Monday, August 20, 2007

Oriya Thali

Orissa is famous for Jagannath temple and Konark temple.

Jagannath is a Sanskrit name used to describe a deity form of Krishna. The term means master (nath) of the universe (jagat). Jagannath is considered amongst Vaishnavas to be a very merciful form of Krishna. The oldest and most famous Jagannath deity is in the city of Puri, in Orissa, India (the city is known to many as Jagannath Puri) where each year the famous Rath Yatra festival takes place.

This famed Jagannath Temple in Puri, Orissa, has one of the biggest kitchens in the country. Around 500 cooks and 300 helping hands prepare 56 different offerings known as 'Mahaprasad' or 'Abhada' for Lord Jagannath, which are served to the deity six times a day.

The kitchen has 32 rooms, 752 stoves and nine earthen pots.The meals include seven different types of rice, four types of pulses, nine types of vegetables and different items of sweet dishes. Fine molasses, instead of sugar is used for preparing sweet dishes. Potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower are not used in the temple.
Every meal that is prepared has a name like Jagannath Ballabh, ladu, mathapuli, sarapuli and many others.

In one hour, food for one lakh (one hundred thousand) devotees can be prepared in the kitchen.Temple cooks say there is no limit to the quantity of offerings made.
It is not written in any book how much rice is to be cooked. Food is cooked for the devotees who come. Devotees consider the holy offerings as being as important as the prayers offered at the sanctum sanctorum.

The 12th century Jagannath temple is one of the holiest places for Hindus and is usually swarmed with devotees, who come to get a glimpse of it.
Lord Jagannath is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Preserver, one of the trinity of the Hindu pantheon. The other two are Brahma, the Creator and Shiva, the Destroyer.

Lord Jagannath's idol [Deity] is carved in wood, unlike other Hindu temples where the idols [Deities] are made of granite or a combination of metals.

Konark is best known as the site of the 13th-century Konark Sun Temple, a World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Orissa. The temple takes the form of the chariot of Surya (Arka), the sun god and is decorated with exquisite stone carvings.

The Sun Temple (also known as the Black Pagoda), red sandstone (Khandolite) and black granite by King Narasimhadeva I (AD 1236-1264) of the Ganga dynasty. The temple is one of the most well renowned temples in India and is a World Heritage Site.

Stone carvings of Konark Temple
Picture source : Wiki

The Gandhi Mandir is perhaps the one and only temple, where the father of our nation is worshiped as a deity. It is situated in a "Harijan" village known as Bhatra in Sambalpur.

Oriya Cuisine

A typical meal in Orissa consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads are served as the main course for breakfast and dinner, whereas rice is eaten with lentils (dals) during lunch. The main course also includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingredients, with milk, chhenna (a form of ricotta cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.

(Source: Wiki)

Dalchini Palau/Pulao (Cinnamon Fried Rice)


2 cups Basmati rice
4 tsp ghee (Clarified butter)
2 cinnamon Stick (1 inch length each)
4 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp ground cumin
Pinch of turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
Boiling water (twice the amount of rice)


Heat a big pan on medium and add ghee.
When ghee is sufficiently hot and gives off aroma, add cumin seed, cinnamon sticks and fry for a minute. Add turmeric powder, washed rice and salt. Stir for 2 to 3 minutes.
Carefully, add boiling water and bring whole mixture to boil. Cook until all water is evaporated and rice is done. Add sugar and mix well and bring out from heat.
Cover rice with a lid for 5 minutes and serve with your favorite gravy.

Phulcobi Do Piaji (Cauliflower Subzi)


1 cup Cauliflower
1tsp Cumin powder
1tbsp chopped Ginger
1tsp garam masala
1 finely chopped Tomato or tomato puree
4 green Chillies
1 cup chopped Onion
1 tsp Panchporan
2 tbsp Oil


Cut the cauliflower into medium size pieces. Heat oil in a pan, add the panchporon, once they splutter add onions and fry well. Also add cumin powder, green chillies and ginger.
Now put the cauliflowers into the pan and cover it with tomato pieces. Add the garam masala, turmeric and salt too. Cover the lid and lower the flame until cauliflower is cooked completely.

