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dahi pakhal

Dahi Pakhala : Decoding The Recipe of Taste

Do you live to eat? Or you eat to live? Well, the truth is we all love to eat. In short, we have a craving for food. That’s the reason we always search for recipes.  Odisha has plenty of authentic recipes to offer. But, Dahi Pakhala (Rice mixed with water and curd) is one of them. It is simple yet delicious and affordable. For Odia people, Dahi Pakhala is an emotion. Due to its authentic taste and easy preparation, it has now got wide acclamation as a food item. 

Odisha is a state of green rice fields. It is difficult for an Odia to stay for one day without rice. So that when nature has blessed us with so much of rice, we use it to try different recipes. Dahi Pakhala is the most loved Odia food item. 

Dahi pakhala
courtesy Pragativadi

Cuisines prepared with affection is Odisha’s policy. The taste of Dahi Pakhala lies not in the ingredients but in the preparation. So, we are going to decode the recipe. Hence in this article we will unfold about the ingredients used, the steps involved for better taste. Also, we will add a pinch of salt on how to cook varieties of Dahi Pakhala. Finally, we will find out how people outside Odisha are welcoming the complete Odia dish. Lastly, we will discuss how Pakhala has its own health benefits. 

Decoding The Recipe

The preparation takes less, very less ingredients. Also, the cooking method is very easy. So, by following the below steps, you can cook Dahi Pakhala. 

Ingredients

The ingredients used are easily available. Pakhala is actually a preferred food item in the households of every Odia. Added curd (Dahi) gives a bonus to the taste. The ingredients used are as follows. 

Boiled Rice ( Par boiled or sun dried) 

In Odisha, Rice is the prominent crop. All most all people consume Rice in their meal. Normally, two kinds of rice are there. One is par boiled and the other sun dried. You can choose any one for making Dahi Pakhala. Most often par boiled rice is used. 

Dahi (Curd) 

Take slightly sour Dahi (Curd). Curd adds the main flavour to the food item. 

Other ingredients used are Red Chilli, Mustard Oil, Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaf, Salt and Water. 

Dahi pakhala 2
courtesy Wikimedia

Steps

  1. Add water to the left over boiled rice. Keep it for a minimum of two hours. The fermentation allows the rice to turn into Pakhala. 
  2. Now hit a little mustard oil on a pan. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies. Wait till well spluttered. 
  3. Now put Dahi into the rice kept mixed with water. Pour the tempered fries into it as well. Add salt accordingly. 
  4. Mix everything and stir well. 
  5. Dahi Pakhala is ready to serve.

Variations

Although the taste and texture remains same, Dahi Pakhala has got some variations. You can prepare it with different kinds of rice grains. Also, you can use fresh or kept over rice for the same. 

Usuna Dahi Pakhala

The type of rice, which is steamed after harvest, is called as Usuna. This rice is the daily food habit of Odia people. Usually, Dahi Pakhala is made of Usuna Rice. This is soft and tastes good. 

Arua Dahi Pakhala

Arua is the type of rice which is sun dried after harvest. Mainly people of Odisha prefer to eat Arua during festival days. The taste of Arua is a little different. The rice grains are little sorted and smaller than the Usuna rice. 

Basi Dahi Pakhala

If cooked earlier than 6 hours, the rice is called Basi (left over). This is the usual preference of Odia people. The sour taste of Basi Pakhala offers a unique flavour to the tounge. 

Saja Dahi Pakhala

 Fresh prepared rice is termed as Saja. Some people like to eat Saja Pakhala as well. The tempering added to any pakhala rises its taste. 

Wide Acclamation 

The days are gone, when Odia food items were unknown to outsiders. Now a days due to global outriching, everyone is becoming aware about Odia food items. 

Dahi pakhala 3
courtesy First Timer Cook

Dahi Pakhala is a popular dish from Odisha.The cuisine is having its own authentic flavour. National cooking shows are now showing the recipe of Dahi Pakhala on media. Every year, March 20 is being celebrated as World Pakhala Day. 

People outside Odisha are also following the recipe to make Dahi Pakhala. In Kerala and Bengal, they also prepare Dahi Pakhala but with slight variations. 

Health Benefits

In Odisha, the summer keeps everything and everyone hot. So, it is essential to keep our body hydrated and cool. The simple and famous recipe Dahi Pakhala relaxes the heat. It keeps your body cool. Once you eat a pot full of Pakhala, you feel the coolness. 

The fermented rice is also good for the digestion. It cools our stomach thus giving a nice metabolism. Plus the use of curd is to boost the immunity. 

Have The Taste!

Dahi Pakhala is with mixed veggies is a delicacy. Alu Chakta (Smashed potatoes mixed with green chillies, chopped onions) is a popular side dish for Pakhala. Badi Chura is another tasteful dish. Dahi Pakhala and Maccha Bhaja (Fried Fish) is a heavenly combination. 

Odia people are really food lovers. So, whatever they eat, they eat in style. Not only the taste, health is also an important factor. Due to its unique taste, texture and health benefits, Dahi Pakhala is being acclaimed widely by everyone. 

If you’re stuck with what to prepare during the lockdown times, try Dahi Pakhala for once. Surely, It will please your tounge and mind as well. 

Stay Cool and eat Dahi Pakhala. 

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