(Last Updated on : 06/03/2017)
Odisha cuisine is an amalgamation of affluent usage of spices and local ingredients. Odisha
besides having rich architectural and cultural heritage also possesses a rich culinary background. The kitchen of famous Jagannath Temple
is considered to be the largest in the world, engaging a thousand chefs working around 752 Chulah (wood burning clay hearths) to feed more than 10,000 people.
Odisha has a culinary tradition spanning over centuries. Majority of people from Odisha are non-vegetarians and fish forms an integral part of their traditional cuisine. Oriya dishes are rich and varied and rely on local ingredients. Oriya food is spicy and cooked in little or no oil. Odisha is a place where sea foods like prawns, lobsters, fish and crab are found in abundance. Not only the locales, but the tourists also relish the preparation of sea food.
History of Odisha Cuisine
History says, during the Bengal Renaissance
, in the 17th and 18th Century, the Oriya cooks used to be employed in the kitchen of the Zamindars of West Bengal
. So that some dishes which are now popular as Bengali dishes, are basically from the kitchen of Odisha and were later introduced and included in the food list of West Bengal.
Dishes of Odisha Cuisine
Odisha cuisine encompasses rice
, Chadchadi, Ghanta, Badichoora, Khichdi, Besara, Jeera Pakhal and Alu Palak Saag are some of the vegetarian dishes. A typical Odisha cuisine incorporates the intake of Saaga, Bhaji, Bhaat, Dal, Besara or Mahura (spiced curry), fish and chutney
or Khatta. People of Odisha relish Channa Dali which is cooked with coconuts, raisins
, dry fruits and spices
(mixed lentils with various vegetables) is considered as an energy booster and popular due to its ample nutritional value. Pakhal (rice fermented in water with yoghurt
and seasonings), Mitha Bhaat (sweetened rice, mixed with various spices) and Pulao
(salty rice with butter, raisins, nuts, vegetables and spices) are some of the well coveted rice preparations. Khichari
, prepared with rice and lentils with vegetables, flavoured with dry red chillies, bay leaves
, especially served at religious festivals
. Among people of Odisha, another famous food is Besara
which is cooked with assorted vegetables and stirred and fried in Panch Phutana, spices and oil. Among other delicious dishes Chhencheda, Chingri Malai, Crab Kalia, Dahi Baingan, Dahi Machha, Ghugni
and Soriso Macha are notable.
Desserts of Odisha Cuisine
are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk
, Chhena (a form of cottage cheese), coconut, rice and wheat flour being the most common. People of Odisha
are sweet tooth and sweet dishes form an indispensable part of their meal. Odisha cuisine offers a variety of desserts like Rasabali
, Chhena Gaja, Chhena Poda and Chhena Kheeri are is made with cubes of ricotta cheese. Jalebi made with kneaded ricotta cheese which is called Chhena Jalebi
; a sweet made from condensed milk, Khaja; shaped dough fried and drizzled with sugar syrup and Kheersagar; a dessert made with cheese dumplings in condensed milk, is also praised among the inhabitants. The Meetha Dahi (sweet yoghurt) and Malpua (sweetened deep fried batter of a mixture of bananas and flour) are preferred as tasty local desserts. Other traditional sweets are Chhena Poda Pitha, Enduri Pitha
and Chittau Pitha. These are often prepare during festivities and are made in huge quantity during all the major festivals.