Odisha is one of the eastern states of India and is having a coastline with the Bay of Bengal. This state is also home to many rivers of India like Mahanadi and Baitarani. Odisha as a state is famous for its rich heritage and culture, tradition, tribal population, Hindu temples, and most importantly delicious cuisines. It is a lesser-known fact that people of Odisha can cook astonishing food and the state is having a particular and unique type of taste. The winner of the last season of ‘MasterChef India’ was also a person belonging to Odisha whose name is Abinash Nayak.
As Odisha is situated alongside the Bay of Bengal, fish is that available in abundance along with other seafood. Also, eastern people in India incline fish and other seafood. So here are some famous preparations of fish and seafood in Odisha –
1 Macha Besara
Macha Basara is a preparation of fish that is cooked using mustard sauce. Generally, Rohu fish is used for this delicacy. It is prepared with simple spices like cumin powder, red chili powder, and coriander powder. The secret ingredient of this dish is the use of dry mango along with dry red chili which makes this dish a bit spicy and brings sourness into it. One must try this authentic cuisine when traveling to Odisha.
2 Macha Mahura
‘Mahura’ is a curry which is made using fish. Many people eat this curry only with vegetables without the fish in it and then it works perfectly as vegetarian cuisine. It is one of the traditional delicacies of Odisha and freshwater fish like Rohu, Catla, or Trout can be used to prepare this dish. It looks simple but is very flavourful.
3 Kannada Jhola
‘Kankada’ means Crab and ‘Jhola’ means curry. So it is one of the authentic crab dishes of Odisha. It’s not that regular crab curry that is available in Goa. It is made with simple ingredients like potato, cinnamon, and cardamom but having a delightful taste. It is mainly popular in the Chilka Lake area of Odisha.
4 Dahi Macha
As the big-name suggests Dahi Macha is prepared using dahi i.e. curd. In this recipe, a sauce is prepared with different spices, mustard, and curd. Different varieties of fish can be used for this preparation as per one’s taste and liking. This delightful gravy of fish is usually served with plain rice.
5 Chengdu Jhola
The local name of Prawn is ‘Chingudi’. This prawn curry is generally spicy and requires crisp quality of prawns. Prawns are first fried in oil with ‘tejpata’ and other required spices and then mixed with a curry made of ginger-garlic paste, onion, and tomatoes.
6 Macher Jhola
Macher Jhola’s recipe is the same as Chingudi jhola but instead of prawns, different types of fish are used. This delicacy is famous in West Bengal as well. That is one of the most common yet tasty dishes of Eastern India. This preparation of fish is the staple to the people of Odisha and Bengal.
7 Smoked Sardine
Sardine is a sea fish. In Odisha, these small sea fish are smoked in oil and prepared with onion fried and served with green chilies. It is one of the most popular snacks in Odisha and is generally enjoyed with some kind of drink or beverage.
8 Milkfish Curry
Milkfish Curry is a famous dish in most of the coastal states of India like Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and of course in Odisha. The main ingredient of this authentic coastal dish is coconut milk as coconut is available in plenty in coastal areas. People having a fascination with coastal curries must try this delicacy of Odisha.
9 Macha Jhola
Chunna is also a type of small fish which is widely available in Odisha’s fish market. This fish when mixed with the curry made up of chief ingredients like onion, turmeric, and varied spices is referred to as Chunna Macha jhola. It is then sprinkled with fresh coriander leaves.
10 Chingudi Malai Tarkari
Chingudi malai tarkari is another famous prawn delicacy of Odisha. This preparation makes use of a bit larger size prawns like Tiger prawn or King prawn. The gravy of this dish is made up of fresh cream, butter, flavored spices, and coconut milk.
11 Macha Chenchada
Macha Chenchada is one of the unique dishes of Odisha. It is made using a fish head along with different vegetables and fish oil. It is served as a side dish and people relish it with plain rice. This appealing dish is also prevalent in West Bengal.
12 Kokali Sukhua Rai
One of the popular dry fish delicacies or preparation of Odisha is Kokali Sukhua Rai. People loving dry fish should try this. It is prepared using small sardine fish fried in mustard oil, a little bit of sugar, and dry chili. This recipe is a perfect blend of sweet and sour flavors.
13 Grey Mullet Fish Curry
Grey mullet fish curry is a Keralian dish and is cooked during the Onam festival. This fish curry is also very famous in Odisha and is cooked on different occasions. This delicacy is having a delicious taste of tamarind and coconut.
14 Mackreal Fish Curry
The local name of mackreal fish is seer maacha. It is cooked using lime, curry leaves, coconut milk, and garam masala. The mixtures of all these ingredients produce a rich and delicious aroma. This dish is also popular in Goa and is usually served with fresh mint leaves and a mocktail or a refreshing beverage.
15 Mola Fish Fry
Mola fish fry is one of the popular coastal snacks of Odisha. It is made up of dry fish known as ‘Mola’. This delicacy can be cooked with fried onions and potatoes and thereby served with fresh green chilies and ‘Kasundi’ (Mustard chutney/sauce).
16 Carp Fish Curry
Carp fish curry also known as Katla Macha Jhola is one of the prominent dishes of East especially Odisha and West Bengal. It is famous for its taste and nutritional value. It can be prepared using Dahi or simple curry with onions and tomatoes.
17 Desi Kannada Bhaja
Desi Kannada Bhaja simply means Crab fries and is considered to be the best snack to have on any beach of Odisha. It is prepared with crabs marinated in cumin powder, dry red chilies, and served with lemon and coriander leaves. It is something that every visitor of Odisha would love to try.
18 Sarisa Macha Jhola
Sarisa Macha Jhola or one can say Mustard fish curry is another popular dish of Odisha and is being prepared using certain fish like rohu, Katla, and ilish. As the name suggests, it is made using mustard seeds, mustard oil, and degenerated opium seeds also known as posta seeds or Khas-Khas. One cannot miss this preparation while traveling to Odisha and it is available in almost all the restaurants and dhabas.
19 Pomfret Curry Odisha Style
Pomfret is one of the best sea fishes found in Odisha. It is not unique to Odisha and is famous in many other parts of India. But Pomfret when prepared with Odisha Style Curry is something worth eating and relishing. The curry is made using mustard seeds, red chilies, and garlic with many other spices. The density of this curry depends on one’s liking.
20 Prawn Fry
Last but not least in this list is the Prawn fry. It is an interesting dish and one should not confuse it with its simple name. In this dish, the prawns are fried in mustard oil along with other vegetables like tomatoes and onions, and then while serving, again a little bit of mustard oil is spread over it making it one the best mouthwatering snacks in Odisha. The best preparation of Prawn fry is available in Chilika Dhaba near Chilika Lake.