Chef Vikas Khanna's Odisha Visit Sees Pakhala Platter And More
Image Credit: @vikaskhannagroup/Instagram

vikaskhannagroup's profile picture


Chef Vikas Khanna is a worldwide star of Indian cuisine and has been the representative of our rich culture abroad. To mark the occasion of India’s 77th Independence Day, he unveiled a replica of the Konark Temple Wheel in Times Square, New York and recently he paid a visit to the real thing, visiting Odisha and the Konark Sun Temple on the invitation of the Odisha Tourism Board and CM Naveen Patnaik. 

His journey of course included taking in the sights, stopping at the Jagannath Temple in Puri, the Konark Sun Temple and visiting with CM Patnaik himself. Along the way, he was accompanied by Masterchef India competitor and Odisha native Avinash Patnaik who enthusiastically introduced Chef Khanna to the magic of his home state and presented him with homemade sugar-free Korua Laddoos (usually made with milk solids, jaggery and wheat flour), lemongrass oil infused lotus pods and a handpainted welcome card. 

The group then paid a visit to Nimatran Restaurant, a spot for traditional Odia food. Here they sat down for a grand feast centred around a stunning Pakhala Platter. The meal kicked off with Ghola Dahi (Odia buttermilk), Chatu Patrapoda (baked mushrooms baked in pumpkin leaves) and Posta Nadia Bara (poppy seed and potato cutlets). The main platter included a large dish of Chunka Dahi Pakhala in the pride of place, a fermented rice and curd dish designed to have a cooling effect. It was accompanied by Khakharu Phua Pithau (fried pumpkin flower bhaja), Badi Chura (a crumbled sundried lentil dumpling) Alu Bharta (spiced mashed potato), Pachedi (a curd mixture), Potala Alu Bhaja (stir-fried pointed gourd), Baigana Bhaja (eggplant fritters), Sajana Saga Kharada (drumstick leaves cooked with moong dal) all with Pampada (Odia papad) and a mixed salad on the side. 

Chef Khanna tucked into the feast and seemed to be relishing every bite, he also remarked on the minimalist flavours implying that though there was nothing extra added, the flavours were delicious. Odia cuisine is one that gives great respect to local ingredients and all the dishes allow their flavours to shine through, something that seemed to really win Chef Khanna’s approval.

Though his trip was a shortone , Chef Khanna’s Odia adventure seemed to be a great success and perhaps the launchpad for seeing more of the state’s exceptional cuisine on a global platform very soon.