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Odia Recipes

Taste of Odisha

Let's include traditional Odia foods in the menu of all family and social functions.



About the Recipe

Kanika is a traditional way of preparing sweet pulao. If you have attended any feasts or parties hosted by Odia homes, chances are that you have come across it. It also forms a part of the 'Chhapan Bhog' (56 kinds of Bhog) served to Lord Jagannath in the famous Jagannath temple of Puri.


3 cups rice Basmati (basumati chaula)
(or any local rice with a fragrance may be used)
½ cup bengal gram (buta dali)
1 cup sugar 1 cup (chini)
salt to taste
25 gms raisin (khismis)
1 tea tea spoon turmeric powder (haladi gunda)
3 tablespoon ghee (gua gheea)
Ghee 2 tbsp for garnish at the end (you may skip this)
(NOTE: Vegans can use hydrogenated oil like dalda or any smell-less white oil
3 bay leaves (teja patra)
6 black cardamom (bada aleicha)
6 white cardamom (chhota aleicha)
6 cloves (labanga)
1½ cinamon (dalchini)
Nutmeg , one whole nut, freshly ground (Jai phala) Mace ( Jayatri) 1 piece , freshly ground (fine grinding is not necessary)


Wash the rice and soak for 30 minutes, remove from water and spread for drying ( surface moisture only). Soak bengal gram for 1-2 hrs so that they swell up a bit. Heat 6 cups of water close to boiling in a separate pan and keep covered. We will add hot water to the rice later. Heat ghee in a thick bottom deep pan. (Do not overheat to smoking). Remove from heat and fry the raisins , remove as soon as they swell up. Return pan to burner and give seasoning with bay leaf. Add the bengal gram dal and stir fry for few minutes. Add the rice and shift gently few times to mix. (Do not try to stir too much. It will break the soaked rice. This is true for all Pulao and fried rice cooking.) Add the boiling water, turmeric and salt. Mix very gently, ( salt should be as much as for any other Pulao) Add all the spices under Spice-1 above. Bring to boil and cook covered. ( stir gently from time to time. Prevent foaming up by controlling heat at the beginning.) When the rice is almost cooked, add sugar, raisins and mix gently but thoroughly. ( Dont add sugar at the beginning, the rice wont cook in sugar). Add the nutmeg and mace powder , ghee and mix and cover. When water dries up, the dish is ready . Keep covered. This recipe is used generally in marriage , threading ceremony and in many festive occasions in Orissa. It is a sweet vege Pulao with a strong fragrance of nutmeg, cardamom and clove. You can eat it with vege side dishes like the famous Besara, Mahura, Chhinchada of Orissa, Dahi -Brinjal, Bengal gram dal, tomato / Mango chutney, Paneer etc and with all kinds of non vege dish from Mutton and fish.

Contributed by

Ashima Padhi

Your Feedback Please

All Feedbacks

Anima Sahoo - "Can we call it mitha khechudi? I got a taste of it at a marriage function in Bhubaneswar."

Sunita Priyadarsini - "Ya! Kanika is good. "

Devi Tripathie - "Excellent"

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