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Indigenous Fermented Foods and Beverages of Odisha, India: an Overview

Ramesh C. Ray1 and Manas R. Swain2


1.
Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (Regional Centre), Bhubaneswar-751019
2.
Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering and Technology,

Bhubaneswar-751003

INTRODUCTION

Indigenous fermented foods and beverages are those that have been used for centuries,

even pre-dating within historical records and they are essential for the well-being of

many people of the world, and can be prepared in the household or in cottage industry

using relatively simple techniques and equipments (Steinkraus, 1989; Ray and Sivakumar,

2009). In the indigenous fermented food products, typically beneficial microorganisms

such as yeasts and lactobacilli are present in or on the ingredients, which increase the

levels of proteins, vitamins, essential amino acids and fatty acid. The protein and vitamin

deficiencies are the major problem of the third world countries. In this regard, production

and consumption of fermented foods are very important to the third world countries diet

(Tamang et al., 1988). Fermentation improves the digestibility by detoxifying the toxic

elements in the food such as cyanogenic glycosides (i.e. linamarin and lotaustralin) in

cassava (Ray and Sivakumar, 2009) and on the other hand, it improves the flavor, aroma,

nutritional values and texture, as well as reduces the cooking time.

Preparation of fermentation foods is a household art. Each county, and each region or

state in the county has its own list of fermented foods based upon the availability of the
2

raw materials, social and cultural traditions and demographic profile. Odisha is a small

state in the eastern part of the India, which has wide cultural, social, ethnic as well as

plant and food diversity. In Odisha, 62 tribal communities such as Khanda, Khola,

Santala, Juanga, Bhuiyan, Saora, Dharua , Bonda and others are found and contributes

about 22% population of the state. The local names and their appropriate english

meanings are given in Table 1.

The state has a wide diversity of indigenous fermented foods, which are generally

influenced, by the geographic and climatic diversity of the state. These fermented foods

are discussed in this chapter under the following heads:

Cereal based fermented foods and beverages.

Rice and legume mixed foods

Forest based fermented food and beverages

Fermented Milk products

Fermented Fish products

ODISHA STATE

Odisha state (Fig.1) lies in the East coast of the country between 81 27 and 87

29 east longitudes and 17 49 and 22 34 north latitude, with coastline of 480 kms

touching Bay of Bengal. The state experiences hot and humid climate round the year with

short winters. The maximum and minimum temperature during summer are 402C, 28

2C, respectively and the same during winter are 252C, 12 2C, respectively. The

state is divided in to 10 agro-climatic zones based on soil, rainfall, climate and other

relevant characteristics. These agro-climatic zones come within three geographical


3

regions, namely North Odisha Highland, South Odisha Highland and Mahanadi delta

which start from river Subarnarekha in North to Chilika Lake in South. Chilika lake, a

brackish water coastal lake on the Bay of Bengal, south of the Mahanadi River, is the

largest coastal lake in India and the second largest in the world. Similarly, the Similipal

Biosphere Reserve comprises of the entire Similipal sanctuary (core and buffer together),

the adjoining Nato and Satkoshia Reserve Forests forming additional buffer and a belt of

approximately 10 km width all around the entire buffer designated as the 'transition zone'.

The total area of this Biosphere Reserve is 5569 sq. km. The Similipal hill ranges, a

densely forested area constitute the core and a part of the buffer zones of the Biosphere

Reserve, and there are also 65 villages within these two zones including four in the core

zone. In spite of the wide diversity, Odisha has a rich cultural heritage, which is a

harmonious blending of art, religion and philosophy interwoven around Lord Jagannath

the eternal deity of Odiya people.

RICE BASED FERMENTED PRODUCTS AND BEVERAGES

Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is the major cereal crop in Odisha, cultivated at about 4.45

Mha with an annual production of 5.39 M tones. More than 80% peoples in Odisha

consume rice as staple food in their diet. Rice based non-alcoholic and alcoholic diet or

beverages are widely available and consumed in Odisha. These are discussed below.

Water rice (Pakahla)

Water rice locally called as pakahla, which is an Odiya term. The term pakahla is

derived from Pali word pakhalita as well as Sanskrit word prakshalana, which means

washed to wash. This is a partially fermented homemade non-alcoholic rice product.


