India. p. 370. ISBN 978-81-8400-642-1.
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- "New cookery show on TV soon". The Hindu. 23 Dec 2010.
- "Inside Delhi". The Hindu. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
While savouring Chingudi malai curry (prawns with rich Oriya spices) and kukuda jhola (chicken cooked with spices and egg), the friend soaked in the atmosphere and was transported back to the sight and smell of his native place.
- "Pakhala, a hot favourite in Odisha`s summer menu". Zee News. 11 April 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Oriya cuisine spices up syllabus". The Telegraph (India). 23 Feb 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Yummy fare at Odia food fest". The Hindu. 26 Feb 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Women vie for kitchen queen title — Contestants cook up mouth-watering dishes at cookery contest". The Telegraph (India). 9 August 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
Oriya dishes like khiri, khichdi, kasha mansa were also prepared by the contestants.
- "Khechidi". Oriya Kitchen. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Potpouri" (The Telegraph (India)). 29 July 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Palau (pulao)". Oriya Kitchen. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Kanika". Destination Orissa. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Rahul savours 'dalma' and 'khir'". The Hindu. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- Bijoylaxmi Hota; Kabita Pattanaik (2007). Healthy Oriya Cuisine. Rupa & Company. p. 29. ISBN 978-81-291-1118-0.
- "Kadali Manja Rai". eOdisha. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Tasty treat of tangy khatta & spicy tadka". The Telegraph (India). 12 August 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
The Odia thali consists of tangy khatta and proceeds further with traditional dishes such as the green and healthy spinach item saga badi.
- "कच्चे आम की रसीली चटनी: अंबा खट्टा". Boldshy (in Hindi). Retrieved 9 December 2014. zero width joiner character in
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- "Recipe: Tomato-khajuri khatta". The Times of India. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "It's time to pamper your tastebuds". The Telegraph (India). 16 June 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Coriander Chutney". FullOdisha. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Poda pithas take the cake". The Telegraph (India). 16 June 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Traditional 'pitha' undergoes a sea change". The Hindu. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Machha Besara (A spicy dish of Rohu fish)". Five Tastes. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Machha Mahura (Fish with Mixed Vegetable Curry)". Bewarchi.
- "Good response to Odiya food festival". The Hindu. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Badi chura". Odia Recipes. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- "Matar Ghugni aur Murmure". Mamta's Kitchen. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- "Youths from Bihar and UP rule the 'golgappa' market". The Hindu. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "A cook-off in the lord's name". The Telegraph (India). 19 July 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Several good reasons to loiter". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
Mouth-watering malpua, rasagulla, rasamalai, gulab jamun and other Oriya sweetmeats are served here.
- "Attakali". Odia Recipes. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cuisine of Odisha.|
- Bijoylaxmi Hota; Kabita Pattanaik (2007). Healthy Oriya Cuisine. Rupa & Company. ISBN 978-81-291-1118-0.
- Sujata Patnaik; Ranjita Patnaik. Classic Cooking of Orissa. Allied Publishers. ISBN 978-81-8424-584-4.
- Laxmi Parida (1 April 2003). Purba: Feasts from the East: Oriya Cuisine from Eastern India. iUniverse. ISBN 978-0-595-26749-1.