Cuisine of Odisha
Odisha is a land rich in culture and tradition. It has a diverse culture and each of its districts reveals a distinct culture and tradition so does its foods.
It will not be wrong to say that the distinctive feature of Odia cuisine is simplicity. Compared to other Indian cuisines, it contains less oil and spices yet bursts with flavour. The food is prepared keeping in focus the locally available spices and seasonal vegetables.
A typical Odia food is rich in carbohydrates. The food is generally cooked in mustard oil and a spice mixture called Pancha-phutana is used as the main seasoning in most of the dishes. While wheat preparations like chapatti and parathas are generally eaten for breakfast, flattened rice called Chuda is another breakfast favourite that is savoured. Seasoned puffed rice called Mudhi is also sometimes served as a quick breakfast or makes a delicious tea time snack. A typical lentil delicacy Dalma cooked with varieties of vegetables is a meal found common in every household.
Wheat being a staple during breakfast, lunch and dinner is often rice and lentils with a serving of vegetables or meat. A traditional Odiya meal is served not course by course but several dishes at one go in a brass plate or banana leaf. Odisha is also abundant in multiple selection of seafood like fishes, crabs and lobsters.
Odia cuisine has popular and mouth-watering desserts as well. A kind of soft cheese, Chenna is used widely in the desserts made in Odisha. Chenna-Poda is one such very famous Odia sweet dish. Be it Rasgolla, Rasmalai, Payas-kheer or Meetha Dahi, milk is predominant in almost all sweet dishes of Odisha.
Last but not least, the Mahaprasad, sacred offering made at the Jagannath temple is delectable. Cooked over a traditional earthen stove in earthenwares, the Mahaprasad consists of a spread of five to six or more different dishes cooked in a stack one over the other.
The distinctive and unique tastes of the dishes will indeed make every traveller’s journey to the state worthwhile.