Odisha Celebrates Pakhala Divas Amidst Corona Pandemic

Bhubaneswar: ‘Pakhala Divas’ is celebrated every year on March 20. This day is celebrated to enjoy the Odia dish ‘Pakhaḷa’. The item is considered good to beat the summer heat and to promote the dish.

Pakhala is the Odia term for an Indian dish consisting of cooked rice that is washed or lightly fermented in water. The water of the dish is known as ‘Torani’.  In order to make the traditional Odia dish more delicious curd,cucumber,cumin seeds, fried onions and curry leaves are added along with the fermented rice.

It is mostly served with fried potato (aloo bhaja), fried brinjal (baigana bhaja), fried badi (badi churaa), saga bhajaa, fish fry (maaccha bhaja) pumpkin flower fry (kakharu phula bhaja).

There are many classifications of this dish such as Jeera Pakhala, Dahi Pakhala, Garama Pakhala and Basi Pakhala.

It is popular in Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Assam, Chhattisgarh, and Tamil Nadu.

In Tamil Nadu it is called Pazhaiya Sadam. The Bengali name for this dish is Panta Bhat, in Chhattisgarh it’s called Bore Bhat, in Jharkhand linguistic communities use names like paani bhat, paakhaal or pakhala, and in Assam it’s called Poita Bhat.

Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik created a sand sculpture on Puri beach to mark the occasion.

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