Mandia Pej: The Soul-Warming Beverage Of Odisha's Tribals

The wide variety of tastes, ingredients, and preparation methods seen in Indian food is a reflection of the cultural and geographical diversity of the nation. There is a wide variety of mouth-watering choices in Indian cuisine, from fragrant biryanis to fiery curries. In addition, there is a wide variety of pleasant drinks suitable for every season among Indian beverages. 

One of the many delicious and healthful Indian drinks is Mandia Peja, which originates in the Indian state of Odisha. Made with fermented rice water and finger millet (mandia), this probiotic beverage is highly esteemed in the regional cuisine. Mandia Peja is a year-round favourite among Odisha's indigenous people, however, it is most popular among coastal areas during the hot summer months.  

Mandia Pej 

The main ingredients in Mandia Pej, an Indian soup or porridge, are rice and mandia, also known as ragi. The Adivasis and other tribal people of Southern Orissa (Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, and Malkangiri) and the surrounding areas of Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh rely on it as a main source of nutrition. The cultural importance, ease of preparation, and nutritional value of this filling drink make it a beloved staple. 


To prepare Mandia Pej, you'll need the following ingredients: 

  • 1 cup cooked rice 
  • 4 tbsp Ragi (finger millet) 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 3 glasses of water 
  • 1 teaspoon ghee 

Method: Take one glass of water and add cooked rice to it. Cook the rice for about 15 minutes until it softens. In a separate bowl, soak the Ragi in half a cup of water for half an hour. Once the rice is soft, add the soaked Ragi to the pot and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes. Gradually add one more glass of water while stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Check the consistency of the porridge and adjust it according to your preference. Add salt to taste and a teaspoon of ghee for added flavour. Serve the Mandia Peja hot and enjoy its nourishing goodness. 

The traditional drink Mandia Peja, which is both delicious and nutritious, is showcased in this easy-to-follow recipe. Because of its nutrient-rich content and reputation for being gentle on the digestive tract, finger millet is an excellent addition to this dish.