By Lopamudra Sahoo
Every foodie out there knows that food is not complete without a dessert. It is like an icing on the cake! Odia lifestyle is very different from other Indian states and it is reflected in the dishes available here. Typically, Odisha’s food is less oily than thus easy to digest. The rich diversity of Odia kitchen can be best seen in the daily food offered to Lord Jagannath in Puri. The world’s largest kitchen, of Jagannath Temple, cooks 56 different varieties of foods which are known as “Chappan Bhoga”.
Apart from the main course delicacies, Odisha is also famous for its mouthwatering sweets. There are different types of sweet dishes which have exclusively originated in Odisha. Today, we bring before you some of the famous sweets from the Land of Jagannath.
This traditional Odia sweet is offered to goddess Lakshmi during Ratha Yatra (chariot festival). Rasagulla is made of Chhena, which is cooked in sugar syrup. The color of Rasagulla (whether white or brown) depends upon the sugar syrup used in preparation. If you want to have the best Rasagulla visit Pahala (a village between Bhubaneswar and Cuttack on National Highway 5). The Rasagulla available here is less spongy, very soft and creamier in color. The popularity of this sweet instigated the Odisha government to declare July 30 as the Rasagulla Dibasa.
It is one of the famous desserts from Odisha. Chhena Poda is made of cheese, sugar, cashew, cardamoms and raisins. All the items are mixed well and then wrapped in the leaves of the Sal tree and baked in a charcoal oven for two to three hours. After a few hours the outer crust is caramelized and turns into brown color. Chhena poda is very tasty and soft. It is believed that the origin of Chhena Poda is in Nayagarh district of Odisha during the first half of 20th century. Chhena Poda is especially is in high demand during Durga Puja.
A signature dessert of Odisha, it is prepared by combining cheese, sugar and semolina. The ingredients are mixed well and molded into rectangular shapes and then it is boiled and it may be fried in oil after boiling. The fried Gaja are coated in sugar syrup. It is served dry but the sugar crystals remain on the surface of the dry sweet. There are two type of Gaja that is boiled dry Gaja and fried sugary syrup Gaja.
This special sweet is prepared with fried cheese, cardamom powder, ghee and sugar syrup. Chhena Jhili is essentially a deep fried cottage cheese patty, soaked in sugar syrup. It is best eaten hot to feel the soft, juicy cheesiness with the backdrop of a little cardamom flavor. Nimapada, a small village in Puri district is famous for Chhena Jhili. You will find different road side shops in Nimapada while going to Puri from Bhubaneswar which are exclusively famous for Chhena Jhilli.
Rasabali is a deep fried flattened reddish brown cheese patty that is soaked in thickened and sweetened milk. The milk is usually lightly seasoned with crushed cardamoms. The cheese is flattened into palm size allowing them to absorb the milk more readily. Rasabali is so soft that it melts into the mouth within a second. Rasabali originated from Kendrapada. It is offered to Lord Balabhadra in the Balabhadra Temple of Kendrapada. Baisnabipanda Shop in Kendrapada is the best place to have delicious Rasabali.
Best Sweet Shops of Odisha
- Pahala Sweet Stalls (14 km from Biju Pattnaik airport in Bhubaneswar)
- Nimapada Sweet Stalls (40 km from Bhubaneswar)
- Bikalanadakara Shop (in Saheed Nagar, Bhubaneswar)
- Damamaharaj Shop (in Nayapali, Bhubaneswar and Link Road, Cuttack)
- Bhagan Sahoo Shop (in Kanikachawk, Cuttack)
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