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top 10 popular food in Odisha

Odisha, located on the eastern coast of India, has a rich culinary history. The cuisine of Odisha is a blend of traditional and modern cooking techniques that have been passed down through generations. The state is known for its unique dishes like Dalma, Chhena Poda, and Pitha. The food is typically vegetarian, with the exception of some seafood dishes. Odia cuisine also includes a wide variety of desserts and sweets. The use of mustard oil, panch phoran, and turmeric is common in Odia cooking. Overall, Odisha’s food history is a reflection of its cultural diversity and rich heritage.

Here are the top 10 popular foods in Odisha:

  1. Pakhala
  2. Chhena Poda
  3. Rasgulla
  4. Machha Besara
  5. Dalma
  6. Chhena Jhili
  7. Dahi Bara Aloo Dum
  8. Khaja
  9. Pitha
  10. Mutton Curry


Pakhala is a traditional dish from the Indian state of Odisha. It is made by fermenting rice and water overnight and then served with various accompaniments such as fish fry, pickles, and vegetables. It is a popular summer food as it is believed to cool the body and provide relief from the scorching heat. Pakhala can be made with different variations such as badi chura pakhala, dahi pakhala, and jeera pakhala. It is also considered to be a healthy food option as it is low in calories and high in nutrients.

Chhena Poda

Chhena Poda is a popular dessert from the Indian state of Odisha. It is made by kneading fresh cottage cheese (chhena) with semolina, sugar, cardamom powder, and clarified butter (ghee). The mixture is then baked until golden brown, resulting in a caramelized crust with a soft and spongy texture inside. The name “Chhena Poda” literally means “burnt cheese” in Odia. It is often served as a sweet delicacy during festivals and special occasions.


Odisha Rasgulla is a popular dessert in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. It is a spongy ball-shaped sweet made from chenna (cottage cheese) and sugar syrup. The chenna is kneaded to make small balls and then boiled in a sugar syrup until it becomes spongy and absorbs the syrup.

The Odisha Rasgulla is different from the Bengal Rasgulla in its texture and flavor. It is softer and juicier with a creamier taste. The credit for the invention of the Odisha Rasgulla goes to Bikalananda Kar, a confectioner from Pahala village near Bhubaneswar, who first made it in the 20th century.

The Odisha Rasgulla has gained Geographical Indication (GI) status, which means that only rasgullas made in Odisha can be called Odisha Rasgulla.

Machha Besara

Machha Besara is a popular fish curry dish from the eastern state of Odisha in India. It is made using fish, mustard seeds, grated coconut, spices, and other ingredients. The fish is marinated with turmeric, salt, and lemon juice, and then fried until golden brown. In a separate pan, a paste is made from mustard seeds, grated coconut, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and other spices. This paste is then cooked with onions, tomatoes, and green chilies to make a flavorful base for the fish. The fried fish is then added to the mixture and cooked until it is well-coated with the sauce. Machha Besara is often served with steamed rice and is a delicious and nutritious meal.


Dalma is a traditional dish from the Indian state of Odisha. It is a lentil-based dish made with split pigeon peas, vegetables such as pumpkin, eggplant, and tomato, and flavored with spices like cumin, ginger, and turmeric. The dish is often served with steamed rice and is a staple in Odia cuisine. It is also popular in neighboring states like West Bengal and Jharkhand.

Chhena Jhili

Chhena Jhili is a popular sweet dish from the state of Odisha in India. It is made using chhena (cottage cheese) which is kneaded into a dough, shaped into small discs, and deep-fried until golden brown. The fried discs are then soaked in sugar syrup and served as a dessert. Chhena Jhili is similar to Rasgulla, another popular sweet from Odisha, but has a slightly different texture and shape. It is a delicious and indulgent treat that is enjoyed by many in the region.

Dahi Bara Aloo Dum

Dahi Bara Aloo Dum is a popular street food dish in India, particularly in the northern states. It consists of two main components – Dahi Bara (lentil dumplings soaked in yogurt) and Aloo Dum (spicy potato curry).

To make Dahi Bara, urad dal (split black gram) is soaked overnight and ground into a smooth batter. The batter is then shaped into small balls and deep-fried until golden brown. The fried dumplings are then soaked in water to remove excess oil and squeezed to remove excess water. They are then soaked in a mixture of thick yogurt, sugar, and salt for a few hours, allowing them to absorb the flavors.

For Aloo Dum, potatoes are boiled and cut into small cubes. Onions and tomatoes are sautéed in oil along with ginger-garlic paste and spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and red chili powder. The potato cubes are added to the mixture and cooked until they are tender.

To serve, the soaked Dahi Bara is topped with a generous serving of the Aloo Dum and garnished with chopped onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, and tamarind chutney. It is typically enjoyed as a snack or light meal.


Khaja is a traditional sweet snack from the Indian state of Odisha. It is made by deep-frying small dough balls made from wheat flour, sugar, and ghee until they turn golden brown in color. The fried balls are then soaked in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom and saffron, giving them a sweet and aromatic taste. Khaja is often served during festivals, weddings, and other special occasions. It is also a popular snack and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.


Pitha is a type of traditional dessert from the eastern Indian state of Odisha. It is typically made with rice flour, jaggery or sugar, and coconut or milk. There are many types of Pithas found in Odisha, including Chhena Poda, Kakara Pitha, Enduri Pitha, Chakuli Pitha, and many more. Each type of Pitha has its unique flavor and texture, and it is usually served during festivals or special occasions. Pithas are often steamed, fried, or baked, and they can be sweet or savory. Overall, Pitha is a delicious and popular delicacy that is enjoyed by people of all ages.

Mutton Curry

Mutton Curry is a popular dish from the eastern Indian state of Odisha. To prepare it, first marinate the mutton with yogurt, turmeric, red chili powder, ginger-garlic paste, and salt. Then, heat oil in a pan and fry onions until they turn golden brown. Next, add the marinated mutton and cook until it is tender. Finally, add garam masala, coriander powder, and cumin powder, and let it simmer for a few minutes before serving hot with rice or roti. The dish is known for its rich and aromatic flavors.

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