The central eastern state of India, Odisha, formerly known as Orissa is the place to enjoy mild Indian curries that are cooked with gentle spices and much love and care. Rice and fish are the staple foods in this hot coastal state. The recipes are not as greasy and appeal to all types of people.
Odisha is also a favourite spot for tourists across the world, hosting magnificent temples with their renowned architecture. The cuisine is inspired by communal cooking at the temples where thousands of pilgrims visit each day and taste the auspicious ‘Maha Prasad’. Prepared by the devoted chefs in the grand kitchens of temples, the meal or ‘Maha Prasad’ is offered for free to all pilgrims. The finest example of Maha Prasad is the one that is offered in world famous Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri. 56 types of food items are prepared and served in earthen pots and many visitors to the temple claim that the Maha Prasad is the tastiest vegetarian food anywhere one can have.
The use Ghee and mustard oil is preferred in Odia cooking. The aroma and taste of Odia is infused by Ghee in many dishes and mustard oil plays a key role in bringing the recipes to the gentle taste levels of Odiyan cooking style. The use of Five Spices (Panch Phutana) in Odiyan Cuisine is well known in the subcontinent for the special taste and appearance of Odian recipes. The five seeds that make up the Panch Phutana are Jeera (Cumin seeds), Rai (Mustard seeds), Fennel seeds, Fenugreek seeds and Nigella seeds. Each of five spices gives a unique flavour and texture to the dish and makes Odian cuisine a unique taste and experience.
If you prefer mild and uniques tastes to explore, then Odian cuisine is for you! Please try these recipes yourself and see whether spice is a right choice for you.