The city of Puri is also known as Jagannath Dham, after the Jagannath Temple located here. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for the Hindus. It also has the world’s longest golden beach. Apart from the Jagannath temple and beach, it is also famous for its food. You can get various unique and amazing dishes in Bada Danda, Puri. The next time you plan to visit Puri, make sure you try out these foods:
Mahaprasad is not a dish itself. It is the name given to the 56 food items offered to Shri Jagannath in the Jagannath Temple (Chhappan Bhog). It is cooked inside the temple in several clay pots, stacked one over the other. It is believed that the Mahaprasad purifies the soul. So, everybody who is in Puri, must try it. It includes rice, sweet dal, saga bhaja, khatta, asafoetida-ginger rice etc.
This is Odia pancake. A batter of all-purpose flour, semolina, banana and milk is prepared. It is then deep-fried in desi ghee. After that, it is dipped in sugar syrup and flavored with cardamom. This is a perfect dish to satisfy your palate after a nice meal. It is a part of the ‘Sakala dhupa’ served to Shri Jagannath. It is also available in Narsingh Bhaina sweet shop in the Bada Danda.
It is lentil soup with lots of vegetables like raw banana, brinjal, green papaya, pumpkins, raddish, arbi and drumsticks. A tempering of panchu phutan (panch phoran) and a dash of desi ghee takes it to another level. The best place to try dalma in Puri is Hotel Dalma, VIP road.
It is one of the offerings to the Shri Jagannath and, hence, is an emotion for the Odias. Khajas are layered fritters, made of refined wheat flour with or without stuffing. These are deep-fried and then coated with sugar syrup. You can have these at the temple or in any food shop in the Bada Danda. It is easily available and can be stored for months.
5 Chittau Pitha
It is another Odia pancake, prepared using rice batter. Desi ghee is used to make it. Once cooked, it is topped with coconut shavings and sugar. A savoury version of the same can also be made and eaten with chutney. But the sweet one is the traditional one. If you are in Odisha, you must try this!
6 Khira Puli
It can be simply described as malai balls in reduced milk. Malai, which is the top cream layer of the milk is removed. It is mixed with all-purpose flour or wheat flour or a mixture of the two and made into a dough. Then sugar and cardamom powder are added to it. Small balls are made out of this dough and dipped in reduced, flavored milk. It is best eaten when hot.
7 Chhena Poda
It literally translates to burnt cheese. It is made of homemade fresh chhena, sooji and sugar. The mixture is kneaded properly and allowed to baked in Sal leaves. Chopped dry fruits like cashews, raisins and almonds can also be added. It is said that this is one of the favorite dishes of Lord Jagannath.
It is a boiled vegetable dish. Several vegetables such as eggplant, potato, papaya, okra, tomato, pumpkin etc are allowed to boil. Then, they are fried along with panch phoran, green chillies and onions. It is a simple yet tasty dish. If you are in Puri, make sure you try it out.
It is a sweet Odia delicacy prepared from popped rice, jaggery, ghee and dry coconut. The popped rice or lia or khai is cooked in caramelized jaggery with carom seeds and coconut. It is then allowed to cool and cut into several pieces. It tastes amazing when eaten at room temperature.
It is the Odia name for rabri. It is basically sweet thickened milk. Full fat milk is allowed to reduce to one-fourth of its original quantity. Then, it is flavored with saffron, cardamom powder and dry fruits. Rabidi is cooked in clay pots in Puri, hence, has a different aroma and an amazing taste.
11 Alu Potal Rasa
This is basically potato and pointed gourd curry. Both of these are cut into pretty big chunks and fried in oil until they turn reddish-brown. Then, they are cooked in a tomato-based gravy with lots of onions, green chillies and ginger-garlic paste. It is a delicious curry and goes well with both- rice and roti.
It is famous non-vegetarian dish of Puri. It is prepared using heads of fish with lots of vegetables. The fish heads are cut and deep-fried. Then, they are cooked with pumpkin, yam, green peas, potatoes, spinach and carrots. Several spices such as haldi, mirch, jeera powder, laung, elaichi, dalchini and tej patta are used. It is a unique Odia dish which everybody must try!
13 Flavored Milk
Milk flavored with saffron and cardamom is something very famous in Puri. It is sweetened using sugar or jaggery. Then, it is garnished with lots of dry fruits such as cashews, raisins, almonds and pistachios. It can be found anywhere on the streets of Bada Danda. If you get bored of roaming on a hot, sunny day, this is the refreshing drink you should try.
14 Fried Sea-Foods
If you go to the beach or the beach-side road, you will find numerous stalls selling sea-foods. Different varieties of fish, prawns and crabs are coated in a mixture of rice flour and maida. Then, they are deep-fried. These hot fritters are served with some chopped onions and lemon juice. If you are a seafood lover, you must try this!
15 Chungudi Malai
Also known as prawn malai curry, it is one of the famous dishes in Puri. Special variety of prawns called tiger prawn and king prawn are cooked in a coconut-based gravy. The prawns are first cleaned and marinated with basic spices. Then they are deep-fried. After that, they are cooked in a coconut-based gravy with numerous spices. This is a must-try dish in Puri, if you are a prawn-lover.
16 Tanka Torani
It is a refreshing drink, made from leftover cooked rice from the previous day. It is available round the year in Ananda Bazar. It is loved by every Odia, especially during the summers. It is flavored with salt, roasted cumin powder, green chillies, lemon, curry leaves ad coriander leaves. This is a delicious and refreshing drink to have. And the sleep to have after having tanka torani is just unmatched!
17 Podo Pitha
It is the most favorite food item of Lord Jagannath. It is a burnt pitha, hence, the name. The batter is made using black gram and jaggery. Grated coconut is added to it. Then, it is allowed to slow-cook overnight. It is another favorite dish of all the Odias. It is usually made during the Raja Parba.
18 Dahibara Alu Dum
Who hasn’t heard about this dish? This is famous all over the state. This is vada soaked in curd and served with a spicy potato curry. It is topped with onions, black salt and coriander leaves. Every time you visit Odisha, please do try this dish!
19 Matar Pani
This is a simple yellow peas soup. The peas are soaked overnight and pressure-cooked with lots of tamarind water, coriander leaves and salt. Then, the peas are slightly smashed to give a soupy texture. Then, it is topped with finely chopped onions and green chillies. It is a healthy dish, which is a great option for weight-watchers.
One of the Chhapan Bhog, it is a sweet delicacy, originated in the Kendrapada district. Chhena is shaped into patties and deep-fried until brown. These are then soaked in thick, sweetened milk. It is like a combination of gulab jamun and rasgulla. The taste is really amazing. Do make sure you try this!