It is one of the most authentic wholesome meal attached to every Odia’s soul. Rich, poor, no matter what spheres of life the person belongs, Pakhala transcends every barrier in Odisha. It not only fills the stomach, but also quench the summer thrist of a person.
It act as a nectar in the summer season, as its ‘torani’ the water, helps to beat the heat by keeping the body hydrated. There are lot of various reasons for which it is the ultimate craving for every Odia.
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To commemorate the dish and promote it in the modern era, March 20, is observed as ‘Pakhala Divas’ in Odisha every year. The initiative was started by people of Odisha to promote the dish worldwide.
There are various types of Pakhala in Odisha, Garam pakhala the common pakhala available in every Odia’s house. Mitha pakhala, which is prepared by adding sugar and jaggery, Ghia pakhala, made by adding ghee with cooked rice and the list goes on.
Pakhala also gives the feeling of nirwana, when it is consumed with Bhaja macha (fried fish) along with mashed potato during the afternoon of summer, as summer is considered to be the ideal time to have this dish.
On the eve of Pakhala Divas, the Twin city has buckled up to celebrate it with high fervor.
In Cuttack, actors along with voluntary organizations were seen eating the authentic pakhala together. Besides, Congress MLA Mohammed Moquim was seen celebrating the day eating Pakhala with kids and demanded geographical indication (GI) for the dish.
Accordingly in Bhubaneswar, people took the pleasure of having Pakhala at various five star hotels and organizations.
Ace sand artist Sudrashan Patnaik has expressed his artistic greetings to the Odia people ahead of the day by carving a sand art of Pakhala. The sand art depicts, Pakhala is served in a bowl along with many side dishes on a banana leaf. The beauty of the sand art is attracting the tourist.
Now, it’s not only Odias, who are enjoying the dish, but the foreigners are also getting crazy about this food. Whoever tries Pakhala for the first time, words falls short to compliment the dish. ‘Pakhala’ adds a vital feather to Odia tradition and culture.