4

Depending on the quality of rice and additive ingredients such as spices, curd etc which

are added to the rice in water; the pakahla can be classified as: saja pakhaka (fresh water

rice), basi pakhala (stale water rice), jeera pakala (spice water rice), dahi pakhala (curd

water rice) etc. Pakahla is widely eaten particularly by Odiya people during the summer

season, in which the average temperature is over 40 2C and relative humidity 80 5 %.

Eating pakahla in this season renders soothing effect to human body.

In pakahla preparation, rice is boiled properly and excess boiled water is removed

from it. The drained rice is allowed to cool down to room temperature and ordinary water

is added to it so that the rice remains submerged completely. Then excess water mixed

rice is allowed to ferment at room temperature for 8 to 12 hour. After the incubation

period, the fermented rice with water, locally called as torani is served. It is popularly

served with roasted vegetables such as potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), brinjal (Solanum

melongena L.) and often with fried small fishes. Pakahla is some time co-fermented/

mixed with curd, cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), cumin (Cumin cumin L.) seeds, fried

onion (Allium cepa L.) and mint (Mentha longifolia) leaves. Traditionally, pakahla is

included in the recipe of Lord Jagannath the eternal deity of Odiya people. The Jagannath

temple at district Puri, Odisha was built in the 12th century AD, it is presumed that

Pakahla was also in existence at that time. Now- a -days, pakahla recipe has been

introduced to the 3- and 5- star hotel menus of Odisha to attract the guests, who are

interested in traditional ethnic cuisines.

Preliminary studies have shown that pakahla contains several yeast

(Saccharomyces spp.) and lactobacilli, those bring typical aroma and sourness to the item.
5

Fermented cooked rice (Handia)

Handia is an un-distilled fermented rice beverage (wine) consumed through out

the state of Odisha, mostly by tribals. The word handia is originated from handi a big

earthen pot in which the rice is fermented. This beverage is very much popular in summer

because it keeps stomach cool and is a source of high energy. The drink has become

customary, as the tribal celebrate all the festive occasions and social ceremonies, by

taking this drink. Handia drink helps the tribals in uninterrupted sleep by reducing

tiredness (Dhal et al., 2010).

In the handia preparation, approximately 1-2 kg of rice is boiled and then dried

for about 3-4 hour. After drying, 2-3 bakhar tablets (a mixture of rice flour, yeasts and

medicinal plant parts; the details are described in the following paragraph) are added to

the rice and soaked in water for 2 days. On the third day morning, rice is completely

fermented and the drink is ready for consumption (Fig 2). The fermented rice (handia) is

used as wine and as medication for constipation, urinary infections and liver disorders.

This is a unique kind of preparation of beverages using rice, plant parts and fermenting

organisms by the tribal people (Dhal et al., 2010).

Bakhar (Syn. ranu ) (Fig. 3) constitutes the source of fermentation organism in

handia preparation. The preparation process of bakhar is as follows. Raw rice is

grounded to powder to be used as the base material. To it, roots and barks of the selected

plants such as Clerodendrum serratum, Dipteracanthus suffruticosus, Holarrhena

pubescens, Madhuca indica, Smilax macrophylla, Woodfordia fruticosa, Xantolis

tomentosa, Rauvolfia serpentine, Orthosiphon rubicundus (Table 2), having medicinal


6

properties are added as dry powder (Sharma and Biswal, 2010; Behera et al., 2012).

Previously preserved bakhar tablets (5-10 nos) are powdered and mixed to this rice-plant

powder mixture. The bakhar tablets contain fermenting microorganisms such as

Saccharomyces cerevisiae and S. pombe in dried form (Sharma and Biswal, 2010). A

little amount of water is added to the whole mash to make the dough. The dough is

smoothened to rounded tablets, and the tablets are spread over on straw bed in layer after

layer, and dried under sun for about two days.

FERMENTED CAKE (PITHA)

The people in Odisha have a tradition of relishing a variety of cakes, locally

called as pitha, specially prepared during various festivals and rituals. Some of these

foods are produced from the fermentation of cereal (rice) and rice-legume batters, which

are shaped and optionally filled with sweet or savory ingredients.

These products include chitou, arisa, chakuli, chhunchipatra, endure, munha and

poda pitha. These pithas are unknown to scientific community and lack of scientific

studies. But all these foods are delicious and easily digestible; these are also suitable for

ailing persons, pre- or post-natal women and children. These foods are prepared and

consumed by all the communities irrespective of caste and creed.

