Odia is a cuisine that has influenced by Bihari Cuisine and has influenced a considerable portion of Bengali cuisine. This is since the bawarchi from Odiya cuisine were in high demand during 19th century, especially the demand for Brahmin cooks from the region made many cooks fake their castes to find jobs in Bengal and other neighbouring states.
On Orissa, the recipes use less oil and less spices, but they make it flavourful. Use of Panch Phoron- seeds of mustard, cumin, fenugreek, aniseed and kalonji is widely seen. Rice is a staple food of Odisha where you can also see use of tamarind, fresh and dried coconut, tamarind being used. Paneer, raw and ripe bananas, jackfruits, papaya, dried mangoes are used in many recipes in Odia cuisine. Though mustard oil is widely used in cooking many recipes, Ghee is used in cooking prashads and festive dishes. Food is traditionally served on banana leaves in the region. Here is a glimpse at what a Odia meal plate consists of. Make a meal of Odiya recipes for a change from routine recipes that are usually done.
Odia main course recipes consists of rice and rotis. Rice is a staple food and comes in variants of khichdi, steamed plain rice, or overnight fermented rice served with curds and chilli called as Pakhala. Rice is also had as pulaos, sweet kanika and recipes like ghee rice as well. Flatbreads mainly consists of phulkas, and tawa parathas. Now with the influence of neighbouring cuisines, Odia cuisine also includes naan and other delicacies which are not inherent to its traditional roots.
These main course recipes are paired up with Oriya Dalma which is essentially a combination of dal and mixed vegetables. Based on the vegetables used, this dalma can be greatly varied, though initially raw banana, papaya and jackfruit were majorly used as staple for side dishes. Apart for Dalma, there is plain dal that can be paired with most rice recipes. There are curries with potato like Aloo Potala Rasa, raw banana based Kadali Bara, Besara and more.
Fish and seafood are more common in coastal areas of Odisha where fishes like Mirikali, Rohu, Bhakura are famous. Curries are made, usually based on a combination of coconut, kalonji and mustard pastes.
Yogurt based side dish like Dahi begun, or various salads that are called Bhaja, and saga bhaja are used as accompaniment to the main meal, without which the meal is incomplete. This saag includes many locally grown green leafy veggies and salad vegetables, either raw or roasted.
Snacks & Sweets:
Gughni, gupchup, chaat, chenachur, piaji and more are delicious and lip smacking snacks that are apt for evenings. Apart from these recipes, pithas are famous as sweets but make a major portion in festive meal plates of Odia cuisine. Also other sweet recipes like Chenna Poda, malpua- rabdi, Kheer/keeri, rasgolla, jalebi, gaja, are famous in this region as well.