A snack is any small amount of food which is eaten at any time of the day to satisfy occasional hunger. But drinks or beverages are not considered as a snack even though some people drink different beverages to satisfy occasional hunger. No can live without snacks in between their meals . Even though it is meant to satisfy occasional hunger all of us often eat snacks without hunger reasons just to satisfy our taste buds . Nowadays people usually take snacks as a small meal for the evening. But no matter whatever the reason every single person is familiar with the term snack and numerous delicious food associated with it.
Snacks come in variety of forms and just as the case with every other foods, every region have their own unique snacks . This article is about the snacks of a small city in the state Odisha called Sambalpur . Some of the snacks are very unique and traditional to the place while some are a result of fusion of food from various places of Odisha as well as outside Odisha.
When talking about authentic Sambalpuri snacks Chaul Bara is the first thing that comes to mind. Chaul means rice and bara means balls in Odia, so basically these are small ball shaped deep fried snacks mostly made up of rice. These are crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside, usually served along with spicy and savory tomato-chilli chutney to enhance the flavor.
A crunchy mildly sweet delicacy made from the resin of Ganjer tree (Coclospermum gossypium). The resin of Ganjer tree is separated and mixed with sugar, rice powder and water. Then the batter is deep fried, while frying a beautiful net like pattern is made by the hand which increases the crispiness of Sarsatia.
Another deep fried delicacy made up of Besan (gram flour). These beautiful golden brown coloured crispy food tastes heavenly along with evening tea. The Thethri dough is usually given various shapes before it is deep fried but long straight thethri shaped like French fries are a classic.
4. Gupchup Chaat
Gupchup chaat or Panipuri chaat or Golgappa chaat, no matter whatever you call it you cannot resist this mouth-watering food. This is panipuri made into chaat. The tangy, sweet and spicy dish is made by stuffing the puri with aloo (potato) chat, then adding curd, sev, sweet homemade chutney and imli pani (tamarind water) on the top of it to enhance the flavor.
5. Papdi Chaat
Just like gupchup chaat, this is papdi made into chaat. Papdi is a crispy deep fried cracker like dish made up of wheat and some whole dry spices. This papdi is used as a base above which aloo chat is spread along with curd, coriander, spices etc.
6. Manda Pitha
This sweet dish is especially made during festivals or important Odia pujas. It
typically has an outer layer made up of suji (granulated wheat or semolina) or rice with sweet stuffing inside made up of coconut caramelized with sugar. These may be either deep fried or steamed.
7. Kakara Pitha
This is a traditional sweet deep fried cake like dish. It has flat pancake like shape but is much smaller in size compared to a regular pancake. The dough is usually made up of atta(whole wheat) or suji( semolina) with sugar or jaggery, which is then deep fried. This tastes most delightful when eaten hot right after it is taken out of the kadhai (frying pot).
It is a crispy deep fried snack that is usually given a spiral shape. It’s batter is made up of rice flour and gram flour along with some spices. The batter is then piped into hot oil with the help of piping bag. Sometimes sesame seeds are also added which enhances the flavor.
9. Pions/ Boli
It is sweet pudding made from the cow’s colostrum milk or the first milk given by the cow after giving birth. Cow’s colostrum milk is mixed with normal cow milk and sugar , then it is steamed to get a soft jelly or pudding consistency. Sometimes cardamom is also added to it for flavor.
10. Patra Puda Pitha
This is a savory rice dish. It is basically made by urad and rice batter which is first put inside patras ( leaves) and then cooked directly in fire, which gives it a roasted flavor. Many spices are added to the rice batter for flavor. Usually Sal leaves are used to cook the rice but banana leaves can also be used for it.
11. Aloo Muri
As one could guess by the name this is muri (puffed rice) with aloo (potato). It is just like bhel puri but with addition of boiled potatoes. Sometimes the boiled potatoes are stir fried along with spices to add more flavor to it. Other than potato tamarind juice, coriander, peanuts, onions, tomato etc. are also its ingredients.
12. Chana Chaat
A spicy, tangy and savoury food dish made up of boiled chana (chickpeas). Many ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, coriander, sev and lemon are also added to the boiled chickpeas. Since chickpeas are rich in protein and fiber, this snack is also good for health.
13. Chanachur Chaat
Chanachur is pressed flat chana (chickpea). This chanachur is made savory by adding onion, lemon juice, peanuts, tomato etc. This light snack is a healthy alternative of greasy chips or fries.
14. Aloo Matar Chaat
As the name suggests the main ingredients for this are aloo (potato) and matar(peas). Both boiled potatoes and boiled peas are mixed with other ingredients such as chopped onion, tomato, lemon juice, sev, mixture etc. to make this tangy chaat. But the aloo and matar are not cooked twice as it is done in regular chaat recipes, these are simply boiled once.
15. Tal Bara
Tal Bara or palm fruit bara can only be made only during one season of the year, e.g during autumn season, this is because this food dish is made using the juice of palm fruit and ripe palm fruit is only available during autumn season. The palm fruit juice is mixed with rice batter and then it is deep fried. This once in a year food is mildly sweet and is totally recommended for people who don’t like extremely sweet food.
16. Chitau Pitha
A traditional sweet Odia pancake made up of coconut and rice. Traditionally these are made round and flat on the pan with ghee and are usually served with kheer or any curry. This authentic pitha is also offered to Lord Jagannath at the world famous Jagannath temple of Puri.
Khaja is sweet pastry like deep fried dish. Maida (wheat) dough is rolled flat and then layered multiple times above each other before being dipped into hot oil. After being fried it is dipped in sugar syrup which gives it a sweet flavor. This layering makes the sweet crispy and easy to bite. This is also offered to gods in all temples.
The piaji word is derived from the piaja which means onions in Odia. As you might have already guessed this savory deep fried food contains onions. Finely chopped onions mixed in gram flour and spices is deep fried. It is usually enjoyed with various types of chutneys or ketchup.
19. Dahi Bara Aloo Dum
This item has three key ingredients which are dahi( yoghurt), bara (vada) and aloo (potato). The vadas are soaked in spicy buttermilk which is why the name dahi bara or dahi vada. This dahi bara is then served with a savory potato curry known as aloo dum on the top of the vadas. This unique combination makes every food lover taste buds feel heavenly.
20. Enduri Pitha
This sweet pitha is like any other pitha with a twist of turmeric leaves. Rice batter is spread on top of turmeric leaf and coconut which is sweetened with caramelised sugar is put in the middle of batter. The leaf is the folded and steamed. This pitha is particularly made in pujas.