All these foods are described with respect to the nature of the product, method of

preparation, mode of consumption, shelf-life and ethnic values.

RICE BATTER CAKE (PITHA)

Rice is the main ingredient in many of these cakes. These are discussed below.

Chitou pitha
7

Chitou (Fig. 4) is prepared by mixing the fermented batter (without any legume)

with sugar and grated coconut (Cocus nucifera L.). It is then taken in a special earthen

mould or in deep bowl and covered with a lid. The junction is closed with a wet cloth and

water is sprinkled intermittently. It is fried on a low heat. Although it has shelf- life of

one day, chitou is delicious when taken fresh and hot. Generally, it is taken with curry,

sugar, curd or milk. Chitou is prepared in popular harvest festivals, like maker sankranti

and chitou amabasya. Preparation of the Chitou pitha is given in a flow chart Fig. 5.

Arish pitha

Arisa pitha (Fig. 6) is prepared by making a thick batter prepared from rice flour

and , locally called, Jantani, which is then made into small semi-flat round shapes and

fried in ghee or oil till the color changes to golden brown. In this preparation, the raw rice

is submerged in the water for 8 to 12 hour. Then the water shocked rice is allowed to dry

under shade and grinded in to fine flour with help of mechanical grinder. The flour is

then used for the Jantani preparation. The shelf-life of this Arisa pitha varies from six

months to one year.

CEREAL AND LEGUME BATTER FERMENTED CAKE

Very often, rice and legume particularly black gram (Phaseolus mungo L.) is co-

fermented to make the following cakes or pitha.

Chakuli pitha

Chakuli (Fig. 7), which resembles dosa (a popular South-Indian fermented food),

is a round, fried pancake, which is eaten in Odisha daily as snacks. It is prepared from

varying proportions of par-boiled rice and black gram. A little amount of jaggery may be
8

added to make it sweet and is occasionally supplemented with pulp of jackfruits

(Artocarpus hetrophyllus Lam.) or Palmyra palm (Borassus flabellifer L.) or sweet potato

(Ipomoea batatas L) or mahula (Madhuca latifolia L.) flower paste depending on the

availability. Rice is washed, soaked, dewatered and briefly sun-dried. Dried rice grains

are pounded in an iron or wooden mortar and sieved to obtain a fine powder. Black gram

is soaked until the seed coat is easily removable by applying a gentle pressure. The grains

are rubbed with hands to loosen seed coats, which are allowed to float away. The black

gram is then made to a smooth paste using a stone grinder. The paste is beaten repeatedly

by hands with rice powder, appropriate amount of lukewarm water and salt. The batter is

left to ferment under cover for 4-5 hours during summer (12-15 hours during winter).

The fermented batter is fried over a hot greased pan to round shaped flat cake. Spices,

like ginger ( Zingiber officinale L.), onion (Allium cepa L.), and black pepper (Piper

nigrum) powder are sometimes added at the time of frying. Chakuli is taken as breakfast

food or snacks with a variety of side dishes including sambar, sugar, jaggery, milk,

vegetable curry, mutton, and most often without any dish. Though the shelf -life of

chakuli is one day, they are consumed hot and fresh for optimum delicacy.

Chhuchipatra pitha

The preparation procedure is similar to that of chakuli in respect of making and

fermenting batter. The fermented batter is flattened very, very thin (ultra thin) over a hot

greased pan using traditionally a soft piece of cloth and now a day, a spatula. The fillings

of grated coconut, curd cheese and sugar are taken in the centre of the pancake (Fig. 8 ),

which is then folded, in a square shape to fry suitably (Fig.8). It has a shelf -life of two

days and is usually taken without any adjunct due to its sweet taste. The art of preparing
9

this pitha is gradually vanishing as it is somewhat cumbersome. However, it is prepared

during raja sankranti (summer) festival in rural Odisha.

Enduri pitha

Enduri pitha (Fig.8) is a steamed flavoured cake, prepared by taking the

fermented batter (as done for making chakuli) in a turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) leaf and

folding the leaf through mid-vain for which in locally called as haladi pitha. This is

prepared traditionally in the state of Odisha during the occasion of Prathamstami, a

festival to celebrate the wellness of the eldest child in the family. It is also stuffed with

coconut, boiled green gram and sugar fillings. The batter-filled folded leaves are then

cooked over steam. Its shelf -life is about two days. Enduri pitha is a traditional delicacy

and show cases the medicinal properties of turmeric plant. Most of the Ayurvedic

physician has said that by eating the extract of turmeric leaves through this traditional

food in winter helps in the strengthening of the immune system (Roy et al., 2007).

