Authentic Odia Food and Sweets For All Food Enthusiasts

Odisha, a state in eastern India, boasts a rich culinary heritage with a variety of authentic and flavorsome dishes. The cuisine of Odisha is known for its distinct flavors, simplicity. Due to their deeply religious culture, most of Odia people practice vegetarian. If you are a food enthusiast who likes to eat authentic dishes, the following recommendations for the authentic foods of Odisha will come in handy during your trip to the state.

authentic food of odisha


In Odisha, Kichdi is a popular dish that is enjoyed as a comfort food and is often served during festivals or as a part of special occasions. Odisha Kichdi has its own unique flavors and preparation style. Here’s more information about Odisha Kichdi:

  • Ingredients: The main ingredients of Odisha Kichdi include rice, lentils (usually split yellow moong dal), vegetables like potato, cauliflower, carrot, peas, and spices such as turmeric, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and ghee (clarified butter).
  • Preparation: To prepare Odisha Kichdi, rice and lentils are cooked together with the vegetables and spices. The lentils provide protein and make the dish nutritious. The vegetables add flavor and texture. The dish is usually cooked in a pressure cooker or a pot until the rice, lentils, and vegetables are well cooked and blend together.
  • Flavor and Serving: Odisha Kichdi has a mild, comforting flavor with a hint of spices. It is typically served hot and garnished with ghee, chopped coriander leaves, and sometimes fried onions. It is often accompanied by a side dish like pickles or papad.

Kichdi is considered a wholesome and nutritious meal in Odisha, as it combines the goodness of rice, lentils, and vegetables. It is a popular choice for those seeking a simple, comforting, and filling dish.

Overall, Odisha Kichdi reflects the culinary traditions of the state and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike as a hearty and satisfying meal option.


Dalma is a traditional and popular dish from the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is a hearty lentil-based dish prepared with vegetables, lentils, and spices. Dalma is a staple in Odia cuisine and is often enjoyed with rice or roti. Here’s more information about Odisha Dalma:

  • Ingredients: The main ingredients used in Odisha Dalma include pigeon peas (toor dal), mixed vegetables like pumpkin, brinjal (eggplant), raw banana, papaya, and drumsticks, as well as spices like turmeric, cumin seeds, ginger, and dried red chili.
  • Preparation: To make Odisha Dalma, pigeon peas (toor dal) are cooked until soft and mushy. Meanwhile, the vegetables are chopped and added to the dal. The dal and vegetables are then simmered together until the flavors meld. The dish is seasoned with a tempering of spices like cumin seeds, dried red chili, and ginger. Some variations of Dalma also include adding grated coconut for added flavor and texture.
  • Flavor and Serving: Odisha Dalma has a mild and balanced flavor. The combination of lentils, vegetables, and spices creates a wholesome and nutritious dish. The dish has a slightly thick consistency and is usually served hot with steamed rice or roti. It is often garnished with fresh coriander leaves.

Dalma is not only a delicious and comforting dish, but it is also nutritious as it combines lentils and vegetables, providing a good balance of protein, fiber, and vitamins. It is a wholesome meal and a favorite among the people of Odisha.

Overall, Odisha Dalma is a significant and traditional dish that showcases the culinary heritage of the state. It exemplifies the simplicity and flavorsome nature of Odia cuisine and is enjoyed by both locals and visitors.


Pakhala Bhata is a traditional and iconic dish of Odisha, known for its refreshing and cooling properties. It is a simple preparation of fermented rice and water and holds a special place in the culinary culture of Odisha. Pakhala Bhata is particularly popular during hot summer months when it helps to beat the heat and provides a sense of comfort. Here’s more information about Odisha Pakhala Bhata:

  • Preparation: Pakhala Bhata is made by fermenting cooked rice with water overnight. Leftover rice is typically used for this dish, but fresh rice can also be cooked and allowed to cool before fermentation. The rice is soaked in water and allowed to sit at room temperature, allowing natural fermentation to occur. This fermentation process gives the rice a slightly sour taste.
  • Flavor and Serving: The fermented rice, known as Pakhala, is usually served in a bowl with added water to achieve the desired consistency. It can be consumed as is or seasoned with various ingredients to enhance the flavor. Common seasonings include salt, roasted cumin seeds, green chili, ginger, curry leaves, and sometimes a dash of mustard oil. Some people also add buttermilk to the mixture for added tanginess. Pakhala Bhata is typically served chilled and is enjoyed as a main dish during lunchtime.