Channa Dal of Puri Jagannath Temple (Orissa)


1 cup Channa dal (Gram dal)
1/4 Cup Coconut (grated)
2 Cinammon sticks
4 black Cardamom
4 whole Cloves
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Coriander seeds
a dash of Turmeric
1 tsp Sugar

For Tempering

1 tsp Panchporan
2 tsp Ghee (clarified butter)


Pressure cook the dal in 2 1/2 cups of water, salt, sugar and turmeric. Blend together the coconut, cinammon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper,cumin and coriander seeds to form a thick paste. Combine the coconut mixture and the cooked dal and cook in medium-low heat until they combine well to form a thick gravy. Temper the dal with Panchporan and ghee and relish.

Jagannath Temple's Bhat Payasa

This is the worlds oldest rice pudding. Read more about it in Kurma Dasa's "The world's oldest pudding" and Bee and Jai's "A rice pudding from antiquity". The recipe is from cooking with Kurma.

2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter
3/4 cup long grained rice, washed and dried
1/2 bay leaf
2 litres milk
1/2 cup ground rock sugar, or raw sugar
1/4 cup currants
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
one pin-head quantity of pure cooking camphor (optional)
1 tablespoon toasted nuts for garnish

Heat the ghee or butter in a heavy pot over medium heat, and toast the rice for a minute.
Add the bay leaf and milk. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally,
until reduced to half it's original volume.
Add the sweetener, currants, and cardamom, and simmer the mixture until it reaches one fourth of it's original volume, and is thick and creamy.
Stir in the optional camphor, and cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until chilled.
Serve garnished with the toasted nuts.



3 cups wheat flour
2 tsp oil
1 tsp salt
oil for frying


Mix two spoons of oil and and salt with wheat flour and then add water
to make a pliable dough. Leave the dough for 1/2 an hour, covered with lid. Make small balls and roll them into flat circles with rolling pin to medium thickness.
Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. Fry the pooris until they puff up. Pooris are ready.

This Thali goes to dear Swapna's RCI Orissa.

Its raining pooris in the blog sphere, I am sending my Poori/cauliflower bhaji entry to A Mad Tea Party.


Anonymous said...

What a spread Sharmi! Loved it. Good info on Orissa and lovely pics too. Loved that payasam...I am a sweet lover! cannot help eyeing sweet dishes ;))

Raaga said...

As always Sharmi... yet another thali. When I will learn from you, I have no clue. Great going girl.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sharmi...can i stop by for a doggie bag?? what a fantastic spread.....and all that information!! lovely've really put your heart into this!! way to go babe!!

Roopa said...

wow nice writeup as ever! the thali looks perfect still to try the payash

Prajusha said...

thanks for the info on orissa
Wonderful Thali.Great job and perfect Entry

sra said...

The kitchen info's interesting. And you bhat payasa looks sublime!

Anonymous said...

My My Wat a delicious spread..... Looks wonderful!!!

Anh said...

Another great meal Sharmi! :)

Sia said...

beautiful spread as usual sharmi. i want to eat those poories with cauliflower subji...

Nupur said...

There she is again...with yet another spectacular thali! Amazing, Sharmi!

Padma said...

Lovely entry for RCI, I am yet to cook something Odissi....lovely pictures and nice info on Orissa and Jagannath temple!

Aruna said...

Oh My Sharmi, u always have a feast in there, the pooris look soo soft!!!

Nanditha Prabhu said...

you are never tired of spreading so many mouth watering dishes in a post!
wonderful post! sharmi....
wish i was there ....this is only a virtual treat :(

bee said...

i'm definitely trying the chana dal. the whole thali looks wonderfil. great spread.

Bong Mom said...

I was waiting for your post you knwo, one more delightful spread

ServesYouRight said...

OMG - who knew Oriya food could be so delightful! Lovely write up too - brought back some of my best memories of travelling to Jagannath!!

Anonymous said...

That is such a lovely and mouth watering thali, I have to post mine, the pictures are waiting.

sunita said...

Great spread indeed :)

musical said...

Sharmi, i totally love your RCI thalis! The daal and gobi sound really yummy! and pooris.....soft, fluffy, YUMMY!

