When it comes to food, Odias are no where behind the North Indians. Starting from sweet and salty pithas to the ‘chatpata’ gup-chup. The staple food in every Odia household is Pakhala, which is rice in curd water flavoured with mint, chillies and mango-ginger, which is basically taken in summers as it is very refreshing.
Just like an Englishman can team up anything with bread, we Odias love our muddhi. It is crispy puffed rice, which is light and is versatile enough to be teamed up with any curry. Starting from dudh (milk) muddhi to muddhi with potato curry or muddhi-mixture as a light snack or a mixture of muddhi with boiled chhola (chickpeas), matar, boiled potatoes, spiced with chillies and special spices with a hint of lemon! It’s a burst of flavours and textures in the mouth! It’s mouth-watering-good!
It is a mixture of lentils of almost all kinds and seasonal vegetables.
It is cooked specially during festivals and Pujas with Pure Veg dishes.
3. Dahivada alu dum.
This is a speciality of Cuttack city of Odisha. It’s basically a fried salty doughnut which is topped with curd, sour chutney, spices and aloo dum which is potato cooked in a spicy curry.
A typical mixed vegetable curry of this region, it is cooked with without onion and garlic (depending upon the occassion). This is also a festival special. The best part of this dish is “vadi” which is sun-dried rice and lentil dumplings, which are deep fried to give the curry a crunch.
It’s known as puchka in Kolkata, pani puri in the rest of the country, but we Odias call it Gup-chup. That scrumptious bite which takes one to heaven. These are little puris which are filled with potato and matar and tamarind water. It’s finger
6. Maati handi maunsa (mutton cooked in earthen pot)
Any state is incomplete without it’s famous non-veg dish. And those tender pieces of mutton which fall off the bone, cooked on wood fire and in am earthen pot. The smell of the wood fire and the earthen pot make it all the more delicious!
Though Kolkata is famous for rasogollas, I would say try Pahala and Salipur rasogollas and then compare. True its of a different making, but this particular sweet is out of the world! For the sweet toothed people out there, go and try it if u haven’t! Isko nahi
Odisha has a variety of sweets. This is one, sweetened cottage cheese which is half- burnt (don’t worry, it tastes just too good) Chhena is a very popular ingredient here, it is crumbled cottage cheese.
Apart from a wide range of sweets that the state has to offer, Odisha also has a speciality called Pitha. It is deep-fried, baked or steamed batter (rice or besan or semolina). Arisha Pitha, kakera pitha, poda Pitha and the list does not end. The best part about any Pitha is that storing them is easy and they can be kept for a long time.
10. Malpua (fried banana pancakes)
Over-ripe bananas waiting at your dining table? Take them and turn them into a slurrpalacious pancake which is deep-fried, flavoured with fennel seeds and then dipped in sugar syrup. The best time to eat this is when it’s raining!! Steaming hot malpuas and the rain!
So, next time you visit Odisha, make sure you have a food-guide with you!