The National Refreshment Day on Thursday was rather muted this year, given that most of the country is reeling under fresh loads of corona positive cases, and street foods across the country have been rendered out of business due to the fear of spread of infection.
Odisha, as a state, has many of its own snacks and signature dishes, which act as ‘refreshments’ for the working class.
From the street-famous bara ghuguni to the chaul bara and tentel jhola of Western Odisha, snacks and refreshments are what keeps a majority of the street vendors in business.
While Bhubaneswar has evolved as a foodie hotspot with a variety of dishes being sold, from Mexican quesadillas to ‘sizzling’ version of the American favourite – brownie, from Mumbai’s pav bhaji to Gujarat’s Dabeli, from South Indian idlis to North Indian chole bhature, Odisha itself has a variety of indigenous snacks which are slowly becoming mainstream across India.
Let us have a look at some of Odisha’s famous street foods/refreshments.
1) Rabidi Lassi: While traditional lassi is enjoyed by most people, especially in the summer months, the Rabidi Lassi has become a wild favourite over the past few years.
Traditional lassi made with curd is topped with thick rabidi, coconut, dry fruits and maraschino cherries in this delightfully refreshing and filling drink.
2) Chuda Ghasa and Dalma: A popular breakfast combo, this dish is usually had in Puri while another variation – Chuda Kadamba and Badia Dalma is credited to Chandanpur.
The dalma is basically tempered lentil and vegetable soup, while the Chuda Ghasa is a savoury accompaniment made out of chuda (beaten rice) and grated coconut.
3) Bara: Although bara ghuguni is a great snack cum breakfast dish popular throughout the state, the Dhenkanal bara has a speciality to it which is inimitable elsewhere.
With a crispy and crunchy exterior and spongy soft inside, one bite of this bara will release a blast of aromatic flavours in your mouth. It is made from black urad dal and rice.
4) Matar Paani: Basically, flavoured chickpea broth, matar paani is very famous in Puri.
Chickpeas floating in a broth of ginger, green chillies and spices, this soup is the perfect, healthy snack for a rainy day.
5) Rasabali: Said to be originated in the Baldevjew temple of Kendrapara, this sweet dish is offered to the prime deity of the temple, Baldevjew.
Rasabali is made of deep fried flattened reddish-brown patties of chhena that are soaked in thickened, sweetened milk (rabri).
6) Mudhi Mangso: This famous dish from Baripada is slowly becoming mainstream across Odisha.
Restaurants specially offering Baripada Mudhi Mangso as a delicacy are becoming more and more common in Bhubaneswar.
Mudhi (puffed rice) is relished with chicken/mutton curry on leaf plates in this age-old dish.
7) Chaul Bara and Tentel Jhola: A famous evening snack, this dish originated from Barapali in Western Odisha.
Deep fried ‘baras’ made of rice and a mouth-watering tamarind water chutney to go along, this dish is also gaining credence across Odisha as people relish it at their homes.
8) Dahibara Aludum: Last but not in any way the least, dahibara aludum of Cuttack always steals the show.
Deliciously soft lentil doughnuts soaked in dahi, topped with mouthwatering potatoes cooked in a spicy gravy, this dish is what Odisha is famous for across India (and the world).
In a way, it has become synonymous with Odisha.
It is enjoyed by people at all times of the day, be it breakfast, lunch or evening snacks.
Nowadays, coconut water and sugarcane juice have also become extremely popular across Odisha and can be found at every street corner.
Any document on refreshments of Odisha is incomplete without their mention.