Food pattern in Orissa is simple yet mouth watering. Delicious aroma and beautiful look will bring water to any of a food lovers mouth. The way of using different kind of spices makes it different from all other region.
Rice is used in all most all dishes as a main entry . Being born and brought of in a tribal district my food palates are basically dominated by rice and forms of rice. "Pakhala" is very popular food in Orissa. it can go well with aloo chatani(mashed aloo with tadka,or aloo chokaha),sajana saga bhaja(fried drumstic leaves), badi chura,aloo bhaja(fried patato),chingudi chhecha,sukhua poda and last but not the least is ambula pani. Ambula is basically the dried mangoes what we store for rest of the year aftr its made in summer. Basically my favourite with pakhal is sijha tarkari(boiled vegetable with the garlic tadka) and sijha harad dali(boiled tuvar dal). Just put some raw sliced onion,few drops of mustard oil,some cut green chillies,cilantro(coriander leaves) in the boiled dal and the mouth watering side dish is ready for "Pakhal".
As a big lover of fish,i can eat that with anything.Due to the vast shore line and number of rivers flowing across, fish is a very important part of a meal in any oriya home. The most famous dishes among the local people and outsiders are the dishes made from crab,prawns and fishes. Mustard paste is basically used as the main gravy for making fish curry or fry.
One of the most famous vegeterian dish of Orissa is "Dalma". Its my all time favourite. Though i started cooking it since past few years,but i relish what my mother makes. Dalma goes well with arua bhata( basmati rice or any indian white rice will do), tomato or ou khata,and some bhaja. During my childhood days we used to wait for the shraddha(death anniversary) of some of our ancestors . That day used to be a feast day for all of us kiddos ,with all relatives and friends coming over,and after the rituals, together we sit down to relish the hot Arua bhata,Dalma,khata,and bhaja with ghee and lemon. We used to get that day off from studies as elders used to be busy in preparation of the feast .Those days were some of blissful days of my life. During the auspicious month of Kartik, maximum odia families cook this Dalma without turmeric. "Dalma" is known to be very nutritious for its ingredients(lentils boiled with vegetables and later on fried with ghee and spices).
Odia people are fond of sweets. Though i didnt have a sweet tooth in my past,after falling in love with a sweet loving guy,i embraced his likings also. If you are talking about odia food ,its not possible you will forget" Rasogola" or "Rasogulla". Khiri,payas,chhena payas, chhena jhili, chhena poda, kakara pitha,manda pitha are few to be named here. These dishes are also considered as festival specials.
The city of Cuttack is famous for one of every odia's favourite "dahibara aloodum". Among the street foods singada ghguni,aloochop,bara,gupchup and chat are named to be few. its a kind of fusion food. Though every region of Orissa has something to offer .