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Pakhala Bhata

Discover the Rich Flavors of Odia Cuisine: 20 Must-Try Food Items (2024)

Odia cuisine includes a variety of food items prepared in different ways. Rice is the staple food of Odisha and Rasagola and Chenna Poda are two major sweets of the state. Most of the food items are cooked using mustard oil, while Chenna or a form of cheese forms a major part of several sweets in Odisha. Apart from sweets and rice, some other major dishes that are included in Odia cuisines are Dalma, Macha Besara, Chakuli Pitha, Chaula Bara, etc. If you are a food lover and visiting the state, then you get ample scope to satisfy your taste buds.

Discover the Rich Flavors of Odia Cuisine: 20 Must-Try Food Items

Read below to know about 20 must-try food of Odisha that no food lover should miss out on.

1. Rasagola

Rasagola is a super delicious sweet that has a unique mouth-watering flavour. The taste of Rasagola is so amazing that it has won many hearts from all parts of the world. The soft and spongy texture, white colour, and divine flavour of this sweet make it one of the best desserts in the world. Rasagola dipped in sugar syrup and the softness along with sweetness makes it a delightful dish of Odisha that no one can afford to miss.

2. Mudhi Mansa

Mudhi Mansa is a popular food of Odisha that is considered to be a classic traditional Odia dish and is loved by the Odia people. Mudhi means puffed rice and Mansa means meat or mutton (Goat’s meat). The meat is marinated in oil and lots of spices and then added to a gravy made with a mixture of onions, tomatoes, and specific spices. This mutton or meat curry is served with crunchy Mudhi (puffed rice), garnished with chopped tomatoes, onions, and fresh leaves of coriander. This dish is something that no food lover should miss out in Odisha.

3. Rasabali

The people of Odisha are too sweet and Odisha has too many sweets to serve to people. Apart from Rasagola, there are many other sweets which are popular among Odia people, one of those being Rasabali. This sweet dish is garnished with cardamoms and soaked in flavoured milk. Rasabali has been originated in Kendrapada district in Odisha and has become quite famous all over the state. One of the best things about this sweet dish is that it is served in Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri as a part of “Chappan Bhoga”( Offerings). So, when you are in Odisha, do not forget to try Rasabali.

4. Dalma

Dalma is no doubt one of the most famous dishes of Odisha. This is actually the dal (pulse) prepared with a unique twist and flavour of Odisha. Dalma is prepared using roasted moong dal, a few regular spices, along with a cup of healthy vegetables like pumpkin, papaya, yam, and plantain. This is usually eaten with rice or chapatti. Dalma is a finger-licking meal that works great for your health.

5. Macha Ghanta

Fish dishes are extremely popular in Odisha and almost every person in Odisha who prefer non-vegetarian diet love to have fish too often. One must-try food is Macha Ghanta or a fish curry that is a rich blend of onions, garlic, potatoes, and various spices. This tempting fish curry has no match. We assure you that if you taste this food once, you will surely love to eat it again and again.

6. Pakhala Bhata

Odisha and the people of Odisha are also known for their special way of eating rice, i.e. “Pakhala Bhata” or water rice. This has become a daily lunch for almost every household in Odisha during the summer season. Pakhala Bhata is prepared by soaking cooked rice in water and adding curd, salt, fried mustard, etc. This is generally served with fried fish, papad, potato fry, and Badi Choora (or dried and nut-like urad and black gram).

One of the notable things about Pakhala Bhata is that the 20th of March is celebrated as “Pakhala Dibasa/ Pakhala Day” by all Odia people. This meal is a must-try food when you are in the state.

7. Chhena Poda

Chhena Poda is the very own Cheesecake of Odisha. It is a sweet that is extremely popular in Odisha and is also considered to be the favourite sweet of Lord Jagannath and is also offered to the Lord at the Puri Jagannath Temple. This is a rare dessert with a distinct flavour. Chhena Poda is sold in almost every place in Odisha, and even many people in the state prepare this sweet dish at their homes. So, do not miss out on this food when you are in Odisha.

