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Friday, July 6, 2012

Odisha Cuisine - Odia Recipe

Oriya cuisine refers to the cooking of the eastern Indian state of Orissa. Foods from this area are rich and varied, while relying heavily on local ingredients. The flavors are usually subtle and delicately spiced, quite unlike the fiery curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Fish and other seafood such as crab and shrimp are very popular. Chicken and mutton are also consumed, but somewhat occasionally. Only 6% of the population of Orissa is vegetarian, and this is reflected in its cuisine. The oil base used is mostly mustard oil, but in festivals ghee is used. Panch phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella) is widely used for tempering vegetables and dals, while garam masala (curry powder) and haladi (turmeric) are commonly used for non-vegetarian curries.  Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yogurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas.  Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no Oriya repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end. Festivals and fasts witness a cuisine without onion and garlic whereas other days witness an aroma of garlic and onion paste in curries. One can find restaurants serving food without onion and garlic in major places like Puri and other coastal area, which is run by many Brahmin owners.

Pakhala (Water Rice) Odisha Summer Dish

Pakhala Variety Dishes:

  • Jeera Pakhala
  • Jeera Pakhala is made by adding fried cumin with curry leaves with Pakhala.
  • Dahi Pakhala
  • This is made by adding Curd with pakhala.
  • Garama Pakhala (Hot Pakhala)
  • This is generally made by adding water instantly after making rice or with warm rice.
  • Basi Pakhala (Basi in Oriya means Stale)
  • This is made by fermenting rice by adding water which is generally kept overnight and eaten in the next   day.


Pakhala Recipe:
1. Cook rice and allow it to cool (do not freeze).
2. Fry some cumin seed and grind it to fine powder.
3. Add curd and fried cumin seed powder, coriander leaves and salt to taste.
4. Serve it with fish fry and spinach.

Traditional way of preparing Pakhaḷa: Pakhala is slightly fermented rice. People cook rice and add water to it along with little bit of old pakhal (something like making curd using milk and old curd).  Pakhaḷa tastes best when served after 8 to 12 hrs after preparation. Generally boiled potato and other fried vegetables or fried fish is served with pakhaḷa. Modern day variation is to add curd instead of fermenting it.

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