Rath Yatra is one of the most popular festivals of India. The festival of chariots full of joy and vibrancy is a significant Hindu festival celebrated widely across India. Apart from all its cultural richness, Rath Yatra also holds a rich culinary heritage. Lord Jagannath is served with a meal of Chhappan Bhog in Jagannath Temple, this is your guide to the authentic and traditional Rath Yatra foods.
Table of Contents
What is Rath Yatra?
It is dedicated to Lord Jagannath, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and commemorates his annual visit to his birthplace, the Gundicha Temple. The festival involves the procession of three enormous chariots, which carry the idols of Lord Jagannath, his sister Subhadra, and his brother Balabhadra.
The chariots are constructed anew every year and are decorated elaborately with colourful fabrics, flowers, and other ornamental materials. Devotees pull the chariots with ropes, a tradition considered highly auspicious, as it symbolizes the devotees’ participation in the divine journey.
Traditional Rath Yatra Foods
1. Poda Pitha
A traditional cake-like dish, Poda Pitha is made with fermented rice batter, jaggery, grated coconut, and spices. This Odia dish is prepared during Rath Yatra captivates with its unique flavours and soft, caramelized texture.
Rasabali is a divine dessert made with deep-fried cheese patties soaked in sweetened thickened milk, filled with cardamom. Rasabali is offered to Baladevjew, and originated in the Baladevjew Temple of Kendrapara. During Rath Yatra, this indulgent treat is savoured with joy, leaving a lingering sweetness on the taste buds.
3. Chenna Poda
The beloved Odia dessert features caramelized cottage cheese (chhena) blended with sugar, ghee, and cardamom. Moreover, Its smoky flavours and velvety texture make it a must-try Rath Yatra Food, satisfying the sweet toothed with every bite.
This crispy, layered pastry is a popular sweet from Odisha, enjoyed during Rath Yatra. With its heavenly crispiness and the delightful blend of flavours, Khaja offers a delightful experience to sweet food lovers.
Who doesn’t love snacks? Bara is a deep-fried lentil-based savoury snack made with a batter of ground lentils, spices, and herbs. This crispy on the outside and soft on the inside snack can be great for munching on during the vibrant Rath Yatra procession.
6. Arisa Pitha
Ever tried an Odia rice cake? Crispy and golden, Arisa Pitha is a deep-fried rice cake that brings a delightful crunch to Rath Yatra celebrations. Originating from Odisha, this dish is made with soaked rice flour, jaggery, and grated coconut, offering a balanced palette of sweetness and texture.
These delectable deep-fried pancakes, made from a batter of flour, milk, and mashed bananas, are soaked in sugar syrup and enjoyed during Rath Yatra. Originating from North India, Malpua adds a touch of richness and indulgence to the festive foods.
A flavorful and nutritious dish from Odisha, Dalma is a comforting lentil-based preparation cooked with assorted vegetables. This wholesome and aromatic dish chickpea dal from Orissa is often enjoyed during Rath Yatra, adds a touch of warmth to the festivities.
9. Makara Chaula
A unique dish from Odisha, Makara Chaula celebrates the bountiful harvest and is prepared by mixing freshly harvested rice, grated coconut, ripe bananas, jaggery, and an assortment of fruits like mangoes and oranges. Moreover, it is believed to be a favourite dish of Lord Jagannath.
10. Mitha Dahi
This sweet yogurt mixed with cardamom or saffron is a delicious cooling dessert. A traditional Odia delicacy often served as a refreshing and sweet dish during the Rath Yatra.
11. Kakara Pitha
A traditional Odia pancake-like dessert made with a delectable filling of grated coconut, jaggery, and cardamom enveloped in a batter of rice flour and deep-fried. Kakara Pitha tantalises taste buds during Rath Yatra.
Santula is a simple and delicious mix of vegetables cooked with minimal spices. It brings a burst of freshness to the Rath Yatra feast. This light and healthy dish from Odisha is a staple during the festival which ensures a balanced and satisfying meal.
13. Mathura Peda
Originating from Mathura, these delightful sweet treats made with khoya, sugar, and cardamom are offered to Lord Jagannath during Rath Yatra as Prasad which adds a touch of North Indian sweetness to the festival.
Ukhuda is a deep-fried sweet snack prepared with wheat flour, sugar, and cardamom. With its golden exterior and delightful sweetness, Ukhuda will definitely leave a lasting impression on you as it adds a burst of flavour to traditional Odia food.
A comforting and wholesome common dish, Khichdi plays a significant role in the Rath Yatra feast. This simple yet satisfying dish represents a balance of flavours and is enjoyed by devotees during the festival.
16. Sweet Pongal
This creamy and aromatic rice pudding, prepared with rice, jaggery, milk, and flavoured with cardamom, is a staple during Rath Yatra celebrations. Moreover, sweet Pongal offers a divine sweetness that symbolises prosperity and abundance.
17. Kheer Sagar
With its small, soft, and spongy dumplings immersed in sweetened milk, Kheer Sagar creates waves of flavour during Rath Yatra. This traditional Odia dessert, garnished with nuts and enriched with cardamom, will transport you to a world of sweet indulgence.
Mahura is a delightful Odia sweet made from puffed rice, jaggery, and coconut. It is a popular treat during Rath Yatra, offering a tasteful blend of textures and flavours. Making it an irresistible choice for devotees and food enthusiasts alike.
So whether you’re looking for sweet delights or warm and wholesome treats, the traditional Rath Yatra foods cover it all. The heavenly bliss created by the traditional food mixes with the unique devotion and nature of the festival and makes it a truly memorable event for devotees and foodies alike.
Tell us your favourite Rath Yatra foods and share your experience and memories of this beautiful festival. Subscribe to our newsletter for more such riveting blogs and never miss out on any updates from Hungrito.