Cuisine of Orissa is easy simple and delicious. Food preparations in the state are almost the same as that of its neighboring states Bihar and West Bengal due to the similar geographical conditions. Delicacies made of prawns, crabs, fish, chicken and eggs prepared by experts are widely available at the eating joints and the specialized restaurants. The most popular is fish of both salt water and fresh water.
Rice and Vegetable Delights
Rice is the major food crop and the staple diet of the people of Orissa. Vegetables grown in plenty are essential of the meal and form a large part of Orissan diet. ‘Pancha-phutana’ a mixture of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and black cumin is used for seasoning vegetables and dals. Besides rice and vegetables the people of Orissa also relish fish and other sea food delicacies like prawns, crabs and lobsters as they are available in abundance in the unending coastline of the state.
Curd As An Essential Source Of Flavor
The Oriya delicacies are calorie free due to its less consumption of oil but at the same time the preparations are quite spicy and tasty. Curd and coconut milk find great use in the diet of the people. The curd here is rich and creamy and gives an additional flavor to the preparations. It is not only the seafood which is traditionally cooked in curd and coconut milk but also brinjals and pumpkins are largely cooked in curd with mustard seeds giving the whole preparation that extra zing.
Mouth Watering Sweet Delicacies
People of Orissa are also very much fond of sweets and many of Orrian sweet dishes are quite popular all over the country. Milk preparations like Rasgulla, Rasmalai, Khirmohan, Rasabali, Kalakand are just fabulous, once tasted- then it’s just irresistible. Chhenapodapitha, the caramelised custard-like dessert is popular not only with the locals but also with the tourists.
Pithas made out of powdered grams, like chakuli, kakara, monda are served as local snacks – a traditional preparation that requires great expertise. These pithas of are delicious preparations much loved by the locals as well as tourists.
‘Mahaprasad’- The Food Of Lord Jagannath
Another traditional delicacy ‘Mahaprasad’ or the sacred food offered as ‘Bhog’ to Lord Jagannath. This rich food is available at the Anand Bazar of the Jagannath Temple.
The specialty of ‘mahaprasad’ preparation lies in its massive cooking that takes place in the temple kitchen that is believed to be the biggest kitchen in the world. Nearly 400 highly efficient cooks work around 200 fireplaces daily to feed over 10,000 people.