Bhubaneswar Buzz

25 Authentic Odia Cuisines : Never Miss when you are in Odisha by Vandana Das


Odisha (Orissa), the land of Lord Jagannath, has a very rich religious culture and this is reflected in the food as well. Odia cuisine is very simple yet delicious, prepared in little or no oil which not only enhances the taste, but makes them very healthy as well. Here, you will find a mix of vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes. Again people here loves eating sweets and may be this is the reason they themselves are so lovable. Scroll down below to get a glimpse of the variety of unique, authentic delicacies which can only be found in Odisha.

Milk Cake- Chhena Podo
Image credit: Super Yummy Recipes

Cheena Podo literally means burnt cheese in Odia. It is prepared with well-kneaded chhena or fresh cottage cheese, sugar and nuts and baked for hours till the aroma fills the air and it browns completely. A must have dish for your friends and family whenever you visit Odisha next time.

Find the recipe here

Spiced, Rice And Coconut Cake-Podo pitha
Image credit: Pearls Of East

This cake is baked with a lot of twist and is miles away from the cake which we normally eat. It’s not easy to prepare either. It has a long list of ingredients and takes forever to bake. That’s the reason people prefer to cook it once in a year. Most prepared during Raja festival (Swing Festival) in Odisha, Podo Pitha can be rightly called as the Godfather of all pithas. Podo Pitha is traditionally prepared in a clay oven overnight, but now people bake in their oven to ease the process a little. With a slight burnt top, little spice of cardamom at each bite and that crunch of coconut and nuts along with a caramelized jaggery is sure to make you drool.

Find the recipe here.

Chakuli Pitha
Image credit: Fanatic Foodie

Chakuli Pitha is one of the healthiest breakfast recipes which originated in Orissa. This Dosa like flat pancake is full of nutrition and best enjoyed with just sugar or sweet chutneys.

Find the recipe here.

Lentil Cooked With Vegetables-Dalma
Image credit: Savuer

It is known as mother of all dals. Dalma is a very popular Odia dish which is also served to Lord Jagannath as prasada. Whatever be the occasion, you are sure to find this dish on the menu. This fuss free recipe is cooked by mixing vegetable with lentils which makes it nutritious and wholesome. The spicy seasoning gives the dish a unique taste and color which is hard to resist. Dalma is mostly eaten with steam rice.

Find the recipe here.

Water Rice- Pakhala Bhata
Image credit: The Recipe Bucket

This is yet again a very simple and authentic Odia cuisine which is prepared with cooked rice little fermented in water. This dish is said to have originated in the temple of Lord Jagannath. It is mostly prepared during hot sultry summer days and is believed to prevent heat stroke. There are many variations of this dish like Dahi Pakhala, Zeera Pahkala, and Basi Pakhala, it is mostly enjoyed with roasted veggies or fried fish.

Find the recipe here.

Mixed Vegetable-Ghanta
Image credit: Priya Rasoi

Ghanta in Odia means mixed. This dish is prepared by mixing a variety of vegetables and is mostly enjoyed during festivals. It’s very high in nutrition and has got a typical taste which can be enjoyed with either rice or chapatti along with lentils soup.

Find the recipe here.

Pointed Gourd And Potato Curry- Aloo Potol Rossa
Image credit: Pinterest

This is again prepared by mixing and boiling various kinds of vegetables and tempering it with just a teaspoon of oil/ghee along with Pancha-Pootan, a mixture of fennel, cumin, mustard, kalonji and fenugreek seeds. The low use of oil and spices makes the perfect dish for dinner along with chapatti.

Find the recipe here.

Leafy Vegetable Cooked With Lentil-Saaga Moonga
Dishes Cooked In Mustard –Besara
Image credit: Erecipe

Mustard seed in widely used in Odia cuisine and this dish is also a part of the prasada offered to Lord Jagannath as a part of the midday meal. There are many variation of besara where the main ingredient, mustard is grinded and made into a fine paste and then cooked along with veggies (fish as well). The mild mustard flavor and the little tanginess that comes by adding dried mangoes or tamarind is to die for.

Find the recipe here.

Tangy Soup-Dahi Kanji
Image credit: My Delicacy

This is again a soupy dish like dal made up of curd, mixed with vegetables. The curd gives the dish a tangy flavor which is mostly eaten during summers. The use of veggies, lentils and curd makes this dish very healthy.

Find the recipe here.

The Sweet and Tangy Chutney-Khata
Image credit: Desibantu

Khatta is an integral part of Odia cuisine and it is mostly eaten as a side dish. Mostly preferred for lunch, khatta balances a meal with its nice sweet and sour flavor. Any meal is incomplete without this. There are many variations to this dish like tomato khatta, oou (Elephant Apple) khatta and aamba (raw mango) khatta. It goes best with dalma and steam rice. Khatta is prepared along with jaggery and other condiments to make it lip smacking.

