By Srikanta Mohanty: Puffed rice or ‘Mudhi’ is one of the most likeable food items in Odisha and entire North-east of India. Surprisingly, both at home and in the street food items, this item has not so far found any replacement and continues to stay king among all snack food items. Be it any park in India, “Mudhi Masala’ tops the list as the preferred snack to other items. Preparing “Mudhi” in the rural households continues to be a part of daily routine as rice is heated in a sand-filled oven. As an alternative, it is also prepared by giving heat to the rice kernels in the steam.
“ Mandakki, as this food item is known in Rayalaseema, North Karnataka, Tripura, West Bengal, and Tripura gives tasty snack items through various modes of preparation. Surpringly, “Masalamandaki” or “Masala Mudhi” continues with unabated popularity. The item is greatly palatable as you could mix it with any snack item. Like sugar and salt, it adds great taste to the preparation”-Says Shruti Raul- an Engineering student, who invariably keeps it in her breakfast menu.
Baripada, familiar to one and all as the small township offering specialty in this item, has now fame in the entire world for the exclusivity in preparation. The first quality of the food product, Baripada Mudhi, is it is natural, free from additives, and prepared through hygienic and indigenous ways.” Mudhi Mansa” (puffed rice mixed with mutton gravy) enjoys high popularity as an exquisite food item in the tiny township of Baripada.
Taking cue from this highly popular food item, housewives do not forget to prepare “Mudhi Mansa” in their households with the left-over gravy from the mutton curry by simply putting a bowl of “Mudhi” in the pressure-cooker with gravy and heating the mixture in slight heat. Pieces of chopped onion and green chilly add big spice to the taste as children devour on this served item.
“Baripada Mudhi is now a world famous brand name, which has won appreciation of rich and poor. But again sadly, Mudhi Mansa is not available in other corners of Odisha. Unfortunately, we eat Dosha, Badda, and Chinese junks, whereas our own dishes get neglected”-Says Kunja Bihari Patra- a retired school teacher.