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Oriya food is the local food of Orissa, India. Foods of this region are rich and varied but the cuisine is dependent on local ingredients that are grown all year round.

Historical and Cultural Influences on Oriya Cuisine

The exact historical influence on the Oriya cooking is not known but north Orissa has a predominantly sweet tinge as it’s located closest to the Jagannath temple. The southern part of the state is closer to Andhra Pradesh and has slightly spicier versions.

Ingredients Commonly Used in Oriya Cuisine

Oriya food is mild and quite unlike its neighboring states. About 6% of the population is vegetarian and a rich variety of non-vegetarian dishes are cooked all year through. Due to its proximity to the seas, fish is cooked all through the year and fish dishes are quite mild with very few spices added to it. Crab, shrimp and other fishes are cooked all through the year too. Meat, chicken and mutton dishes are common too.

Oriya Recipes Popular in Foreign Culture

Orissa and Bengal are neighboring states and quite a few culinary innovations from Orissa have crossed the border. Dishes like kheer and rasogollas were first created by the chefs of the famed Jagannath Puri temple as Prasad. These chefs were then hired by rich Bengali households and the dishes crossed over to the next state. Although Bengal is said to be the inventor of quite a few sweet dishes, rasogolla was first made in Orissa.

Traditional Oriya Recipes

Popular Oriya food items that are a part of Oriya cooking include the following

  • Buta dal which is channa dal cooked with coconut, raisins, and mild spices
  • Mittha dal where toor dal is cooked with jaggery and served sweet
  • Dalma which is mixed gravy of lentils and vegetables.
  • Alu bhaja is potato slices cooked in oil with local spices
  • Chhencheda which consists ofspiced fish head curry served with mixed vegetables

A Complete Oriya food and Diet Routine

In Oriya cuisine, breakfast is usually light and consists of chuda or flattened rice, mudhi or puffed rice that is served with jaggery, curd, banana or sugar. A typical meal starts with a main course and is followed with a dessert. Rotis start the meal and are served at breakfast, lunch and dinner followed by rice and vegetables, pickles and curd. The main course at lunch or dinner is fish or meat or chicken with a vegetable and pickles. Desserts are served after evening meal but local ingredients are preferred.