Among the various ingredients of the rich, cultural heritage of Odisha is its unique cuisine, with a tradition steeped in history. India is a multi-lingual, multi-cultural entity. It is an icon of unity in diversity; so each state defines its individuality in terms of its own histororical facts, linguistic affiliations, cultural backdrop and ofcourse, food. Odia music, art and literature have all show- cased food as an indispensable part of culture. Odia food is a colourful tapestry of spices and flavours, with an unimaginable variety – vibrant as the all- time favourite PAKHALA, soft-hearted as Salepur’s famous RASAGOLLA, irresistible as Kankada Jhola, delightful as Besara seasoned with Pancha Phutana , the list is endless.
Unlike other parts of India, the flavours of most Odia dishes are mild and tenderly spiced. Curries for every mood, a pot- pourie of fragrant spices and pastes mingling to create unforgettable delicacies. There are special food items associated with every festival, emphasizing the significance of cuisine as a part of life. Not just the food, but the inimitable manner in which it is served.
The culinary heritage of Odisha is inextricably intertwined with the largest kitchen in the world at Jagannath temple in Puri. Mahaprasad , renowned the world over for its taste and combinations, is a must on all auspicious occasions, festivals and celebrations. Infact the Prasad of almost all temples of Odisha feature the tastiest dishes. Like everything else, modernizing influences have also seeped into our food habits. But there is also an attempt at reviving some of the lost odia dishes, as most of them have inherent health benefits. To delve into the magic of the Odiakitchen, to experience the exotic.