When we hear the word- Pakhala bhata, a whole new level of emotions emerge within us. Hot summer afternoon and a bowl of pakhala bhata is living with the ideal summer culinary dream.
The dish is usually a mix of water and the left over rice. But during the summer season it is done with certain rituals. Mainly devoured the same day or the next day while been fermentation of overnight. The best part of this dish – everyone, every household and every district & every region of Odisha has their own unique recipe. No two recipe of “Pakhala Bhata” is same but with its generic name it gastronomic delight cannot be said but experienced.
A pakhala festival is organized at School Of Hotel Management, marking the onset of hot summers. Serving a variety of tradition flavoured pakhala such as usuna pakhala, arua pakhala, chunka pakhala, dahi pakhala, ada pakhala, amba pakhala, lembu pakhala. Also they had some interesting ones too like fruit flavored pakhala, mixed pakhala, pudina pakhala and a herbal pakhala. So many delicious options and the pain of choosing the most desired one is evident!
No pakhala is complete with accompaniments. The traditional badi chura and aloo chakata definitely made into the list. The other accompaniments were saga badi, chingudi chhecha, chhuin aloo bhaja and mixed bhaja. There was also a unique accompaniment- the patrapoda maccha or chhatu patra poda (for vegetarians).
We tried the amba pakhala along with maccha patra poda, mixed bhaja, saaga badi, badi chura, chhuin aloo bhaja, mix bhaja, kakudi and chingudi chhecha. What a meal it was! With balance of flavours and the perfect pakhala, you will feel this as a home cooked meal!
Inputs & Photographs by Apurba