Laavanya said...

Wow! You always leave me amazed with your RCI entries Sharmi. What a wonderful Thali. Each dish looks so absolutely wonderful and perfect. I particularly like the dhal.

TheCooker said...

Another loaded thali from you!
Each and every dish looks delicious.

Manasi said...

As always Sharmi.. U have amazed me! this is so GOOD!! I wonder if any edible camphor is available here.... must try!

Richa said...

lovely spread! fresh ground spices in the dal must make it very tasty :) puri and gobi sound good together!

Suma Gandlur said...

Great. Girl, where do you get all the time to prepare these thalis? Wish I lived next to your house.

Suma Gandlur said...

Great! Where do you get all the energy from to make all the thalis? Wish I lived next to your house.:)

TBC said...

Very informative post & love your Oriya thali. How do you have the time & energy to do so much?
Your pics are sooooooo beautiful. That kheer looks really great. Even though I strongly dislike all milky kheers, I am really tempted to try this one out:-)

Apple said...

That's a lovely write up Sharmi...Loved the chana dal and rice pudding recipes...

Saju said...

Great introduction, with music no less. The thali looks truly ROYAL.

Suganya said...

No RCI is complete without a Thali from Sharmi :). Lovely pics. And you complain that you don't have enough light? /:)

Swaruchy said...

Looks simple and sweet Sharmi :-)

Arts said...

Lovely spread as usual.. was expecting this frm u :)
i really wanna know the secret of how u manage to cook so many things at one time
The sweet looks oh so yummy.. thanks for the lovely recipes and info!

Anonymous said...

As usual wonderful spread and nice pics

Sreelu said...


what a feast, looks delicious and thanks for the virtual tour of Orrisa, this is on my must vist list next on my next trip.should attempt to make the chole/dal
Thanks for the recipes

Priyanka said...

A lovely mouthwatering spread as usual Sharmi and a very informative post.

SeeC said...

Oh my God !!! Lovely pictures sharmi. Thanks for sharing.
Excellent spread too. I am bookmarking it.

Prema Sundar said...

I was waiting for ur post sharmi... I have been hunting for oriya recipes and u have a wonderful thali, as usual.lovely info and very good recipes.

Chef Jeena said...

Hey Sharmi your recipes look absoloutley delicious! It was interesting to read about the Hindu temples. I might try out those poori's sometime they look so good!

Cynthia said...

Thanks for this informative post Sharmi, learning something new every time I come here.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love thalis - its such a complete meal. I am not a oriya cuisine fan but love that simple cauliflower curry recipe :-)

The muffins look great too in your last post. I normally use frozen mixed berry if I have to bake berry muffins and the egg replacer works well as I am a vegetarian though I dont mind eating the egg-baked goodies.

I will check out your baking section soon as I am trying my hands on baking these days :-)

Kajal said...

You make me crazy my dear you always present full Thali in RCI event....Great work and nothing to say your passions.......Also you give nice information about temple of Orissa….And also for 500 cooks and 300 helping hand in Kitchen my God......I like most is world oldest pudding my dear....All work is very nice.:)))

Namratha said...

This looks so mouth watering Sharmi, that I can't wait to try it, I have never had or tried to make Oriyan food, this would be a good start:)

amna said...

wow! i feel like i just ate at an oriyan house :) amazing spread.. and cool pics too..

thanks for stopping by,sharmi :)

Viji said...

I was waiting for your thali presentation Sharmi. As usual you did not disappoint us. Lovely. Viji

Susan said...

I'm trying to get my mind around the idea of a kitchen that can feed one thousand in an hour. Whew! I used to think the kitchen at my local church was big, but...Thanks, Sharmi, for expanding my horizons. Lord knows your tasty recipes will expand my waistline!

FH said...

Beautiful post with pics of Temple.Loved it.Thali looks yum but will check the recipes later.Got to drive back home:))

Kamini said...

The thali looks yummy. Great spread there...

Pragyan said...

Hi Sharmi, Great pics of the temples. I was not aware of the Gandhi temple...thanks for the info. Will try to visit it next time I go home. Nice thali..

Mishmash ! said...

U have done it again , girl ! U have set your own standards for this event :)


Tee said...

