13/07/2019 at 2:48 PM

The Lord’s vacation is over and Bahuda Yatra or the Return Journey of the three chariots to Jagannath Temple has started. He is ” manaba ra Devata” or the human God. He has habits like we do; he eats, sleeps and goes on vacation like us ordinary mortals. So after spending a week inside the Gundicha Temple, the deities commence their Bahuda Yatra on the 9th day in the Bahuda Yatra.

During the return journey, the three chariots stop for a while at the Mausima Temple, also known as Ardhashosani Temple. This temple is dedicated to the aunt of Lord Jagannath. Here three deities are offered ‘Poda Pitha’, a special sweet made of rice, coconut, lentils and jaggery.

After taking Poda Pitha, three deities commence their journey to the main temple. The chariots of Balabhadra and Subhadra move forward and are parked at Lion’s gate (Singha Dwara) of the temple where as the chariot of Jagannath again halts in front of the King’s palace.

The holy chariots of Lord Jagannath and siblings started rolling towards Srimandir around 3 hours ahead of the schedule creating a record for the first time on Bahuda Jatra. To celebrate this auspicious day, Empires hosted a “No Onion, No Garlic” Odia food Buffet.

Rich in Jagannath culture, Odia cuisine takes deep inspiration from Sri Jagannath’s Mahaprasad. Empires’ buffet presented some of the classic Odia dishes and desserts that are sought after and loved by people across the world as well.

The Odia Satvick dishes, uses generous amount ginger, hing (asafoetida), moong and coconuts. These ingredients are the reason behind the much-loved Odia food and its signature taste.

Guest was welcomed with a glass of mango lassi. For starter (soup), they had traditional dahi kanji which showed how devoted Chef Swain and Chef Mathura were to present the crowd with authentic Odia food.

Focusing on a purely vegetarian menu and Satvik food is a challenge. But since Empires was the only one hosting such a Satvik buffet, it was well accepted by the people.

The menu was elaborate and people were presented with a variety of dishes.

For starter – Nadia pachudi- sweet and sour coconut and curd based chutney topped with pomegranate seeds to add crunch.

For the main course: Kanika, Odia rice, Sada ghanta,Mooga Dali, Chhena Aloo Tarkari, Dahi Baigana, Saga Muga Nadia, Kabuli Chana Potala, Kakera, Home style Paratha

For desserts: It was Malpua, Rasagolla, and Rice kheer

When we asked people who tried the buffet about their preference, people loved Saga Muga Nadia. The showstopper was Kanika, which was quite similar to the Kanika made in Sri Jagannath Mandir.

By Satyanarayan Mohapatra, with Inputs Apurba & photographs by Tveshaj.

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