Top 10 Traditional foods of Odisha that you must taste

Odisha, a land steeped in cultural richness, boasts a culinary heritage as diverse and fascinating as its traditions. As you embark on a gastronomic journey through this eastern Indian state, prepare to be delighted by the flavors and aromas of its top 10 traditional foods.

Odisha

From hearty lentil dishes to sweet delicacies, Odisha's culinary tapestry reflects a perfect blend of tradition, taste, and time-honored techniques.

1. Dalma:

DalmaDalma is a lentil-based dish made with vegetables like raw banana, pumpkin, and papaya. It is seasoned with mustard oil and spices like cumin and mustard seeds.

  • Significance: A staple in Odia households, Dalma is a nutritious and wholesome dish often prepared during festivals and special occasions.

  • Where to indulge: Dalma can be found in traditional Odia restaurants across the state.

  • Prices (Approximate): Dalma is Rs. 100–Rs. 150 per plate

2. Pakhala:

PakhalaPakhala is fermented rice soaked in water and served with accompaniments like badi (dried lentil dumplings), saga bhaja (fried greens), and fish curry.

  • Significance: This traditional summer dish is not only refreshing but also helps beat the heat and provides a unique culinary experience.

  • Where to indulge: Pakhala can be experienced at Dalma or local eateries in Bhubaneswar.

  • Prices (Approximate): Pakhala is Rs. 50–Rs. 80 per serving

Also read: Traditional Maharashtrian foods that you must try

3. Rasagola:

RasagolaRasagola is a spongy, sweet dish made from chhena (cottage cheese) balls soaked in sugar syrup. It is a popular dessert across Odisha.

  • Significance: Rasagola has cultural significance and is often associated with festivals and celebrations, symbolizing sweetness and joy.

  • Where to indulge: Rasagola can be tasted in Pahala, near Bhubaneswar, at Pahala Rasagola Kendra.

  • Prices (Approximate): Rasagola is Rs. 10–Rs. 20 per piece

4. Chhena Poda:

Chhena PodaChhena Poda is a baked cheese dessert made with chhena, sugar, and cardamom. It has a caramelized crust and a soft, creamy interior.

  • Significance: This iconic sweet from Nayagarh is a favorite during festivals and family gatherings, showcasing the skillful use of chhena in Odia desserts.

  • Where to indulge: Chhena Poda can be explored in Nayagarh and visited by sweet shops like Niladri Sweets.

  • Prices (Approximate): Chhena Poda is Rs. 150–Rs. 200 per kg

Also read: Exploring Delhi's Famous Cuisine: A Food Lover's Guide

5. Macha Besara:

Macha BesaraMacha Besara is a fish curry prepared with mustard paste, turmeric, and various spices. It has a pungent and flavorful taste.

  • Significance: A popular seafood dish, Macha Besara reflects the coastal influence on Odia cuisine and is often enjoyed with steamed rice.

  • Where to indulge: Macha Besara can be Discover local eateries in Puri or Cuttack for an authentic experience.

  • Prices (Approximate): Macha Besara is Rs. 200–Rs. 300 per serving

6. Dahi Baingan:

Dahi BainganDahi Baingan consists of eggplants cooked in a spiced yogurt curry. It is seasoned with mustard seeds, cumin, and other spices.

  • Significance: This dish offers a delightful blend of tanginess from yogurt and the earthiness of eggplants, creating a unique flavor profile.

  • Where to indulge: Dahi Baingan can be enjoyed at local Odia restaurants in Cuttack or Bhubaneswar.

  • Prices (Approximate): Dahi Baingan is Rs. 80–Rs. 120 per serving

Also read: Exploring Must-Try Local Foods and Eateries in Mangalore

7. Santula:

SantulaSantula is a mixed vegetable curry prepared with a minimal amount of spices. It typically includes vegetables like pumpkin, brinjal, and drumsticks.

  • Significance: Santula highlights the simplicity of Odia cuisine, allowing the natural flavors of the vegetables to shine through.

  • Where to indulge: Santula can be Enjoy Santula at places like Wildgrass Restaurant in Puri.

  • Prices (Approximate): Santula is Rs. 100–Rs. 150 per serving

8. Chhena Jhili:

Chhena Jhili

Chhena Jhili is a deep-fried sweet made with chhena and soaked in sugar syrup. It has a soft and juicy texture.

  • Significance: A popular dessert, Chhena Jhili, showcases the versatility of chhena in Odia sweets, providing a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth.

  • Where to indulge: Chhena Jhili can savor the sweetness at Bhaba Sweet Stall in Cuttack.

  • Prices (Approximate): Chhena Jhili is Rs. 15–Rs. 30 per piece

Also read: 10 Traditional Gujarati Foods that you must try

9. Dahi Macha:

Dahi Macha

Dahi Macha is a fish curry cooked in a spiced yogurt-based gravy. It incorporates mustard seeds, turmeric, and green chilies for a flavorful kick.

  • Significance: This dish is a testament to Odisha's love for seafood, offering a unique preparation that balances the richness of yogurt with the taste of fresh fish.

  • Where to indulge: Dahi Macha can be explored in coastal regions, especially seafood restaurants in Puri.

  • Prices (Approximate): Dahi Macha is Rs. 250–Rs. 400 per serving

10. Bara/Malpua with Kheer:

Malpua with Kheer

Bara, or Malpua, is a deep-fried sweet made from a batter of soaked lentils or flour, often served with a side of kheer (sweet rice pudding).

  • Significance: This dessert combination is a delightful way to end a traditional Odia meal, offering a mix of textures and sweetness.

  • Where to indulge: Bara/Malpua with Kheer is a delight in this combination at Amareswar Sweet Stall in Cuttack.

  • Prices (Approximate): Bara/Malpua with Kheer is Rs. 20–40 per piece.

Also read: Complete Travel Guide to Sharjah from India - 2023

Odisha's culinary journey is a celebration of tradition, flavors, and the cultural richness embedded in every dish.

From the heartiness of Dalma to the sweetness of Chhena Jhili, each bite tells a story of heritage and love for food.

So, immerse yourself in this culinary odyssey and savor the delectable offerings that make Odisha's traditional foods a feast for the senses.

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