Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 6:
Okay so we, the Odia bunch love food. We have no north-south discrimination as far as our taste buds are concerned. We like alu parata as much as idli-dosa. We like our rolls Indian Chinese and our pizza topped with chicken tikka. Our pithas and chicken curry drip with oil. And we like our food extra spicy. However, during this era of low fats, zero cholesterol and sugar-free diets, Odisha Sun Times thought of compiling a list of quintessential Odia foods that can aid in dieting and help lose those extra pounds:
Chuda (flattened rice), as food is a breakfast staple for all Odias. You can mash up the water soaked Chuda with grated coconut, mango pulp, make upma out of it with curry leaves and pancha phutana or just simply roast it and keep chewing as an evening snacks with a garnishing of onions, chopped chilli and salt.
Disclaimer: Eat chuda your way but do not add sugar or banana.
2. Mandia jaau
Mandia (millets) can be eaten in the form of porridge or can also be made into idlis. It may taste a little bland but its healthy and worth the sacrifice of giving up on fried food.
Basically, any type of dry roasted and powdered cereal is known as chatua, be it barley, ragi or Bengal gram. Just add water to the powder to make a paste. In order to enhance taste, add grated coconut, curd or even bananas. But again, refrain from adding sugar.
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Ah! The good old dalma with hardly any oil, lots of veggies (without potatoes, of course) and dried chilli is just the bowlful of health and nutrition you need when on diet. You can relish it with a bowl of steamed rice or just one whole wheat chapati and not starve yourself on the path to a slimmer you.
Remember the steamed veggies that Mom used to force us to eat on Mondays and Thursdays as if that was the vegetarian alternative to all the chicken, mutton and fish alternative in the world? Yes, that santula is low-fat-high-nutrition food personified. So just put aside all the drama and add ladleful of that “green thingy” to your diet list.
Saga aka the green leafy vegetables are all the source of iron that there can be. Be it spinach, drumstick, pumpkin, radish leaves or the whole family of kosila, kalama, poi, methi, etc. saga is the go-green you need for a healthy diet.
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7. Bela panaa
Yes you read it right, the bela panna (woodapple pulp) can be very light and an amazing health drink sans the sugar, raisins, cashew and dry fruits. You can definitely keep the curd, water, salt and pepper to keep it delicious.
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8. Steamed manda pitha
Yes, we were talking about our oily pithas. But remember manda pitha? The Odia counterpart of steamed momos? But with a twist. Instead of stuffing it with grated coconut and jaggery mix, try stuffing it with steamed veggies and eat with mint chutney. Cool, right?