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  • Dr. Nivedita Das

Odia Cuisine

Odisha cuisine is prepared in little or no oil, which makes it very nutritional, healthy and and enhances taste as well.

The following recipes are shared by Dr.Nivedita Das, who hails from Orissa and is currently a Biotechnology Professor at Pune. She has learnt these recipes from her grandmother (Aiee), who hails from the Khordha district of Orissa.

Selected Recipes:-

  1. Mansho Ghantia

  2. Enduri Pitha

  3. Khira Gaintha (sweet dish)


Mansho Ghantia

Photo credits: Dr. Nivedita Das

Mansho Ghantia is a non-vegetarian mutton dish with dal and vegetables grown in the eastern part of India. This dish belongs to the Khordha district of Orissa, particularly to Paikhees or the warriors. It is usually served with steamed rice or Enduri Pitha.

Nutritional value: Rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Cooking Time

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 50mins

Total Time: 70mins

Serves: 2 persons


  1. Lamb/Mutton (mansa) – 1/2kg.

  2. Chana Dal(Buto dali) - 1 cup

  3. Potato(Aloo) – 2

  4. Desialoo-1 large piece

  5. Raw banana(Kancha kadali) -2

  6. Colocasia (Saru)-2

  7. Medium size onion paste (piyaza) – 2tbsp

  8. Tomato -2

  9. Ginger Garlic paste (ada rasuna paste) - 1 tbsp

  10. Red Chili powder - 1 tsp

  11. Coriander powder - 1 tsp

  12. Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

  13. Pancha phutana;1/2 tsp

  14. Bay leaf (tejapatra)-2

  15. Whole red chilies - 2

  16. Salt to taste

  17. Desi ghee- 3tbsp

  18. Ruchi garam masala

  19. Coriander leaves- Chopped

Photo credits: Dr. Nivedita Das

Note: Panch Phutana is a blend of spices that are commonly used in Eastern India; it consists of Cumin, Brown Mustard, Fenugreek, Nigella, and Fennel seeds.

Preparation Process:

  1. Wash, Clean, and cut all the vegetables into dices.

  2. Clean and boil the mutton with 1/2tsp of turmeric and salt till 75percent is cooked. Keep it aside.

  3. Boil channa dal with a little turmeric and salt till half cooked.

  4. Heat 2tbsp of ghee in a thick bottom pan/handi and fry the mutton pieces for a while (light brown in color). Keep the stock aside.

  5. To it, add all the diced vegetables and half-cooked channa dal.

  6. Add paste of 2onions,ginger-garlic paste 1tbsp,2chopped tomatoes, 1tsp Coriander powder, 1tsp red chili powder, a little salt, and the stock.

  7. Cook till vegetables, mutton, and channa dal get fully cooked.

For Tempering (Bhagara):

  1. In another pan, heat 1tbsp of ghee and add 1/2tsp of panch puthan; once it it starts crackling add whole red chilies and tejpatra (bay leaves).

  2. Put all the cooked ingredients cover with a lid and simmer it for 5-7 mins.

  3. Sprinkle with Ruchi garam masala and chopped coriander leaves.

  4. Serve hot with steamed rice or chakuli pitta/Enduri pitha.


Enduri Pitha (or) Haldi Patra Pitha

Photo credits: Dr. Nivedita Das

Enduri Pitha, or Haladi Patra Enduri, as it may be called is closely associated with the food traditions of Odisha. Enduri is usually prepared in Odia homes on the occasion of Prathamastami Puja. Otherwise, it also is used as an occasional snack in Odia homes. It can be served with mansha tarakari (Odia style mutton curry), mansho ghantia or simply with ghanta (Dal and vegetables). The uniqueness of this recipe lies in the aroma of turmeric leaves which gets blended into the pitha.

Nutritional Value: Every part of the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa), be it the rhizome, the flower, or the leaf, has medicinal properties. Its active ingredients, curcuminoids, have antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It boosts the body's immunity and staves off flu and eases cold. Curcuminoids also assist digestion and protect against ulcers; while the leaves prevent flu, the Pitha's filling keeps the body warm. For people with diabetes, the pitha can be made without the filling and can be served with a curry of choice.


