Traditional Dishes of Odisha
The dishes of Odisha are generally non spicy, with less oil and cooked in a typical way which gives it that distinct flavour. Mustard is an essential ingredient in the dishes. One can find dishes of vegetables, fish, prawns, crab cooked with Mustard (called besara in Odiya)
Pokhalo– The staple diet of Odisha. Pokhalo is basically fermented rice, mixed with curd, salt to taste and garnished with all sorts of spices. It is usually consumed during the hot summer months as it is known to cool body temperatures, besides that recent medical research findings state that the nutritional value of fermented rice increases manifold compared to consuming just plain rice. Pokhalo is usually consumed with dishes which are either fried or with a very thick gravy. One request please never consume pokhalo in a glass or with a spoon. if you want to enjoy it dip your hands in the bowl.
Saago Muga-Another very traditional and popular dish with the main course is the Saago Muga. Saago Muga is basically a preparation of spinach or fenugreek (methi), centella ( thalkudi) or their likes which is prepared with split black gram. Not only does it tastes yummy , the dish packs a punch when it comes to nutritional value
Dalma – Another iconic dish from the kitchen of Odisha, Dalma is basically lentils cooked with vegetables. It is a wholesome meal on its own and even Lord Jagannath likes his Dalma very much.
Ghanto– Basically mixed vegetable cooked with very little oil and is typically non spicy. One can find being cooked at almost every home in Odisha during dinner and is usually consumed with chapatis.
Kanji– A popular dish especially during the summers, Kanji is soupy tangy dish made from lentils, curd and chopped vegetables. The curd gives it the tangy flavour and is generally consumed with rice.
Fish Curry– Being blessed with huge coastline and network of numerous rivers, Odisha is a fish lovers delight. Fish is prepared in numerous ways, depending upon the mood and taste but the Macha Besara (Fish cooked in mustard) is one of the most popular dishes. The dish is usually garnished with Ambula (dried salted green mangoes) or curd to give it that tanginess)
Kankadaa – Kankadaa or crab is another delicacy of Odisha. The big rivers and the Bay of Bengal means there is abundance of both the sea and fresh water crabs. The Kankadaa curry is the most popular crab dish however it is also fried with onion, tomatoes and garnished with coriander and consumed.
Chingudi Jhola– Or prawn curry is very popular in the coastal belt, it has a variety of recipes- right from using coconut milk, mustard to just plain curry to fried prawns to even prepared with bottle gourd and spinach.
Mutton– Lets put it this way -Odia’s just love their mutton curry and rice. A family get together for occasion, or a Sunday lunch is always marked by mutton curry and rice. There are variants of the mutton recipe too – namely bausa poda mutton (marinated mutton stuffed inside bamboo and cooked), patara poda mutton ( marinated mutton wrapped in Sal leaves and thrown into the oven or the mati handi mutton (mutton cooked inside earthen pots)