Tanka Torani,Summer Drink From Odisha And Its Rath Yatra Connect
Image Credit: Tarani Trotter @TaraniTrotter

Puri Jagannath’s Rath Yatra, holds immense religious and cultural significance. It is believed that participating in the chariot procession and having darshan of the deities during Rath Yatra can grant blessings, spiritual purification, and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Believed to be an extremely auspicious occasion for devotees as it provides an opportunity to have darshan (a glimpse) of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra, and Devi Subhadra as they are carried in their chariots. The chariots used in Rath Yatra are constructed new every year and are meticulously prepared by skilled artisans. The main chariot of Lord Jagannath, called Nandighosa, is usually the largest and most ornate, standing several stories high and adorned with colourful decorations.

Amongst all this prep that goes on for months, special care is also taken as to what is offered to Nilamadhab and also what his devotees eat. One such drink that sees a mention is Tanka Torani, an ancient drink that was created to heal the body and pleasuring the taste palate. Though the history of this drink reaching the temple corridor still remains undocumented, Tanka Turani – best seen a perfect jugalbandhi of the sourness of a nimbu pani, sharpness of curry leaves topped with some freshly roasted cumin, and along with that hint of chilli. A drink that sees medley of flavours with mixture of curd, water rice, lemon leaves, and green chilly, this drink, there is barely any written document that can be traced to the time when this drink was first made and who made it. Made of plain rice (Arnna) this drink sees the process of fermentation where fermented rice water is used.

Food historians believe that dish could be easily date back to some centuries old, But talking of the origin of this dish, there are two interesting stories one which states that the mother made this drink for her kids as they wanted to drink the haandia (local alcohol) while the other states that this drink was created for a wedding alliance to raise a toast between an Andhra Pradesh princess and a crowned prince. Whatever the story, tanka torani, the simple drink reached the temple doors of Lord Jaggantah around 10thAD. But as the folklore goes, it’s still in question whether that was a part of Mahaprasad or otherwise? One school says yes, it is Mahaprasad as Arnna, the plain rice which is a part of 56 bhog (Lord Jaganath’s Mahaprasad) is first fermented in plenty of water and then mashed along with some curd while the other says it could be a way to make the Mahaprasad reach maximum people and the fact that it is made of the rice which is offered to Lord Jagannath and simultaneously created by the suras before the Mahaprasad heads to Anand Baazar. This drink that is makes for a an absolute summer delight is usually seen served outside the temple in earthen pots and this sees a long queue of devotees standing in order to get a sip of this holy drink



    1/2 cup Cooked raw rice 

    2 cups Buttermilk 

    Rock salt to taste

    ½ tsp roasted cumin powder

    Grated or finely chopped mango ginger/ ginger

    Lemon leaves

    Chopped coriander


    Take some cooked raw rice and mash it well and leave it overnight

    Next, add coriander leaves, Gondhoraj lemon leaves, green chillies, roasted cumin powder, and rock salt to the overnight fermented rice. 

    Blend this in a mixer to make a puree.

    Now put the puree in a bowl and buttermilk, Gondhoraj lemon juice, slices and leaves, and slit green chilli and mix well.

    Then add some tampering of mustard seeds and curry leaves to it

    Mix this well the puree and it’s ready to drink