Travelling to different states in India is an experience in itself ! There is so much diversity in culture and food that even a life time of travelling is not good enough to experience everything that this beautiful country has got to offer. And so here I was in the state of Odisha looking for speciality cuisine that is local to this region and having family members based out of here, it was an opportunity to explore the gems in the state. Sweets was on my mind and so it was destination – Pahala.
It’s a small place off Bhubaneswar – Cuttack highway and is a sweet lovers paradise. It is basically a stretch of sweet shops along the highway famous for Odia speciality sweets and the one we picked to try out was the Sunya Mandira Mitha Dokan
The sweets are prepared at the same place itself and that calls for freshness guaranteed. There are primarily 3 different varieties that are available
- Rasgulla – Call em Rasgulla or Rosagulla, at the end of the day these delightful ball-shaped sweet dumpling made from curd cheese in a sugar syrup is just mouth-watering!
They are sold in various sizes with smaller one’s costing you a mere 5 rupees while the bigger one Rs 10. While we bought several kg’s of it for near and dear one’s, we couldn’t resist trying a few on the spot and so gulped down a few and you wont realize gulping it down because that melt in the mouth they were !
The other two sweets that were available were the
- Chhena Poda which is a Odia word meaning Roasted cheese and it literally is Roasted Cheese ! Chhena is basically paneer or cottage cheese and that burnt flavour comes from the fact that it is baked for over a few hours in log fire that makes it lip smacking
- Chhena Gaja – Though the ingredients are almost same as that of the Chhena Poda, this variant is deep-fried and soaked in sugar syrup giving it more sweetness than the Poda and a different taste. And yes, when you go to Pahala, the Gaja attracts not just humans but also Honey Bee’s ! Be prepared to share space with numerous bees while they seek their share of sweetness for the day.
Check out the bee’s enjoying their moment of joy !
Pahala is well known to the locals and literally the entire Odisha, so ask for directions from anyone in Bhubaneswar and you will be directed appropriately. And always there is Google Maps to the rescue, here is the link to this place – https://goo.gl/maps/em1RCSNUwPy
Have a great dessert time !