Pakhala Bhata is not only a refreshing and cooling dish but also provides nourishment and hydration during hot weather. It is a popular and beloved dish in Odisha, enjoyed by people of all ages. Trying Pakhala Bhata is a delightful way to experience the unique flavors and culinary traditions of the region.


Santula is a popular vegetable dish from the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is a simple and healthy preparation that showcases the flavors of the vegetables used. Santula is known for its light and delicate taste, making it a refreshing addition to any meal. Here’s more information about Odisha Santula:

  • Ingredients: The main ingredients used in Santula include a mix of vegetables such as pumpkin, brinjal (eggplant), potatoes, tomatoes, beans, and leafy greens like spinach or malabar spinach (poi saaga). It may also include ingredients like mustard oil, panch phoron (a blend of five spices), turmeric, and salt for seasoning.
  • Preparation: To make Santula, the vegetables are chopped into small pieces or thin slices. They are then sautéed in mustard oil along with panch phoron, which typically consists of fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, and fennel seeds. Turmeric and salt are added for seasoning. The vegetables are cooked until tender, while still retaining their natural flavors and textures. The dish is typically not overly spiced to preserve the freshness and simplicity of the vegetables.
  • Flavor and Serving: Odisha Santula has a mild and subtle flavor, allowing the natural taste of the vegetables to shine through. The dish is not heavily spiced or laden with strong flavors. It is usually served hot and can be enjoyed as a side dish alongside rice or roti.

Santula is a light and nutritious dish that showcases the use of fresh and local produce. It highlights the simplicity and subtlety of Odia cuisine. As a vegetable stir-fry, it provides a healthy and wholesome addition to a meal.

Overall, Santula is a popular vegetable dish from Odisha that celebrates the natural flavors of the ingredients used. It is a versatile preparation that can be customized based on the vegetables available and personal preferences, making it a delightful choice for those seeking a simple and nutritious vegetable side dish.


Dahi Vada Aloo Dum is a popular combination dish from the state of Odisha, India. It brings together two delicious components: Dahi Vada (lentil fritters soaked in yogurt) and Aloo Dum (spicy potato curry). Here’s more information about Odisha Dahi Vada Aloo Dum:

  • Dahi Vada: Dahi Vada is a savory snack made with split black gram lentils (urad dal) or moong dal. The lentils are soaked, ground into a batter, and then deep-fried to create soft and fluffy fritters. These fritters are then soaked in a spiced yogurt mixture. The yogurt is typically seasoned with spices like roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt. Dahi Vada is served chilled and garnished with toppings like tamarind chutney, green chutney, roasted cumin powder, and sev (crunchy fried noodles).
  • Aloo Dum: Aloo Dum is a flavorful potato curry prepared with boiled potatoes. The potatoes are simmered in a thick and rich gravy made from a variety of spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, red chili powder, and garam masala. The curry is cooked until the potatoes are tender and well-coated in the spiced gravy. Aloo Dum is often garnished with chopped coriander leaves and served hot.
  • Combination: The combination of Dahi Vada and Aloo Dum brings together the textures and flavors of soft fritters soaked in tangy yogurt and spicy potato curry. The coolness of the yogurt complements the heat of the curry, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
  • Serving: Dahi Vada Aloo Dum is typically served as a main course dish during festive occasions, celebrations, or special meals. It is enjoyed with steamed rice, puris (fried bread), or rotis (Indian flatbread). The dish is often accompanied by side dishes like pickles and papad.

Dahi Vada Aloo Dum is a popular and indulgent combination that showcases the rich and diverse flavors of Odia cuisine. It brings together contrasting tastes and textures, making it a delightful and satisfying dish for those who enjoy the combination of spicy and tangy flavors.


Chhena Poda is a well-known and beloved dessert from the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is a unique and delicious sweet dish made with cottage cheese (chhena), sugar, and ghee (clarified butter). Chhena Poda translates to “burnt cheese” in Odia, referring to the caramelization that occurs during the baking process. Here’s more information about Odisha Chhena Poda:

  • Preparation: To make Chhena Poda, fresh chhena (cottage cheese) is prepared by curdling milk and separating the solids. The chhena is then mixed with sugar, ghee, cardamom powder, and sometimes semolina (suji). The mixture is then shaped into a cake-like form and baked in an oven until it acquires a golden-brown color. The baking process creates a caramelized crust on the outside while retaining a moist and soft texture on the inside.
  • Flavor and Texture: Chhena Poda has a unique flavor profile that combines the sweetness of sugar, richness of ghee, and the aromatic touch of cardamom. It has a caramelized taste due to the baking process, which adds a delightful smoky and slightly burnt flavor to the dessert. The texture of Chhena Poda is grainy, soft, and moist, similar to a cheesecake but with a distinct texture from the cottage cheese.
  • Serving: Chhena Poda is typically served at room temperature or slightly warm. It is cut into slices or wedges and enjoyed as a dessert or sweet treat. It is a popular choice during festivals like Raja Parba and Durga Puja in Odisha, as well as special occasions and celebrations.

