Situated along the Bay of Bengal is the city of Puri, about 60 km from the state capital of Bhubaneshwar. The holy city, also known as Shri Jagannatha Dhama, is abuzz with a lively and divine vibe brought in by one of the original Char Dham spots, Shri Jagannatha Temple. While you take in the paradisiacal aura of the place, make sure you make stop at the following places to relish the palatable cuisine as well!
On your way to Puri, make a stop at Hotel Padmalaya for a healthy and scrumptious breakfast delicacy called chura kadamb, which is a preparation of flattened rice, rabri, chenna, elaichi and pepper. It is served on a banana leaf, along with dalma, that is essentially lentils cooked with assorted veggies. Ideally, you should have them individually first and then mix them up together.
There’s a multitude of aroma you will be welcomed by when your enter this place, from the multilayered dalma made of lentils, pumpkins and green chillies, to mouthwatering singharas (it’s what samosas are called here) that are filled with well-spiced iced aloo. Along with these delicious snacks, have a cup of chai, which you will find is topped with a layer of rabri.
After you get a chance for darshan at Jagannatha Temple, head over to the western gate to have rasogullas, with a story! The common belief around here is that the rasogullas were first brought by Lord Jagannatha as an offering to Goddess Laxmi when she wouldn’t let her in the castle because he had left her behind for 9 days for some work. If you catch hold of the owner of the shop, you’ll get to hear the story yourself!
Over here, you can enjoy a few pieces of khaja, a supremely sweet, layered delicacy. Well, if you’re a sweet-tooth, this is gonna be a blissful treat for you!
What better than an early-evening walk on the beach and a variety of snacks to choose from! You can enjoy a variety of sea-food such as crabs, lobsters, pomphret, jarmuri and also a treat of chicken or egg pakoda. The pomphret is prepared by coating with a batter of gunpowder masala and then deep-fried in haldi, chillies and salt, and is a must-try!
Refresh your childhood memories with the savory bundiya- little balls of chickpea flour, deep-fried and then dipped in sugar syrup, along with namkeen and crunchy sew, and gaja, which is made with milk and maida-based dough and prepared by deep-frying.
Near the holy place, you’ll find stalls selling a uniquely-spiced preparation of yellow peas soup, or as they call it, matar ka pani. This yellow pea broth is smoky in flavor, and well seasoned with spices and black pepper.
Seems like walks in this town are down the memory lanes all the way! In this lane, you’ll find some sweet and creamy malai pooris, made by spreading thick cream over a dried leaf and then cut up into pieces.
Head to Chungwah’s for some zingy Indo Chinese cuisine, since this is the only place around here which is run by an actual Chinese family. Their signature soup is thick and savory, filled with chicken, vegetables, eggs and prawns and the noodles are very soupy in texture and very flavorful.
How about a place where the former leaders of the nation have enjoyed the same delicacies as you? Visited by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi back in those day, this place serves some delicious chhenajhili, a delicacy invented here itself, which is basically fried chhena dipped in cardamom laced sugar syrup. The frying bit takes about an hour, and the chhenajhili is then kept in the sugar syrup for 15 minutes, to which it owes its soft texture.