Food

Flavours from Orissa

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From pahalla rasgulla to mudhi mansha, Bangaloreans got a taste of a wide array of Odiya dishes at Ama Odia Bhoji

“Orissa is the only state in India that has its own cheesecake,” says Sai Priya of My Cooking Canvas, referring to the dessert chenna poda, as we sit down to indulge in a sumptuous Odiya meal at Dialogues Cafe, Koramangala. Like chenna poda, Odiya sweets are delicious, including pahalla rasgulla (there has been much debate over where the rasgulla originated, as of now, Orissa is winning) and pitha. However, there are other dishes, not quite known in Bengaluru.

Flavours from Orissa

Anupam Behera, a member of The Bangalore Foodies Club, who organised Ama Odia Bhoji (my Odiya meal) says: “We decided to curate an event as we wanted to popularise lesser-known dishes such as mudhi mansha (mutton curry and puffed rice), dahi baigana (curd brinjal), pakhal bhata (fermented rice combined fried vegetables and fish), among others. It was organised for community building and not commercial reasons. That is why the food here is light and healthy because they are made by women and men who have a passion for cooking and prepare such dishes at home.”

Flavours from Orissa

Kanji, mutton aloo kasa (dry), served with steamed hot rice, dalma (one of Orissa’s most well-known traditional dish) with pitha, chinguri ghanta (prawn curry), macha besara (fish curry), were also on the menu. Apart from this, snacks such as gupchup (panipuri) , dahibara -aloo dum, ghuguni bara, were served.

Saipriya, who prepared the muri mangsho says: “I was born in Balasore, in North Orissa. Jagannath temple in Puri is known for its dalma and rosogolla. Baripada in Orissa is famous for mudhi (puffed rice) and it is served with a non-vegetarian gravy. Every region has a different cuisine. In Balasore, there is more influence of Bengali cuisine, whereas in Sambhalpur the food is completely different.”

Macha Besara

Macha Besara  

Anupam, who is from Cuttack, says: “A lot of our food culture is from our tribes. We include bamboo shoots and use yam in our mutton curry, instead of potatoes. We also make dishes out of fish head and chutney using red ants. The dahibada is a snack and a breakfast item.” Sai Priya adds: “We have macha besara with ambola (dried and salted raw mango).”

Tapti Pattnaik, one of the women who cooked for the meal, says: “Every household has a unique recipe for fish curry. Our food does have mustard-based curry, but it is different from what the Bengalis make.”

Smruti Mohanty, another participant, adds: “I prepared pitha, dalma and chutney. Dalma is often made with a variety of vegetables such as raw banana and papaya, but in temple food of Orissa you cannot use potatoes and carrots.” Anupam adds: “Dalma changes from region to region.”

Deepika Mishra, who made bodi churaa says: “Bodi is a signature dish from Keonjhar, where I hail from. It is sun-dried lentil dumplings and chura is a combination of badi, onion, garlic, and green chilli.”

Simple spices are used, says Saipriya, such as panch phoron (five spices), roasted cumin, and chilli powder. “Even in the dessert there is coconut and jaggery, and no sugar.” Tapti adds: “We use elephant apple, which is sour, and well known in Orissa.” Anupam says they hope to have more such events, and that he would like to keep it as non-commercial as possible.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:45:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/flavours-from-orissa/article30567345.ece

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