Odisha is one of the eastern states of India and is having a coastline with Bay of Bengal. This state is also a home for many rivers of India like Mahanadi and Baitarani. Odisha as a state is famous for its rich heritage and culture, tradition, tribal population, Hindu temples and most importantly delicious cuisines. It is a lesser known fact that people of Odisha can cook really astonishing food and the state is having a particular and unique type of taste. In fact the winner of last season of ‘Masterchef India’ was also a person belonging to Odisha whose name is Abinas Nayak.
As Odisha is situated alongside Bay of Bengal, fish is something which is available in abundance along with other seafood. Also eastern people in India have an inclination towards fish and other seafood. So here are some famous preparations of fish and seafood in Odisha –
1 Macha Besara
Macha besara is basically a preparation of fish which is cooked using mustard sauce. Generally Rohu fish is used for this delicacy. It is prepared with simple spices like cumin powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. The secret ingredient of this dish is the use of dry mango along with dry red chili which makes this dish a bit spicy and brings sourness into it. One must try this authentic cuisine when travelling to Odisha.
2 Macha Mahura
‘Mahura’ is basically a curry which is made using fish. Many people eat this curry only with vegetables without the fish in it and then it works perfectly as a vegetarian cuisine. It is one of the traditional delicacies of Odisha and freshwater fish like Rohu, Catla or Trout can be used to prepare this dish. It looks simple but is very flavourful.
3 Kankada Jhola
‘Kankada’ means Crab and ‘Jhola’ means curry. So it is one of the authentic crab dishes of Odisha. It’s not that regular crab curry which is available in Goa. It is made with simple ingredients like potato, cinnamon and cardamom but having a delightful taste. It is mainly popular in Chilka Lake area of Odisha.
4 Dahi Macha
As the name suggests Dahi Macha is prepared using dahi i.e. curd. In this recipe, a sauce is prepared with different spices, mustard and curd. Different varieties of fish can be used for this preparation as per one’s taste and liking. This delightful gravy of fish is usually served with plain rice.
5 Chingudi Jhola
The local name of Prawn is ‘Chingudi’. This prawn curry is generally spicy and requires crisp quality of prawns. Prawns are first fried in oil with ‘tejpata’ and other required spices and then mixed with a curry made of ginger-garlic paste, onion and tomatoes.
6 Macher Jhola
Macher Jhola recipe is same as Chingudi jhola but instead of prawns different types of fish are used. This delicacy is famous in West Bengal as well. That basically is one of the most common yet tasty dishes of Eastern India. This preparation of fish is staple to people of Odisha and Bengal.
7 Smoked Sardine
Sardine is basically a sea fish. In Odisha, these small sea fish are smoked in oil and prepared with onion fries and served with green chilies. It is one of the most popular snacks in Odisha and is generally enjoyed with some kind of drinks or beverages.
8 Milkfish Curry
Milkfish Curry is a famous dish in most of the coastal states of India like Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and of course in Odisha. The main ingredient of this authentic coastal dish is coconut milk as coconut is available in plenty is coastal areas. People having fascination towards coastal curries must try this delicacy of Odisha.
9 Chunna Macha Jhola
Chunna is also a type of small fish which is widely available in Odisha’s fish market. This fish when mixed with the curry made up of chief ingredients like onion, turmeric and varied spices is referred as Chunna macha jhola. It is then sprinkled with fresh coriander leaves.
10 Chingudi Malai Tarkari
Chingudi malai tarkari is another famous prawn delicacy of Odisha. This preparation makes use of a bit larger size prawns like Tiger prawn or King prawn. The gravy of this dish is made up of fresh cream, butter, flavoured spices and coconut milk.
11 Macha Chenchada
Macha Chenchada is one of the unique dishes of Odisha. It is basically made using fish head along with different vegetables and fish oil. It is served as a side dish and people relish it with plain rice. This appealing dish is also prevalent in West Bengal.
12 Kokali Sukhua Rai
One of the popular dry fish delicacy or preparation of Odisha is Kokali Sukhua Rai. People loving dry fish should definitely try this. It is prepared using small sardine fish fried in mustard oil, little bit of sugar and dry chili. This recipe is a perfect blend of sweet and sour flavour.
13 Grey Mullet Fish Curry
Grey mullet fish curry is basically a Keralian dish and is cooked during Onam festival. This fish curry is also very famous in Odisha and is cooked on different occasions. This delicacy is having delicious taste of tamarind and coconut.
14 Mackreal Fish Curry
The local name of mackreal fish is seer maacha. It is cooked using lime, curry leaves, coconut milk and garam masala. The mixtures of all these ingredients produce a rich and delicious aroma. This dish is also popular in Goa and usually served with fresh mint leaves and a mock tail or a refreshing beverage.
15 Mola Fish Fry
Mola fish fry is one of the popular coastal snacks of Odisha. It is made up of dry fish known as ‘Mola’. This delicacy can be cooked with fried onions and potatoes and thereby served with fresh green chilies and ‘Kasundi’ (Mustard chutney/sauce).
16 Carp Fish Curry
Carp fish curry also known as Katla Macha Jhola is one of the prominent dishes of East especially Odisha and West Bengal. It is famous for its taste and nutritional value. It can be prepared using dahi or simple curry with onions and tomatoes.
17 Desi Kankada Bhaja
Desi Kankada Bhaja simply means Crab fries and is considered to be the best snacks to have in any beach of Odisha. It is prepared with crabs marinated in cumin powder, dry red chilies and served with lemon and coriander leaves. It is something that every visitor of Odisha would love to try.
18 Sorisa Macha Jhola
Sorisa Macha Jhola or one can say Mustard fish curry is another popular dish of Odisha and is being prepared using certain fish like rohu, katla and ilish. As the name suggests, it is made using mustard seeds, mustard oil and degenerated opium seeds also known as posta seeds or khas-khas. One cannot miss this preparation while travelling to Odisha and it is available in almost all the restaurants and dhabas.
19 Pomfret Curry Odisha Style
Pomfret is one of the best sea fishes found in Odisha. It is not unique to Odisha and is famous in many other parts of India. But Pomfret when prepared with Odisha Style Curry is something worth eating and relishing. The curry is made using mustard seeds, red chilies, and garlic with many other spices. The density of this curry depends on one’s liking.
20 Prawn Fry
The last but not the least in this list is the Prawn fry. It is an interesting dish and one should not confuse it with its simple name. In this dish, the prawns are fried in mustard oil along with other vegetables like tomatoes and onions and then while serving, again a little bit of mustard oil is spread over it making it one the best mouthwatering snacks in Odisha. The best preparation of Prawn fry is available in Chilika Dhaba near the Chilika Lake.