Bhubaneswar: Every region in the world has a dish that defines the cultural identity of that area. Pakhala, is a one of those mouthwatering delights that is central of the culinary existence of every Odia. We bring you five reasons that makes it so dear to the coastal state of Odisha and its people:
Easy to prepare
It does not matter what ingredients your kitchen possesses or what your cooking skills are, a bowlful of pakhala is pretty easy to prepare. Though many variations can be made, the classic pakhala is the simplest of them all. Pour water into a bowl of cooked rice, add a few pinches of salt to it and there you go!
Pakhala can be teamed with any type of dry and semi-gravy dish and enjoyed to the fullest. Numerous vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are available that can effortlessly complement the watery taste of pakhala. From simple condiments like green chillies, salt, lemon and sliced onions to various bhartas and fish fries, etc. anything can be paired with pakhala, without worrying about what to cook as an accompaniment.
Cool cool, baby
Nothing beats the scorching summer heat than a fulfilling bowlful of pakhala. The tangy refreshing torani provides respite from not only hunger pangs, but is also a menu regular in Odia households and kitchens throughout the summer.
Snoring away to glory
The pièce de résistance of pakhala is its after effect. Fermented pakhala aka baasi pakhala has the ability to lull one to magical slumber, especially during hot afternoons. A fully-satiated tummy and a fulfilled appetite is all that one needs to snore away to glory!
The Odia bonding
Like cricket matches unite the entire India, Odia families are known to share pakhala bowls with each other during meals. Decades ago, the entire household would sit cross-legged on the floor to relish a meal as a family.
Even as the state celebrates Pakhala Dibasa today, restaurants in Odisha and beyond have also geared up to serve pakhala special dishes in the menu to mark the occasion.