Oriya cusine boasts of typically low calorie preparations which are easy to prepare and good to eat. The dominant spices are besara(mustard seeds ground with garlic), and pancha-phutana (mustard, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and black cumin ). The main course invariably incorporates rice, dal and various vegetable prepartions. The low oil and spice content invariably makes it a delight for the calorie consious and those suffering from high blood pressure and hyperacidity related disorders.
Odisha (Orissa), the land of Lord Jagannath, has a very rich religious culture and this is reflected in the food as well. Oria cuisine is very simple yet delicious, prepared in little or no oil which not only enhances the taste, but makes them very healthy as well. Here, you will find a mix of vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes. Again people here loves eating sweets and may be this is the reason they themselves are so lovable. Scroll down below to get a glimpse of the variety of unique, authentic delicacies which can only be found in Odisha.
Authentic Oriya Delicacies !!
WOOD APPLE-VANILLA SMOOTHIE ( A WESTERN TAKE ON ODISHA’S SUMMER DRINK ‘BELA PANNA’ ):
The wood apple has an intoxicating scent that reminds one of an overripe mango. Not something for the faint hearted for sure. But the flesh is sweet and varies widely from plant to plant. Some fruits have a nice creamy pulp with very few seeds and fibers, and a rich tatse that can be described as akin to a mango shrikhand. But much less sweeter ofcourse. Others have an astringent taste, a profusion of seeds and so much fiber that extracting the juice becomes a challenging task.
It is adapted from the traditional drink or ‘panaa’. In Odisha, ‘panna’ refers to a drink in which diary products like milk, yogurt and cottage cheese have been added. But I wanted a vegan version with a gourmet twist to it, hence I skipped the milk products and went for some lime, vanilla extract and honey.
SPICED BANANA STEM BUTTERMILK ( A DIGESTIVE SUMMER DRINK ):
Not only it is loaded with soluble fibers, the raw banana stem is beneficial in curing a variety of gastro-intestinal disorders. And it is especially good after a heavy meal or during the summer months when the digestive tract turns sluggish. Plus it tastes really good when mixed with buttermilk and a few spices. In fact, I found it to be a good substitute for rasam ( which gives warmth to the body ) on the hot days.
But the single greatest advantage of this recipe is that it can also be prepared by people who lack the skills to chop the banana stem.
SUGARFREE THANDAI SHRIKHAND (A VERY HAPPY HOLI TO EVERYONE ) :
The shelves revealed endless bottles of Thandai jostling for space with a variety of bottled beverages and tinned/canned sweets. Thandai Shrikhand seemed to the prefectchoice to use some of the extract to flavor a home made Shrikhand sweetened with a Zero calorie sweetener like Sugarfree Natura.
SALTED CARAMELIZED LIME MOJITOS:
The tang of the lime. The freshness of the mint. Just the right amount of sweetness. The tingling sensation of the sparkling water on the palate. The subtle scents tantalizing the nostrils. The green sprigs soothing the tired eyes. Caramelizing the limes adds a subtly different flavor (and a a little bit of bitterness too) to the regular drink. The bitter notes need more sweetness to create a balance.