Gupchup, chaat, dahi bara – ask any Odia staying outside Odisha what they miss the most about Odisha, and these items will certainly top the list. The quintessential street food of Odisha is close to the heart of every Odia. No matter how short their vacation might be to their native state, Odias never fail to queue up at the street food hotspots famous for their ware. Raghu dahi bara, Sahoo chaat, Rama Nana gupchup, Sura bhai egg chop, Basanta budha chicken roll – every non-resident Odia has a favourite food item by a special vendor to gorge on.
But street food is not the only thing Odias miss! For some, the traditional mithas and pithas made in Odisha come first on the list. Though the pithas can be prepared at home, there is simply no match for Pahala/Salepur rasagola, Nayagarh chhenapoda, Kendrapara rasabali, Nimapada jhili, etc. Nowhere else on earth can you get such an enormous variety of delectable sweets prepared from chhena. Though you do get canned sweets outside these days, the homesick Odia heart still craves the taste of the local stalls in both rural and urban Odisha.
For still others, the Puri temple is what drives them home every time. Be it the charm of the Puri beach, the sight of Lord Jagannath, the Prasad at the temple, or simply the nostalgia of the road trip to Puri -Stopping at Chandanpur for tea and samosa, or even lunch, having Mahaprasad at the temple, Kheera outside and buying dry bhog to carry back home – Puri is a must-do trip for many NROs.
So, what do you miss most about Odisha? The aroma of freshly harvested rice being cooked during Nuakhai, Kartik Purnima, Kumar Purnima & Sital Sasthi festivals, Rath Yatra, Bali Yatra, Dhanu Yatra, Jhamu Yatra, Thakurani Yatra, Raja celebration, Parab extravaganza, sahi culture, late night khatti or something else? Do let us know.