  1. 1 & a half cup rice (chaula)

  2. 1 cup black gram (biri)

  3. 1 cup scrubbed coconut (nadia kora)

  4. 100 gm cottage cheese (chhena)

  5. 150 gm jaggery (guda)

  6. 3 small cardamoms (gujurati / aleicha)

  7. 6 peppercorns (golmaricha)

  8. Green turmeric leaves (haladi patra)

  9. Salt to taste (luna)


  1. Batter: Soak rice and black gram together for about 4 hours. Use only the skinless black gram for the purpose. Wash the same thoroughly and then grind into a thick batter. It need not be a very fine paste. Grind, leaving a little coarseness in the rice. Whip well. Leave the batter for fermentation for about eight hours. Add salt and mix well.

  2. Stuffing: Place a frying pan on medium flame. Put the scrubbed coconut, cottage cheese, and jaggery. Stir and fry the same till it becomes a little dry. Then add powdered cardamom and black pepper. Mix well and keep it aside.

  3. Pitha: Take one whole green turmeric leaf (If the leaf is bigger, you may trim it). Put little batter on the leaf and flatten the same. Then put the required quantity of stuffing on the batter and fold the turmeric leaf lengthwise in such a way that the stuffing gets sandwiched in between two layers of batter. Tie a thread around the folded leaf to keep it secured. Now, we are going to steam it in the traditional way. It is similar to the way we steam idli. But the round-shaped moulds found in the idli makers may not fit. Because our Pitha is long shaped, so if you are using an idli maker, please make suitable modifications.

  4. Alternative Method- (The Age-old Odia method) Take a wide-mouthed pot. Fill it up to half with water. Then tie a muslin cloth tightly around its mouth. Carefully place the tied leaf containing stuffed batter on the cloth. Cover it with a concave-shaped lid. Steam it till done and until the fork comes out clean. This way go on steaming the Pithas one after another. The delicate aroma of the turmeric leaf is a special feature of the pitha.


Khira Gaintha

Photo credits: Dr. Nivedita Das

Khira Gaintha is a traditional Odia sweet dish that consists of rice flour dumplings cooked in cardamom flavored milk. Khira Gainthas are soft rice flour balls that are cooked in sweetened flavored milk. The rice flour is cooked with water and then kneaded to form a smooth dough. This dough is made into small balls and dropped into simmering cardamom flavored milk and adorned with chopped nuts.

Nutritional Value: Carbohydrates (rice), Protein (milk), Fats (milk fat), Vitamins & Minerals. (dry fruits)

Cooking Time:

Preparation & Cooking Time: 60 mins Makes: 6 Servings


  1. 1 cup Rice flour

  2. 2 cups Water

  3. 1/2 cup Sugar

  4. 1/4 cup Cashew nuts, powdered

  5. 1 pinch Salt

  6. 1 tablespoon Cardamom powder (Elaichi)

  7. 1 liter Milk

  8. Mixed nuts, chopped pistachios, almonds, strands of saffron to garnish

Vessel Used:

Sauce Pan with Handle, Kadai (Wok) / Heavy Bottomed Pan


  1. Soak the rice in water for about 5 to 6 hours. Then wash and drain the water from rice and dry them under a fan and keep it aside. Grind the rice into a fine mixture. You can use rice powder also for this recipe.

  2. Boil water in a deep pan. Add a tsp of oil and salt to this. Now gradually add the rice flour to the water and keep stirring. Make sure there aren’t any lumps. Lower the flame, cover the pan with a lid, and cook it for five minutes.

  3. Transfer this mixture to a plate. Let it cool, knead it with your fingers so that it becomes a soft dough. Make small balls out of it. Boil some water and drop these rice balls in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Take out and keep aside. You can also steam these balls.

  4. Boil the milk on low flame until milk thickens. Add sugar, cardamom powder, and cashew nut powder. It will thicken your milk.

  5. Now one by one drop the rice balls into the boiling milk and continue stirring. Cook for 1 more minute and turn off the heat.

  6. Garnish with chopped pistachios, almonds, and strands of saffron. Serve chilled.


Special Thanks to Dr. Nivedita Das for sharing her recipes with us and also making us aware of their nutritional value.


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