When it comes to Odia food, Odias are nowhere 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 flavored with mint, chilies, and mango-ginger, which is basically taken in summers as it is very refreshing.
Pakhala is like water rice. It is the main dish in times of summer. pakhala is the daily food of the farmers of Odisha. To add taste to this we can add badichura, sukua bhaja, alubharta, and some Odia dishes as well.
It is a mixture of lentils of almost all kinds and seasonal vegetables. It is cooked especially during festivals and Pujas with Pure Veg dishes.
3. Dahi Bada Aloo Dum
This is a specialty of Cuttack city of Odisha. It’s basically a fried salty doughnut that is topped with curd, sour chutney, spices, and aludum which is potato cooked in a spicy curry.
Typically a mixed vegetable curry of this region is cooked with or without onion and garlic (depending upon the occasion). 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 panipuri in the rest of the country, but Odias call it Gup-Chup. That scrumptious bite takes one to heaven. These are little puris which are filled with potato and mater and tamarind water. It’s finger-licking’ good! 😉
6.Maatihandimaunsa (mutton cooked in an earthen pot)
Any state is incomplete without its famous non-veg dish. And those tender pieces of mutton which fall off the bone, cooked on a wood fire and in an earthen pot. The smell of the wood fire and the earthen pot make it all the more delicious!
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, and it is crumbled cottage cheese.
Apart from a wide range of sweets that the state has to offer, Odisha also has a specialty called Pitha. It is deep-fried, baked, or steamed batter (rice or besan or semolina). ArishaPitha, kakerapitha, podaPithaand 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.
9.Malpua (fried banana pancakes)
Over-ripe bananas waiting at your dining table? Take them and turn them into a slurrpalacious pancake that is deep-fried, flavored 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!
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 Chola (chickpeas), matar, boiled potatoes, spiced with chilies and special spices with a hint of lemon! It’s a burst of flavors and textures in the mouth! It’s mouth-watering-good!
So, next time you visit Odisha, make sure you have a food-guide with you!