Bhubaneswar, Apr 01: The School of Hotel Management (Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management) of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) Deemed to be University has started a six-day ‘Pakhala Utsav’ from April 1 to 6 to promote the Odia cuisine worldwide.
Though the world celebrates the special day on March 20, students and faculties of the institute have launched the celebration of Pakhala Utsav on the special occasion of Utkal Dibasa, the day which commemorates the occasion of statehood.
The event was launched by Smt Sasawati Das, Vice President of Siksha O Anusandhan (SOA) Deemed University.
Sahil Gadok and Murtuza Khan, two non-Odia students studying at the School of Hotel Management, who have played an important part in decorating the Institute’s premises with a typical village touch, explain, “We have created an artificial pond, a tree, a soil painted verandah covered with a thatched roof and much more.”
“Though we are not Odias, but we love to have Pakhala along with several Odia dishes and that ‘Torani’ at the end is really amazing. As it boosts immunity, we never leave a chance to grab a bowl of Pakhala”, said Sahil Gadok and Murtuza Khan.
Pakhala is cooked rice that is partially fermented in water.
Prof. (Dr.) Sitikantha Mishra, the Advisor cum Dean of the institute says, ”The special Odia cuisine will be available every day till April 6. A bowl of pakhala (watered rice) along with several accompanying Odia dishes costs Rs 200″.
” It’s not mere a dish, it’s an emotion for every Odias. Though the cuisine is getting popular worldwide still there are people who do not know the value of having Pakhala. So, the students and faculty together have started a special program to inform everyone about the nutritional value of Odia cuisine”, said Dasarathi Behera, Lab Demonstrator of Food Production of the SHM.
“Pakhala’s use brings some relief from the usually hot climate in the summer season. Research shows that in fermented rice the lactic acid bacteria break down the anti-nutritional factors in rice, resulting in an improved bioavailability of micronutrients and minerals such as iron, potassium and calcium”, he adds.