Pakhala To Pitha: 5 Odia Fermented Dishes That You Must Try At Least Once In Your Life
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Be it any season of the year, Odias can never go without relishing foods made from fermented ingredients. From starting the day with a large bowl of pakhala with macha bhaja during summers to ending the day with a pitha dinner during winters, some of the most popular and loved Odia dishes are made by fermenting. As an Odia, I love all fermented dishes. I can't even imagine a Sunday summer afternoon without Sukhua (dried fish) and Pakhala. Even auspicious occasions like pujas and marriages can’t go without pitha- pancakes made with fermented urad dal and rice batter. Not only food items but some of the most authentic Odia beverages are consumed after fermenting. Are you planning to visit Odisha anytime soon? If you are, here are some fermented dishes of Odisha that you cannot afford to miss. 


A quintessential culinary gem of Odia cuisine, pitha or chakuli pitha are pancakes that are made with fermented rice and urad dal batter. The ingredients are soaked for 4-8 hours, blended to form a smooth paste and fermented overnight before getting incorporated into pancakes. 


Popular amongst the tribal population of Odisha, Mahuli is a distilled beverage that is made with Mahua flowers. The drink is prepared and is consumed after fermenting for at least eight hours. 


Personally, I cannot imagine my pakhala platter without Sukhua in it. Sukhua is made by drying and curing sardines. The pungent flavour and aroma of Sukhua are enough to tug at any Odia’s heartstrings. 


A fermented un-distilled rice beverage, Handiya is widely consumed by the tribal groups of Odisha. Popularly consumed during summers due to its nutritional and cooling properties, Handiya drink is exclusively fermented in an earthen pot.


Last but not least, Pakhala is the quintessential dish of Odia cuisine. Made by fermenting cooked rice overnight, Pakhala is consumed with a variety of side dishes during summers. 

These are some of the most popular and loved fermented dishes of Odisha. We hope you get a chance to visit the state and relish each of these dishes.