Odisha known as the land of Lord Jagannath, has a very rich religious culture and this is reflected in the food as well. Once visited Bhuvneshwar and having had the most famous Temple food increased our anticipation to try it again. And we got a chance to visit Odisha Parba held at India Gate lawns in New Delhi from 15th to 17th March. Their breathtaking cultural events, Odishi based crafted stalls and the biggest food court highlighted the event.
Many big names from Odisha showcased their regional food varieties ranging from Jalkhia, Petha, Bhojan and Meetha. Although because of very heavy foot fall the cleanliness and hygiene was not at par. But we however managed to try and know more about their food.
Berhampur Pickle – We found a stall selling the most famous Berhampur Pickle. Being a saviour in our everyday meals, they claim that they make pickles in very less or no oil. If used, they use Mustard oil and keep it for almost for an year to give it the sweet, sour or spicy versions. Mango is their favorite fruit to make such pickles. There was mixed stuff available with other vegetables too.
Dahi Bara(vada) Aloo Dum – This is one of the most popular snacks relished by the people of Odisha and now by people of other parts of country too. It is a kind of their soul food. We tried Cuttack based Dahi Bara Aloo Dum. It had delicious Bara’s soaked in dahi then they are covered with Hot Ghuguni(Black gram, dried yellow peas, or dried white peas are cooked with gravy in the traditional eastern Indian style.) and Aloodum, the entire plate of dahibara aloodum is then garnished with curd ,onions and pudina chatni that blends well in our mouth with the hint of spiciness.
Pahala Rasgulla – Of and On we listen to stories of conflict between Odisha and West Bengal over origin of Rasgullas and that West Bengal took credits of Netaji Subash Chander Bose too. For us foodies we just know how to put those Rasgullas in mouth and enjoy its sweetness. We were lucky to try the most famous Pahala Rasgullas which was a treat to out sweet tooth.
Chenna Poda – This is again one of the most popular Roasted Cheese Dessert of East India. It is made with fresh home made cheese(paneer), sugar, nuts(if required) and roasted for hours until brown. We found it so delicious that we even got it packed for home to cherish it more.
We also came to know that majority of Odishi people use Usna Chawal which is a double boiled rice for their curries and desserts too. They love eating Fish, Mutton and Crab curries. Crabs here specially cultivated in Chilka lake.
Our quest for Odishi food doesnt end here specially for the Mahaprasada of Jagannath Temple.
We thankyou Chef Gautam Kumar for this guidance of Odishi food.
Official website of Odisha Parba – http://www.odishaparba.com