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Odhisa: Culture & Heritage

A Sneak-peek into the Odia Household & it’s Culinaria!

Apr 01, 2020

By: Student Contributor, University Blog Team

The Odia households are known for their elaborate meals and making food a grand affair on all occasions! Good food clearly marks their happy state of mind! The Odia cuisine uses less oil, minimal spices while nonetheless retaining its natural flavour. To begin with, all Odia festivals are defined by a particular cuisine.

Ghee Arna, Kanika, Dalema, Besara, Saga, Khata & Kheeri forms a major part of Odia cuisine. These are very rich in flavour and are also offered in the form of ‘Bhoga’ to Lord Jagannath!

Another major part of Odia cuisine is the ‘Pakhala’ which is a kind of fermented rice & water eaten with curd. This is enjoyed perennially and is had mostly during the summers to beat the heat! It’s eaten with a lot of condiments like Badi Chura, Aloo Chatani, Saga Bhaja, and Phula Bhaja.

Then there are these ‘Pithas’ of different kinds. Made either out of rice flour or moong or Urad dal. They are like rice dumplings with a sweet coconut & jaggery filling. They go by the name of ‘Manda Pitha’, the fried version is ‘ Kakara Pitha’ the baked version is the ‘Poda Pitha’. These are occasion-specific.

For sweets, the Odia cuisine makes ample use of ‘Chhena’ or ‘Cottage Cheese’. Odia sweets have gained popularity across the globe! Thanks to the legacy that has continued ever since the 19th century! ‘Rasagulla’ is the famous Oriya sweet that has travelled across continents.

It is the favourite sweet of Mahalaxmi and is offered to the goddess on the auspicious occasion of
’Neeladri Bijay’, During the Rath yatra. Another famous sweet is the ‘Chhena Poda’, which is a caramelised cheesecake baked to perfection In a wood oven.

And while the Odia cuisine goes back to age-old recipes, over time it’s evolving with the local taste buds too! The quintessential ‘Dahi Bara Aloodum ‘ is unarguably the best & quickest form of snacking. This is a crowd favourite and hits the right spot in any Odia! The Dahi bara aloo dum has its origin from the old city of Cuttack. Dahi Bara Aloo Dum & Cuttack in a way are Synonyms!

The Odia cuisines surely find a way to our hearts!