Cuisine of Odisha

Compared to other regional Indian cuisines, Odia cuisine uses less oil and is less spicy, but very flavourful.[1][2] Rice is the staple food of this region. Mustard oil is used in several dishes as the cooking medium, but ghee is preferred in temples.[2] In old times food was traditionally served on disposable plates made of sal leaves.[3]

Odia cooks, particularly from the Puri region, were much sought after due to their ability to cook food in accordance with Hindu scriptures. During the 19th century, many Odia cooks were employed in Bengal and they took several dishes with them.[4]

Yoghurt is used in dishes. Many sweets of the region are based on Chhena (cheese).[5] The period saw a heavy demand for Brahmin cooks, leading many Odia cooks to fake their castes.[6]

Ingredients and seasoning

The ingredients used in Odia cuisine are plantains, jackfruit, and papaya. The curries are garnished with dried raw mango (ambula) and tamarind. Coconut is used in several dishes.[7]

Panch phutana is a blend of five spices that is widely used in Odia cuisine. It contains mustard, cumin, fenugreek, aniseed and kalonji. Garlic and onion are used but avoided in temple environs. Turmeric and red chillies are commonly used.[2]

Local variation

The food in the region around Puri-Cuttack is greatly influenced by the Jagannath Temple. On the other hand, kalonji and mustard paste are used mostly in the region bordering Bengal and curries tend to be sweeter. In the region closer to Andhra Pradesh, curry tree leaves and tamarind are used more.[2] The Brahmapur region has influences of South Indian cuisine and the Telugu people living there have invented new Odia dishes.[8]

Temple food

Abadha, the afternoon meal of the Jagannath Temple served on a plantain leaf.

Temples in region make offerings to the presiding deities. The prasada of the Jagannath Temple is well known and is specifically called "Maha Prasad" meaning greatest of all prasadas. It consists of 56 recipes, so it called chhapan bhoga. It is based on the legend that Krishna missed his eight meals for seven days while trying to save a village from a storm holding up the Govardhan hill as a shelter.[5]

Fish and seafood

Fish and other seafoods are eaten mainly in coastal areas. Several curries are prepared from prawn and lobster with spices.[2][9] Freshwater fish is available from rivers and irrigation canals.[4]

List of dishes

Rice dishes and rotis

See also: Roti
Pakhala served with wads of lemon, yoghurt and a slice of tomato.

Dals and curries

Khattas and chutneys

Dhania-Patra Chutney

Khatta refers to a type of sour side dish or chutney usually served with Odia thalis.[21]

Saaga (salad greens)

See also: Saag

Odias typically eat lots of cooked green leaves. They are prepared by adding "pancha phutana", with or without onion/garlic, and are best enjoyed with pakhala.

One of the most popular is lali koshala saaga made from green leaves with red stems.Other saagas that are eaten are pita gahama, khada, poi, koshala, sajana etc.

Pithas (sweet cakes)

Kakara Pitha

Pithas and sweets are types of traditional Odia dishes.[26][27]

Fish and other sea food

Ilishi maachha tarkari

Chicken and chevon

Odia mutton curry

Fritters and fries


Desserts and sweets

Chenna Poda
Bela pana


  1. "The coastal edge". The Telegraph (India). 27 March 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "From the land of Jagannath". The Hindu. 28 July 2004. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  3. "Not a stereotyped holiday". The Hindu. 10 March 2002. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Charmaine O' Brien (15 December 2013). "Orissa". The Penguin Food Guide to India. Penguin Books Limited. p. 188. ISBN 978-93-5118-575-8. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  5. 1 2 3 Rocky Singh; Mayur Sharma (25 July 2014). Highway on my Plate-II: the Indian guide to roadside eating. Random House India. p. 370. ISBN 978-81-8400-642-1.
  6. Utsa Ray (30 November 2014). Culinary Culture in Colonial India. Cambridge University Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-107-04281-0.
  7. Northeast India. Lonely Planet. 2007. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-74179-095-5. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  8. "New cookery show on TV soon". The Hindu. 23 Dec 2010.
  9. "Inside Delhi". The Hindu. 11 January 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014. While savouring Chingudi malai curry (prawns with rich Oriya spices) and kukuda jhola (chicken cooked with spices and egg), the friend soaked in the atmosphere and was transported back to the sight and smell of his native place.
  10. "Pakhala, a hot favourite in Odisha`s summer menu". Zee News. 11 April 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Oriya cuisine spices up syllabus". The Telegraph (India). 23 Feb 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Yummy fare at Odia food fest". The Hindu. 26 Feb 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  13. 1 2 3 "Women vie for kitchen queen title — Contestants cook up mouth-watering dishes at cookery contest". The Telegraph (India). 9 August 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014. Oriya dishes like khiri, khichdi, kasha mansa were also prepared by the contestants.
  14. "Khechidi". Oriya Kitchen. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  15. 1 2 "Potpouri" (The Telegraph (India)). 29 July 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  16. "Palau (pulao)". Oriya Kitchen. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  17. "Kanika". Destination Orissa. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  18. 1 2 "Rahul savours 'dalma' and 'khir'". The Hindu. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  19. Bijoylaxmi Hota; Kabita Pattanaik (2007). Healthy Oriya Cuisine. Rupa & Company. p. 29. ISBN 978-81-291-1118-0.
  20. "Kadali Manja Rai". eOdisha. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  21. 1 2 3 4 "Tasty treat of tangy khatta & spicy tadka". The Telegraph (India). 12 August 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2014. The Odia thali consists of tangy khatta and proceeds further with traditional dishes such as the green and healthy spinach item saga badi.
  22. "कच्‍चे आम की रसीली चटनी: अंबा खट्टा". Boldshy (in Hindi). Retrieved 9 December 2014. zero width joiner character in |title= at position 4 (help)
  23. "Recipe: Tomato-khajuri khatta". The Times of India. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  24. 1 2 3 "It's time to pamper your tastebuds". The Telegraph (India). 16 June 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  25. "Coriander Chutney". FullOdisha. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  26. 1 2 "Poda pithas take the cake". The Telegraph (India). 16 June 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  27. "Traditional 'pitha' undergoes a sea change". The Hindu. 14 April 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  28. "Machha Besara (A spicy dish of Rohu fish)". Five Tastes. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  29. "Machha Mahura (Fish with Mixed Vegetable Curry)". Bewarchi.
  31. 1 2 3 4 "Good response to Odiya food festival". The Hindu. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  32. "Badi chura". Odia Recipes. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  33. "Matar Ghugni aur Murmure". Mamta's Kitchen. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  34. "Youths from Bihar and UP rule the 'golgappa' market". The Hindu. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  35. "A cook-off in the lord's name". The Telegraph (India). 19 July 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  36. 1 2 3 "Several good reasons to loiter". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 September 2014. Mouth-watering malpua, rasagulla, rasamalai, gulab jamun and other Oriya sweetmeats are served here.
  37. "Attakali". Odia Recipes. Retrieved 11 September 2016.

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