7 Traditional Sweets From Odisha That Define Culinary Excellence
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India's east coast is home to the state of Odisha, also referred to as Orissa. Its food is renowned for its flavours and wide range of meals, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The history, geography, and culture of the state have all affected its cuisine, which has a distinctive combination of herbs, spices, and ingredients.

In addition, a significant component of the state's culinary legacy is the wide variety of sweets and desserts that characterise Odia cuisine. The state boasts an extensive past of cultural and culinary customs that have shaped its culture of confections and sweets.


Rasgulla of Odisha has at last received a GI tag following years of struggle. The confection evolved in Pahala and Salepur after coming from Puri. A circular dumpling of handmade Indian cottage cheese (cheena), semolina dough, and very light sugar syrup is used to make rasgulla, a white-textured dessert.

According to legend, Goddess Laxmi was not present when Lord Jagannath, together with his siblings, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra, visited their aunt at the Chariot Festival. When they returned, the goddess became enraged and forbade them from entering the temple. On the final day of Rath yatra, known as Niladri bije and currently celebrated as Rasgulla dibasa, Shri Jagannathh presented her Rasagola in order to appease her.

Chhena Poda

Roasted cottage cheese, or chhena poda, is among the most delectable traditional desserts of Odisha. This is the most well-known dessert in Odisha, and it is also thought to be Lord Jagannath's favourite. It is served as an offering at the world-famous Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival.

It originated in the Nayagarh district in the twelfth century. It was an accidental creation when the proprietor of a confectionery chose to season and sweeten the remaining cottage cheese before storing it in the oven. He was taken aback by the outcome the following day and thought it was quite tasty. Traditionally, Chhena poda is prepared at home during Odisha's Raja, Rath Yatra, and Durga Puja celebrations. Roadside vendors also sell this confection.


Khaja is one of the best sweets from Odisha. This Odisha coastal delicacy is served as part of the "sukhila prasad" at the Jagannath shrine in Puri. According to certain legends, it travelled to Puri from Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, carrying two varieties: Gottamkhaja and Madatakhaja. According to some stories, the origins of the modern Khaja can be traced back to the Mauryan dynasty in Kalinga (now in Odisha).

The 13th-century culinary manual "Manasollasa" provides proof that even royals like receiving presents of Khaja or Khajjaka. Oil, cardamom powder, ghee, sugar, and wheat flour are used to make the crispy treat.

Odia Malpua

The renowned Indian dessert malpua has a distinct variation in Odisha. The batter for these deep-fried pancakes consists of flour, milk, and either mashed bananas or coconut. The malpuas are fried till golden brown, then either served with a drizzle of condensed milk or soaked in sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom, saffron, and rose water. It is a festival mainstay, particularly during the Raja festival, which in Odisha heralds the start of the farming season. Malpua's delicious, crunchy sweetness represents the happiness and prosperity that come with harvest time.

Chhena Gaja

Chhena gaja is a coastal Odisha delicacy that mixes the crispiness of a golden-brown exterior with the richness of chhena. It is deep-fried to perfection. After shaping the chhena into rectangular blocks and kneading it with sugar, it is deep-fried. After being fried, the confections are submerged in a sugar syrup, which coats them in sweetness. Its crispy outside and soft inside of chhena make it a popular dish during festivals and other special events. They resemble rasgullas a little bit, but because they are deep-fried, they have a somewhat distinct texture and form.


The term "Odia Pitha" describes a range of savoury and sweet cakes or snacks that are well-liked in the Indian state of Odisha. Pitha is a kind of dumpling or pancake prepared with wheat or rice flour and occasionally filled with either savoury or sweet ingredients. Odia Pitha comes in a variety of forms, each with a distinct taste and cooking technique.

Popular variations include Poda Pitha, a sweet cake prepared from fermented rice batter, jaggery, and coconut; Enduri Pitha, a steamed rice cake covered in turmeric leaves; and Kakara Pitha, a deep-fried dumpling filled with shredded coconut and jaggery. An essential component of Odisha cuisine, odia pitha is frequently made for festivals, marriages, and other special events.

Odia Kheeri

The Indian state of Odisha is home to the traditional rice pudding known as Odia Kheeri, or Chaula Kheeri. Rice is cooked in milk, then sugar, cardamom, and occasionally other flavours like saffron or rose water are added. The mixture is cooked until the pudding is thick and creamy and the rice is tender. Occasionally, almonds, raisins, or shredded coconut are used as garnishes. To give kheeri a deeper taste and texture, grated coconut is used in various regions of Odisha.