Chhena Poda is a delightful dessert that showcases the skillful use of cottage cheese and traditional baking techniques in Odisha’s culinary traditions. Its unique flavor, caramelized crust, and moist texture make it a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth or an appreciation for regional Indian desserts.


Chakuli Pitha is a traditional and popular breakfast item from the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is a type of savory pancake made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram lentils. Chakuli Pitha is enjoyed for its soft texture, mild tanginess, and versatility. Here’s more information about Odisha Chakuli Pitha:

  • Preparation: To make Chakuli Pitha, a batter is prepared by soaking a combination of rice and black gram lentils (urad dal) overnight or for several hours. The soaked ingredients are ground into a smooth paste and left to ferment overnight. The fermented batter is then mixed with water to achieve the desired consistency. The batter is seasoned with salt and sometimes spiced with ingredients like cumin seeds, ginger, and green chili.
  • Cooking: Chakuli Pitha is cooked on a hot griddle or tawa. A ladleful of the batter is poured onto the griddle and spread gently to form a circular shape. It is cooked until both sides become golden brown and the pancake is cooked through. The pancake is usually thin and has a slightly crispy exterior while remaining soft and fluffy on the inside.
  • Serving: Chakuli Pitha is often served hot and enjoyed with a variety of accompaniments. It can be served plain or paired with a range of side dishes like aloo bhaja (fried potatoes), ghugni (spiced chickpeas), chutneys, or pickles. Some people also enjoy it with curries like matar ghuguni (green peas curry) or dalma (lentil and vegetable curry).

Chakuli Pitha is a delightful and versatile dish that showcases the use of rice and lentils in Odia cuisine. Its soft and fluffy texture, combined with the mild tanginess from fermentation, makes it a beloved breakfast option in the region. Trying Chakuli Pitha provides a taste of the authentic flavors and culinary traditions of Odisha.


Gaja is a traditional sweet delicacy from the state of Odisha in eastern India. It is a deep-fried pastry that is made from a simple dough of wheat flour, sugar, and ghee (clarified butter). Gaja is popular during festivals, special occasions, and as a sweet treat. Here’s more information about Odisha Gaja:

  • Preparation: To make Gaja, a dough is prepared by combining wheat flour, sugar, ghee, and water. The ingredients are kneaded into a smooth and firm dough. The dough is then rolled out into thin sheets and cut into rectangular or diamond-shaped pieces. The pieces are then deep-fried until they turn golden brown and crisp.
  • Flavor and Texture: Gaja has a delightful combination of flavors and textures. The deep-frying process gives it a crispy and flaky exterior, while the interior remains soft and slightly chewy. The sweetness of the sugar and the richness of the ghee add a delectable taste to the pastry.
  • Serving: Gaja is typically served at room temperature. It is often enjoyed as a snack or a sweet treat during festivals like Raja Parba and Durga Puja in Odisha. Gaja can be stored for a few days in an airtight container, making it a popular choice as a homemade gift or as prasad (offering) in religious ceremonies.

Gaja is a beloved sweet dish in Odisha, appreciated for its simplicity and delicious taste. It represents the cultural heritage and culinary traditions of the region. Trying Gaja provides a delightful experience, allowing you to savor the crispy and sweet flavors of this traditional Odia sweet.

In conclusion, the authentic food of Odisha offers a delightful and diverse culinary experience. From hearty dishes like Dalma and Santula to sweet treats like Chhena Poda and Gaja, Odisha’s cuisine reflects the region’s rich cultural heritage and use of local ingredients. The flavors of Odia food are often balanced, with an emphasis on simplicity and natural tastes.

The cuisine of Odisha showcases a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, each with its own distinct flavors and preparations. The use of rice, lentils, vegetables, and local spices creates wholesome and nutritious meals. The state’s coastal location also influences the cuisine, with an abundance of delicious seafood dishes.

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