Khanti Odia’s soul food is Pakhala . Everyday is a celebration of food if u r having this heavenly food.The assortments with this special dish is endless. Pakhala is the soaking of the cooked rice in water. However it has several variants. Now world wide people are celebrating Pakhala Dibasa . Do you Know who has started this Pakhala Dibasa and why it’s on March 20
The basic principle is to slightly ferment the cooked rice in order to derive its added nutritional benefits Today as we are celebrating Pakhala dibasa or a day dedicated to our beloved pakhala , Here I m sharing different versions of Pakhala that I as a kid has grown up feasting on.
1. Basi pakhala – This variety of pakhala as the name suggest is not fresh but extra fermented,by soaking it in water for more than one day.For extra flavour,mint,sliced lemon,crushed ginger n green chilli is added to it.
2. Piaja chhanka pakhala – In this type,onion n garlic fried in mustard oil is added to the pakhala along with some dry chillies, giving it an earthy flavour.
3. Sorisa tela kancha lanka pakhala – We Odias love our mustard oil & so in this variety, few drops of raw mustard oil is added to the pakhala while serving along with fresh minced green chillies for that pungent flavour.
4. Dahi pakhala – This pakhala is a saviour during summer’s as the curd added to pakhala not only tastes good but along with the tempering of mustard seeds n curry leaf keeps the body cool n hydrated also.
5. Baghara pakhala – This variety is much like the dahi pakhala,omiting the curd.It has a distinct flavour of the phutana or the five spices n curry leaf.Its also healthy & suits every palate.
6. Saja pakhala – Saja means fresh n no fermentation is done,just pour enough water to freshly cooked warm rice n enjoy with sliced onions and cucumber.When you are down with cold & prohibited from basi or dahi pakhala,this saja pakhala comes to your rescue.
7. Bara pakhala – This pakhala is typical to people of Cuttack.Bara is broken into pieces n adden to normal pakhala & is relished .The bara soaks in the torani n the torani absorbs the flavours from the bara.Its something unique in its own way.
8. Lembu kala luna pakhala – This is a tangy version of pakhala in which lemon or lime juice is added to the pakhala along with black salt raising the taste bar of the pakhala along with the aroma to a high.You smell it then you eat it.The torani of this pakhala is to die for.
9. Peja pakhala – After the rice is cooked we strain it,the thick creamy liquid that we drain out is called the peja. Sometimes this peja is added to the pakhala,making the torani thick n translucent. The aroma of the rice is intact in this pakhala n we feel quite full after eating the pakhala n drinking all of that thick torani.
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