Traveller's Pantry: Top Foods To Buy From Odisha

When a person travels, they collect memories. But when a food enthusiast travels, they collect local ingredients that can help revive and relive the stories of their journeys through food. Traveller's Pantry is a series by Slurrp through which tourists travelling across the states of India will find indigenous gems that they can stock up on, take back home and learn more about India’s regional cuisines. This series will walk you through some of the best ingredients that India’s states have to offer, especially through the experienced hands of local chefs, experts and vendors, taking you on a true culinary safari of the nation.

Hundreds of devotees are currently travelling to Puri, Odisha, to witness Rath Yatra, one of the oldest and largest chariot festivals among Hindus. Such is the magnanimity of Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and another name of Lord Krishna, that every year, pilgrims walk with three massive wooden chariots that reach Gundicha Temple, where the deity resides for a week before returning to his humble abode in Jagannath Temple. When the Lord returns, the journey is referred to as the Bahuda Yatra.

To mark the auspicious occasion, Maha Prasad, comprising 56 dishes, is made every year. It is also referred to as chappan bhoga. Devotees believe that in these seven days, Lord Jagannath missed his eight meals while saving a village by holding the Govardhan Hill (located in Mathura) on his little finger. These 56 recipes include rice-based dishes, sweets, milk-based delicacies, different kinds of pitha, and vegetarian curries. After the Maha Prasad is offered to Lord Jagannath, it is served to devotees as well.

If you are travelling to Puri to participate in the Rath Yatra, you should also extend the holiday to explore other parts of Odisha. Known for its tribal culture and local cuisine, it is no less than a paradise for travel enthusiasts and gastronomes. Apart from Puri, you can discover temples and scenic spots in Bhubaneswar, Konark, Cuttack, and Rourkela. 

While you click pictures and indulge in local cuisine, don’t forget to bring home the taste of Odisha with you so can live in nostalgia for months after the visit. Slurrp connected with Chef Madhusmita Soren, a MasterChef India participant in season 8 and an expert in the Tribal cuisine of Odisha; Chef Saipriya, food researcher and blogger from Bhubaneswar; Pratap Naik, owner of Laxmi Grocery; Jagannath Sahu, owner of Original Nrusingha Sweets; Pratik Kumar Sahu, owner of Baiya Kora Khai; Raj Kishor Naik, owner of Atma Ganguram Sweets; and Soumya Ranjan Pradhan, owner of Mo Pitha. The experts shared what foods you can buy in Odisha and bring home as souvenirs.

Image Credit: Chef Saipriya


Chef Saipriya said one must purchase sundried badi which is a popular condiment. You can also take home fried badi. They have a long shelf life and can be purchased from any grocery shop in Odisha. You can keep them in your pantry for 3-4 months, and they are the special ingredients added to dalma and other Odian delicacies.

Shop Name: Laxmi Grocery

Address: Patrapur, Pattamundai, Kanarpur, Odisha 754215

Number: 9937892266

Price: Rs 300 per kg

Image Credit: Freepik

Panch Phutana

Panch Phutana or panch phoron is a spice mixture popular in Odisha as well as West Bengal. Pratap Naik explained that it consists of fennel seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, and wild celery seeds or radhuni. Adding a depth of flavours to all kinds of delicacies, this is a must-purchase from Odisha, especially if you plan to cook local dishes after returning home.

Shop Name: Laxmi Grocery

Address: Patrapur, Pattamundai, Kanarpur, Odisha 754215

Number: 9937892266

Price: Rs 300 per kg

Image Credit: Chef Sai Priya


Khaja is a fried snack, quite popular in Puri. Chefs Madhusmita Soren and Saipriya mentioned that it is a must-buy delicacy from Odisha. Jagannath Sahu explained that the sweet is made from all-purpose flour and sugar. The layered dough is deep-fried in oil. It can also be layered with dried fruits that add to its rich texture and taste. There are five types of khaja available at the shop.

Shop Name: Original Nrusingha Sweets

Address: Padmini Lodge, Jagannath Temple Rd, Near Batalokanath Temple, Bali Sahi, Puri, Odisha 752001

Number: 9861112626

Price: Rs 180-240 per kg for oil-fried khaja, Rs 440-500 per kg for ghee-fried khajaImage Credit: Freepik

Chhena Gaja Or Rasgulla

Chef Madhusmita Soren and Jagannath Sahu suggest buying chhena gaja when visiting Odisha. This milk-based sweet is a state’s popular sweet prepared using chhena and sooji. It is available in shops in rectangular shapes dipped in sugar syrup. You can also buy rasgulla, a white-soft sponge dipped in sugar syrup. Some tales suggest that the dish originated in Puri, Odisha, and was called khira mohana. Later, it came to be known as Pahal rasgulla. It is even offered to Goddess Lakshmi as a prasad at Jagannatha Temple, Puri. 

Shop Name: Original Nrusingha Sweets

Address: Padmini lodge, Jagannath Temple Rd, Near Batalokanath Temple, Bali Sahi, Puri, Odisha 752001

Number: 9861112626

Price: Rs 300-400 per kg for chhena gaja and Rs 10 per piece for rasgulla

Image Credit: Wikipedia, Facebook

Kora Khai

Chef Saipriya explained that kora khai is a dish prepared using khai, spices, and jaggery. Pratik Sahu explained that after combining ghee, cardamom, jaggery, cloves, and puffed rice, this dish tastes delicious. It is also offered to Lord Lingaraja. You can buy this dish as a souvenir for your friends and loved ones or store it as a keepsake from your trip. 

Shop Name: Baiya Kora Khai

Address: 1935, Badadanda Sahi Rd, Khurda Town, Old Town, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751002

Number: 9778036044

Price: Rs 250 per kg

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Chhena Poda

Chef Madhusmita Soren and Raj Kishor Naik mentioned that chhena poda is a desi cheesecake variant found in sweet shops of Odisha. Made with chhena and sugar, the mixture is later burnt or baked to get the desired colour and texture. Raj Kishor Naik said that it is also offered as a part of Maha Prasad to Lord Jagannath.

Shop Name: Atma Ganguram Sweets

Address: N1/40, N1, Block N1, IRC Village, Nayapalli, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751015

Number: 9937067485

Price: Rs 340 per kg

Image Credit: Mo Pitha


Soumya Ranjan Pradhan of Mo Pitha said that when in Odisha, one must try various varieties of pitha. However, when it comes to stocking your pantry, he suggested purchasing arisa pitha because it has a shelf life of 5-7 days. It is made of rice and jaggery. It looks like a thick pancake only dark brown in shade.

Shop Name: Mo Pitha

Address: Plot no-B55, Saheed Nagar, Bhubaneswar, Odisha 751007

Number: 7008978525

Price: Rs 12 per piece