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Odisha has always been a favourite destination for tourists. You can also indulge in some unique gastronomical delights while touring Odisha. This destination in North east India is famous for its long beaches, intricately carved ancient temples, and diverse tribal culture. However, Odisha cuisine also represents the rich cultural heritage of the state. Odisha cuisine is known for its distinct flavours and dishes. 

The following seven famous dishes can be your best initiation to the culinary delights of the state.

  • Pakhala Bhata 

A lunch staple of the locals, this traditional food of Odisha offers a soothing respite from the sweltering summer heat. 

The cooked rice is soaked in water overnight. The water is drained out from the rice in the morning, and freshwater is added again to it. Optionally, the curd is added to this damped rice sautéed with salt and tempered spices. 

Often served with Badi Chura, Pakhala Bhata helps get a sound sleep.

  • Khaja

Khaja is one of the main 'Prasads' served at Lord Jagannath's Temple at Puri. It is prepared by mixing refined wheat flour with sugar and then frying lightly in oil, preferably in Ghee. 

Arguably the most famous dish in Odisha, Khaja, can be found at every nook and corner of Puri.

  • Chhena Poda 

Chhena Poda is often referred to as the cheesecake of Odisha. The word "Poda" in Odia means burnt or baked. The popular dessert is prepared from cottage cheese, semolina, and sugar syrup. Chhena Poda leaves a distinct aftertaste in your mouth long after consuming it.

  • Chungdi Malai

A visit to any of the beaches in Odisha is not complete without ending the day with Chungdi Malai. It is a prawn curry prepared with light spices and coconut milk. The coconut milk gravy nicely balances the light local spices making it light on the stomach and super-delicious.

Try this famous Odisha food with steaming hot basmati rice, and you will remember the taste for years.

  • Dalma

How can the common dal be a delicacy, you might ask. Well, there lies the uniqueness of another staple food of Odisha- Dalma. It is a dal made with roasted moong dal without any onion and garlic. Also, some common vegetables like pumpkin, papaya, yam, etc., are added with a few traditional spices. 

Dalma with rice can be the best food to have before a road trip in Odisha to stay light and healthy during the journey.

  • Santula

Santula is another vegetarian Odisha special food that is light on the stomach. Locally available vegetables like eggplant, tomato, potato, okra, etc., are fried or boiled in a light gravy with minimum oil and spices. Delicious, easy to digest, and high on nutritional value- Santula is suited for everyone. 

  • Rasagolla

A "serious conflict" has been going on for ages between Odisha and West Bengal. People from both states stake their claim on the origin of Rasagolla. However, what's beyond doubt is the mouth-watering taste of these little balls of Chhena dipped in sugar syrup. 

While Rasagolla is a pan India favourite, you must taste its Odisha variant to know the difference. So, let’s stay out of the debate and enjoy the heavenly taste of Rasagolla.

Odisha has a diverse palette of countless delicacies to offer to tourists. So, next time you tour the state, ensure to unleash the foodie in you to go full throttle exploring and appreciating the culinary delights of this coastal state.

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