Traditional Dishes Inspired by Odisha’s Famous Jagannath Temple

Well-known for the ‘rath yatra festival’, the temple has a charm that sets it aside from other religious places in India. Be it the legends around its vault or its amazing architecture, a lot around the Jagannath Temple is still shrouded in mystery. 

Serving bhog or the food of the deity is a common practice in our country. Across regions, bhog is seen as pious and pure. They say, even a bit of bhog can heal and help.

It is said that no foreign ingredients are used in preparing the mahaprasad served at the Jagannath Temple. The bhog cookbook comes with unique guidance around recipes, ingredients, the way of cooking and the different stages of serving the bhog. Here are five picks from the mahaprasad that are quite unique and interesting.


The most significant sweet item from Odisha, khaja is made from maida and fried in heated oil before being coated with a light layering of rass. This is almost a symbol of Odisha and can be made to be stored for months.


This is technically a dal or lentil gravy with loads of veggies including brinjal, coconut, sweet potato and beans. It is slightly sweet and comes with the regular Indian spicing up.


The khichdi at Puri Jagannath is made without any tempering up with any raw garam masala. It sees mild spices minus any potato or tomato. Additionally, this khechedi is served as the main food of the Gods.


Used as an accompaniment, besar is a rich mustard paste-based gravy that has ample coconut in it. A unique item, this is also rich in its taste due to the lavish use of mustard.

Potola Rasa

Made from fresh pointed gourd or patal/parwal, the gravy dish is flavoured with coconut paste. The dish has a tender feel to it and a typical aftertaste.

Since the mahaprasad is cooked in huge earthenware, every item has a unique smokey flavour. While this can never be recreated at home tastewise, you sure can get inspired to stir up something on these lines.