Odia cuisine is famous for its simplicity. Cooked in little or no oil with minimal spices, this fascinating cuisine is marked by subtlty and care for the ingredients. Ambila is just one of the many dishes that highlight Odisha’s nuanced palate.
In the state of Odisha on the east coast, food is a love language. The cuisine is influenced by their neighbours to the north, West Bengal, but the cuisine has a completely unique personality. Odia food is simple and unpretentious, making use of spices and seasonal ingredients to the fullest.
Ambila is one of dish that’s beloved by all and is a common comfort food for many people in Odisha. This sweet and spicy dish is a mix of seasonal vegetables, tempered spices and cooling sour curd. While the vegetables in Ambila can vary depending on season and location, it generally has a lot of hearty root vegetables in it.
The key to making a successful Ambila is to stir continuously and vigorously while adding the curd to avoid lumps and keep it from curdling in the boiling water. Some variations of the recipe also call for banana stem or bamboo shoot, both often overlooked ingredients in Indian cuisine. It’s usually served alongside rice and a simple pickle to truly let the individual flavours shine.