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Indian Cuisines

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North Indian

 Punjabi Cuisine
  Makhani
  Gulab Jamun
  Rajma

 Uttarpradesi Cuisine
  Kachori
  Kheer
  Kofta
  Korma
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 Rajasthani Cuisine
  Baati
  Khaddi

 Mughlai Cuisine
 Bhojpuri Cuisine
 Bihar Cuisine
 Kashmir Cuisine
  Rogan Josh

South Indian

 Kerala Cuisine
 Tamil Cuisine
  chutney
 Andhra Cuisine
 Karnataka Cuisine
  Akki Rotti
  Dosa
  Jolada Rotti
  Ragi Mudde
  Ragi Rotti
  upma
 Hyderabadi

East Indian

 Bengali Cuisine
 Oriya Cuisine
 Rasgulla

North-East Indian

 Sikkimese Cuisine
 Assam Cuisine
 Tripuri Cuisine

Oriya cuisine

Oriya cuisine relates to the cooking of the eastern Indian state of Orissa. The cuisine is rich and varied, while relying heavily on local ingredients. The flavors are usually subtle and delicately spiced, quite unlike the fiery curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Fish and other seafood such as crab and shrimp are very popular. Chicken and mutton are also consumed. Only 6% of the population of Orissa is vegetarian, and this is reflected in its cuisine. Pancha-phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella) is widely used for tempering vegetables and dals, while garam masala (curry powder) and haladi (turmeric) are commonly used for non-vegetarian curries. Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yoghurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no Oriya repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end.

Oriya origins of Rasagolla and Kheer

Orissa has a culinary tradition spanning centuries if not millennia. The kitchen of the famous Jagannath temple in Puri is reputed to be the largest in the world, with a thousand chefs, working around 752 wood-burning clay hearths called chulas, to feed over 10,000 people each day.

Rasagolla, one of the most popular desserts in India, is in fact an Oriya invention. It had been enjoyed in Orissa for centuries before being passed on to neighboring Bengal. The well-known rice pudding, kheeri (kheer) that is relished all over India, also originated in Puri two thousand years ago.

In fact, some well-known recipes, usually credited to Bengal, are of Orissan origin. This is because during the Bengal renaissance, brahmin cooks from Orissa, especially from Puri, were routinely employed in richer Bengali households. They were famed for their culinary skills and commonly referred to as Ude Thakurs (Oriya brahmin-cooks). As a result, many Oriya delicacies got incorporated into the Bengali kitchen.

Typical Oriya meals

A typical meal in Orissa consists of a main course and dessert. Typically breads are served as the main course for breakfast and dinner, whereas rice is eaten with lentils (dals) during lunch. The main course also includes one or more curries, vegetables and pickles. Given the fondness for sweet foods, the dessert course may include generous portions of more than a single item. Oriya desserts are made from a variety of ingedients, with milk, chhenna (a form of ricotta cheese), coconut, rice, and wheat flour being the most common.

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