You are a Pro! your oriya thali looks so perfect and delicious!

Suganya said...

Hi Sharmi....
This feast is amzing... Mouthwatering recipes... Wonderful!

RML said...

Hi Sharmi,

Good to know about orissa and the cuisine.The pics are awesome.Grt work.The puris look so soft and yummy.
Perfect entry

Mansi said...

Oh wow!! I've been to Konark temple and its a great piece of art!!
Sorry Sharmi, for the first time I'll have to say that I liked reading about these better than your food on this post:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharmi, your photos are just lovely here -- the food and the sights all delightful! And your thalis continue to blow me away -- you're a real inspiration :)

Coffee said...

There comes the thali girl again!! I read the whole post twice and loved everybit of it. :) You certainly rock my girl. :D

Pelicano said...

That's quite a post; I've definitely learned a few things- thanks for sharing. I'd love to see The Sun Temple, and I will be trying some of these dishes soon- especially the channa dhal, it sounds divine.

Your puris? So pale and light! A strong wind could blow them off the table I think... :-D

Shivapriya said...

Bhakti& Bhukti :). Awesome thali Sharmi.

Mandira said...

what a wonderful, mouth watering spread Sharmi! the pooris look ready to eat, can I stop by for some;)

Seema Bhat said...

As always beautiful pictures, lovely entry and informative information. I would love to grab that thali and finish all of it. Nice entry as always buddy.

Srivalli said...

wonderful looking thali have real talent in preparing all the regional thalis..


Sig said...

:) Hail the RCI queen... As usual, the spread looks delicious Sharmi... I am serious, you should collect all your RCI posts and publish a book after all the states are covered!!!

Anonymous said...

Love your site !All the lovely food pictures are making my mouth water!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Wow! great sharmi! Good food. My oriya friend is not keeping well so I am not able to participate. But I am satisfied seeing all your dishes.
Thanks a ton for those lovely pictures of Konarak and Lord Jagannath.

Jyothi said...

Hi Sharmi! sorry for delay....lovely oriya thali spread. As usual its excellent. I am trying to participate in this oriya event. Great pics of temples or great information too. Thanks for sharing dear. said...

I love that cauliflower recipe. Panchporan...need to get that going.

As usual a fantabulous spread! I expect no less from you now!


swapna susarla said...

WOW that is cool sharmi!!!u really rocked in here.Wonderful spread!!!

Anonymous said...

gud goin sharmi ....RCIs are fun at Neivedyam ....not 1 or two u present a whole regional meal ....hats off 2 ya ...i love it

Anonymous said...

hi.. im new to your post and enjoy it.. just a small question- what have you added in the channa dal recipe? is it green peas or kabuli channa?

Rachna said...

my god, i was blown away by this post....loved reading all the things about the oriya culture and cuisine... thali looks absolutely amazing... i loved the dalchini chawal... hmm can imagine the aroma...thank u sharmi

Tee said...

Hey Sharmi,
You have received an award...check out my blog.

Pravs said...

Food looks so delicious.I have something waiting for you in my blog...check it out.

Sharmi said...

Sig, ya I have to think on it. I will take is as best compliment. thanks you so much. hugs.

Sharmi said...

Chitra, Chana dal is split bengal gram dal. read about it here.

Sharmi said...

Dear friends, thanks so much for your comments and compliments. It is your attention that gives me great enthusiasm and energy.

WokandSpoon said...

Another fantastic spread! And I loved your writeup about Orissa as well! I always learn something when i stop by here!

Chris said...

Wow - this is a fantastic spread. I love the pictures - stunning and mouthwatering all at the same time. And, I am with Cynthia - I always learn new things when I stop by!

amna said...

thank u so much for the sweet comment sharmi :)

Anonymous said...

thanks for the reply... it's very patient and kind of you..


Bharathy said...

Sorry for my late comments!!
..There she is...with the THALI AGAIN!!!I am Flat on the floor!!:)

Arun Shanbhag said...

What a beautiful spread! I have this sudden urge to book a ticket home to india - just so I can try a thali!

And your writeup on Orissa is spectacular!
Keep up the great work.

O, Loved the Krishna graphic on your "About" page. :-))