8. Dahi Vada Aloo Dum

Another must-try food of Odisha is Dahi Vada Aloo Dum. This is a famous street food liked by all people in the state. The relishing taste of dahi vadas along with the blend of spicy aloo dum gives an amazing taste to the food. This dish is popularly known as the “Vada Pav” of Cuttack. You can find many people selling Dahi Vada Aloo Dum in their street food thelas( Food carts) from morning to night. This is one street food of Odisha that would be loved by everyone.

9. Chakuli Pitha

Chakuli Pitha is a popular food in Odisha and is pretty similar to Dosa. Chakuli Pitha is prepared using a batter that is made with equal portions of rice and lentils( Urad dal), which are soaked together, ground, and fermented for around 7-8 hours. This batter is spread on a pan in a circular shape and cooked properly on both sides using some oil. This delicacy is gluten-free and goes extremely well with chutney or chana-aloo tarkari (Pea-Potato curry).

10. Besara

Besara is a special authentic Odia dish (rather, a curry) that is a mixture of potato, banana, pumpkin, and papaya. This curry has a unique flavour of mustard and cumin seeds as the dish is prepared using a paste of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dry chilli, and garlic. The food is garnished with coriander leaves on top.

11. Chingudi Malai

Chingudi Malai is a delicious Odia dish that is made of prawn and coconut milk. Basically, it is a creamy prawn curry, where coconut milk forms the cream part. This is a mouth-watering non-vegetarian dish from Odisha that is best served with steamed basmati rice. So, when you are in Odisha, do not miss out on Chingudi Malai.

12. Khichdi

This is a wholesome meal and is one of the most important dishes in Odisha, being offered as the main bhoga( Prasaad/Offerings) to Lord Jagannath at the Jagannath Temple in Puri. This food is a perfect blend of rice and lentils cooked together using ghee that gives a wonderful flavour to it. Apart from being great in taste, Khichdi is greater in nutrition. When served with curd and papad, this food becomes one of the sumptuous meals.

13. Chaula Bara

Chaula Bara is another dish that is an immensely scrumptious crispy ball made primarily with rice and urad dal (lentils). This is fluffy, light, and yummy which would tempt you to eat more. Chaula Bara is best served with a tangy chutney or sauce.

14. Santula

Santula is an authentic Odia food which is a boiled vegetable curry and a blend of raw papaya, tomato, potato, and brinjal. This dish is low on spices and high on vegetables, and thus forms a healthy part of your diet. You can mildly sauté the dish with milk and spices for an additional taste.

15. Kanika

Kanika is a sweet pulao and is a traditionally prepared dish in Odisha. This is one of the 56 food items offered to Lord Jagannath in the Puri Temple. The aromatic basmati rice makes this dish one of the favourite foods for people in Odisha. So, when you are in the state, do not forget to try Kanika. You will surely love this.

16. Aloo Potala Rasa

Aloo Potala Rasa is a food item prepared with potato and pointed gourd. This is one of the must-try foods of Odisha. This dish is also one of the 56 food items (Chappan Bhoga) offered to Lord Jagannath in the Puri Jagannath Temple.

17. Chattu Rai

Chattu Rai or Chattu Besara is a dish made of mushroom and delicious mustard and cumin seeds paste. This is extremely popular in Odisha and is generally enjoyed by everyone in the state. Usually, Chattu rai is prepared on special occasions.

18. Kadali Manja Rai

Kadali Manja Rai is yet another must-try food item of Odisha that is not only quite delicious but also extremely healthy. This is a banana stem curry that is seasoned with garlic cloves, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander leaves, and red chillies. You will surely love this aromatic and finger-licking food.

19. Khaja

This is a famous sweet dish in Odisha that is worth trying. The sweet is prepared using refined flour, clarified butter, sugar, cardamom, and water. The crispy, cracking, and sweet-flavoured sweet Khaja will surely make you fall in love with it. So, make sure you try on this food when you are in Odisha.

20. Gajja

If you want to try a traditional sweet food of Odisha, then Gajja is something you need to have a try on. You can find this food in almost all sweetshops in Odisha. Out of the different varieties of Gajja, “Chhenna Gajja” is the most popular one. Some other variants of gajja are Khira gajja and Khasta gajja.

Final Words

Are you planning a trip to Odisha? If yes, then do not miss out on these 20 must-try foods of Odisha. We are sure that you will feel absolutely satisfied with the food while your stay here and will also come again to taste the delicious foods prepared most uniquely.

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