Oriya Cuisine





Oriya Cuisine is from the state of Odisha (earlier known as Orissa). Oriya Cuisine has very minimal usage of oils and spices where mustard oil is used moderately and ghee is widely used in temple’s. Rice is the staple food, yogurt is used in many dishes and green leafy vegetables are widely consumed. The common dishes in Oriya Cuisine are made of  plantains, jack-fruit and papaya. Common spices include garlic, onion and ginger along with turmeric, chillies and a blended variety of spice known as panch phoron. Fish, prawns, lobster and other sea foods form a major part of Oriya Cuisine due to huge coastal belt in the state. Fish varieties like rohu, catla and ilishi are very prominent here. Oriya Cuisine also has a considerable influence from the neighboring cuisines like Bengali Cuisine and Andhra Cuisine.

World’s biggest kitchen (Puri Jagannath Temple’s Kitchen) is considered to be located in the temple city of Puri in Odisha. Here the deity Lord Jagannath (form of Lord Krishna) is offered maha prasad (greatest of all prasad’s) which consists of 56 varieties also known as chappan bhog. This temple exhibits a unique trend of cooking technique which is practiced since ancient age in this temple kitchen. Here the food / prasadam is cooked in clay vessels one above another on a constant heat where the top vessel food gets cooked first, then gradually vessels till the last. This food is considered as very traditional and tasty by all the devotees visiting the temple. In olden times food was traditionally served on banana leaves or disposable plates made of sal leaves. This is still a common practice in temple’s of Odisha.

A few popular dishes in Oriya Cuisine are:

  • pakhala refers to a rice dish made by adding water to cooked rice and then be allowed to ferment overnight. The fermented version is called basi pakhala and the un-fermented version is called saja pakhala. It is generally served with green chillies, onions, yogurt
  • palau refers to rice dish made of raisins and vegetables
  • kanika refers to a sweet dish made of rice, nuts and raisins
  • ghee rice refers to a plain rice dish where rice is steamed with ghee and cinnamon
  • dalma refers to a dish made of tuar dal and vegetables
  • dali refers to a dish made of one or more varieties of dal’s in combination
  • santula refers to a dish of finely chopped vegetables which are sauted with garlic, green chilies, mustard seeds and spices
  • chaatu rai refers to a dish made of mustard seeds and mushrooms
  • rosa refers to a curry dish made with any of the vegetables
  • kadali manja rai refers to a curry made of banana plant stem and mustard seeds
  • besara refers to a dish made of assorted vegetable marinated in a mustard sauce with panch phoron spices
  • dahi baigana refers to a dish made of yogurt and eggplant which is generally sour in taste
  • khajuri khata refers to a sweet and sour dish made of tomatoes and dates
  • machha besara refers to a curry dish made of fish and mustard sauce
  • machha mahura refers to a curry dish made of fish and vegetables
  • kheeri refers to a sweet dish made of rice boiled in milk
  • cheena poda / mudki refers to a sweet dish made of soft cottage cheese and sugar syrup with dry fruits
  • rasagolla refers to a sweet dish made of soft cottage cheese in sugar syrup and is soft in texture
  • khechidi refers to a rice dish made of rice and lentils with minimal usage of spices
  • kakara pitha refers to a sweet dish made of flour, coconut, sugar, cardamom, camphor, oil, pepper, salt and cottage cheese
  • khattas refers to a sour tasting side dish like chutneys usually served with meals