Find the recipe here.

Dried Lentil Mixture-Badi Chura
Image credit: The Recipe Bucket

This is again a must have dish and is a constant fixture in any meal, mostly with pakhala. Anyone can cook this in minutes with the help of fried and crushed badis along with chopped chills, garlic and onion. The aromatic smell of the garlic and onion along with crunch of the fried badis is therapeutic. You taste it once and you are sure to return to it again and again.

Find the recipe here.

Fish Cooked In Curd-Dahi Maacha
Image credit: Flavours Unlimited

This one is one of the classic curies which any Odia would be proud to be associated with. This mustard gravy along with the perfect blend of yogurt is hard to resist and the mere mention or sight of this dish is enough to keep one salivating. Dahi Maccha is must have for all the sea food lovers.

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Crab Curry- Kankada Jhola
Image credit: CuteStat

Crab curry is best enjoyed at the lunch table, sitting for hours and relishing the crab meat along with family and friends.

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Prawns Curry- Chingudi Jhola
Image credit: WikiHow

Chingudi (Prawns), mostly eaten by people residing in the coastal region of Odisha is a hit and a must try if you love sea food.

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Dahi Vada With Curries- Dahi Bara- Aaloo Dum-Ghuguni
Image credit: The Tumeric Kitchen

One of the most famous street foods of Orissa, Dahi Bara -Aaloo Dum-Ghuguni just can’t stay away from the list. You ask any Oriya and they will swear by this. The taste is so authentic that you will not mind the strange combinations of Dahi Vadas with curries. This unique dish can be had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. People there just don’t mind eating it any time of the day. Sold in every nook and corner mostly in Cuttack and Puri by cyclewallahs, you have to stand in a queue to taste this delicacy. Dahi Bara Aaloo Dum-Ghuguni, highly recommended!

Find the recipe here.

The Orissa Special Pani-Puri/Golgappe- Gupchup

Gupchup is nothing but Golgappe or Pani Puri as it is called in other parts of India. This authentic dish is almost served in the same manner across the country but surprisingly tastes different everywhere. In Orissa you will find a tangier and spicy version of this which is sure to tickle your taste buds. And mind it while putting it inside your mouth, they are huge.

Find the recipe here.

The Odia Rasmalai-Rasabali

Rasabali, a part of the mahaprasad of Lord Jagannath is nothing but deep friend cheese balls floating in thickened sweetened milk. Slightly seasoned with crushed cardamom, this is a must try.

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Rosogulla- Pahala Rasagulla
Image credit: Join Me In My Solace

You get rasogulla everywhere, but wait this special brown ones is sure to make you forget everything else. Pahala, a small stretch which comes between Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar, is adorned with around forty to fifty sweet shop’s, is sure to make you stop and try out those rust colored beauties in all sizes. Salepur Bikalananda Kar’s rosogulla is again a must try.

Find the recipe here.

The Twisted Sweet- Khasta khaja

Also known as Pheni, this sweet is Lord Jagannath’s favorite. If you are in Puri, you are sure to find this in every nook and corner.

Cheena Gaja
Image credit: Odia Kitchen

This sweet syrupy dish is made from cottage cheese and semolina. You can also find a drier version of the same with sugar crystals on the surface. This one tastes heavenly.

Find the recipe here.

Image credit: YouTube

This sweet dish has small chhena /cottage cheese balls dipped in thickened and sweetened milk seasoned with cardamom and saffron for that awesome flavor. Slightly chill it and it tastes divine.

Find the recipe here.

Arisa Pitha/Ghee Pitha
Image credit: Shibani Kitchen

Pitha’s are a must in Odisha. Whatever be the occasion you are sure to bit into a pitha at every house hold there. Arisa and Ghee pithas are prepared occasionally or from time to time with little variations. The main ingredient here is rice which is used in grounded form and mixed along with jaggery and other condiments, which is then deep fried, just perfect for snacking at tea time. The best part, a few of them can be stored for many days and relished.

Find the recipe here.

Manda Pitha/Enduri Pitha
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This is the steamed version of the Pitha. While Manda Pitha is prepared mostly during festivals, Enduri Pitha is reserved for Prathamashtami, a festival celebrated to pray for long life and well being of the first child in a family. Manda pitha is basically made up of semolina stuffed with sweet filling. Enduri is made up of rice flour filled with sweet filling and steamed within turmeric leaves. A must have for the health conscious people.