Munha pitha

To prepare of munha pitha, par-boiled rice powder and black gram paste are

mixed in the ratio 3:1. Sugar or jaggery, minced coconut, raisins and cashew

(Anacardium occidentale L.) nuts may be added to the fermented batter for delicacy.

Sufficient water is taken in a handi (large mouthed pitcher), and a piece of cloth is tied

over its mouth keeping a shallow cavity (Fig. 8). When the water starts boiling, a thick

batter is poured over the cloth. An empty handi is kept upside down over the previous

one to capture the steam. The continuously generated steam cooks the material, and

completion of cooking is checked by inserting sharp object through the centre of the

batter mass and observing if the batter has stuck to the surface. No adherence of batter to
10

the object indicates completion of cooking even at the centre. A good quality munha

pitha becomes spongy like idli (another popular South-Indian food item) and it is served

by cutting into pieces. The shelf life of munha pitha is 1-2 days and it is taken with sugar

or curry. Munha pitha is prepared during different festivals, particularly during raja

(harvest) festival in June.

Podo pitha

Podo pitha (Fig. 9) is a slow-cooked pitha. During the preparation of podo pitha,

fermented batter (fermented rice and black gram) is mixed with minced coconut, raisins,

cashew nuts and sugar .The mixture is packed using sal (Shorea robusta C.F.Gaertn) or

banana (Musa paradisiaca L.) leaf. The packets are then covered all round with hot

charcoal in an earthen oven to bake in low but continuous heat for 5-10 hours. After

preparation, the product is slightly burnt, while the inside is soft and white. The pitha is

cut into pieces and served. Podo pitha has a shelf life of 2-3 days and is consumed like

munha pitha. It is prepared during different festivals including bijaya dasami and raja

festivals.

In the preparation of podo pitha, rice and black gram dal are soaked over night,

separately. Both the ingredients are grinded into a thick batter. After addition of common

salt to the rice- dal batter, it is allowed to ferment for 2 to 4 hours. The mixed batter is

rapped in a banana or sal leaves and roasted in an oven or earthen oven with help of

charcoal.

FERMENTED BEVERAGES

Toddy
11

Toddy is an alcoholic drink made by the fermentation of the sap from date tree

(Phoenix sylvestris L.) or coconut palm (Cocus nucifera L.). It is white in color and sweet

in taste with a characteristic flavor. It contains 4-6% alcohol and has a shelf-life of 24

hour. The sap is collected by slicing off the tip of an un-opened peduncle of these trees.

The sap oozes out and can be collected in a small pot tied underneath the peduncle. The

fermentation starts as soon as the sap is collected in the pots, particularly if a small

amount of toddy is left in the pot earlier. The toddy is fully fermented within 6 - 8 hours.

The product is usually sold immediately due to its short shelf- life (Fellows, 1997). Due

to the short life span the fermented sap is usually stored in glass or plastic bottle.

FERMENTED FISH PRODUCTS

Fermented fish products are important dietary components in the protein deficient

costal belt of Odisha, particularly in un-divided Balasore, Cuttack, Puri and Ganjam

districts. Marine fish preservation is universally done either by (i) adding salt or (ii) not-

adding salt.

Fish preservation by addition of salt is an age-old technology (Panda et al., 2011).

This method of preservation still enjoys popularity in many developing countries owing

to its simplicity and low cost of processing. When fatty fishes are salted, there is usually a

certain degree of fermentation involved (Takagi et al., 1984; Panda et al., 2011).

Fermentation of fish is brought about by autolytic enzymes from the fish and

microorganisms in the presence of high salt concentrations (Panda et al., 2011). Several

salted and non-salted fish products are available in the eastern part of the Odisha and it is

very popular among the costal belt peoples. Few important ones are discussed below.
12

Dry salted Hilsa ( Tenualosa ilisha)

Dry salted hilsa ( Fig.10 ) fish is prepared from the high fat (14-25%) content

adult hilsa or Ilisha. This product is a very popular product and widely consumed in all

part of Odisha mainly due to its typical flavour, aroma and texture. Excess catch from

Bay of Bengal or Chilika Lake particularly during rainy season promote the villages to

salt fermented hilsa fish. A typical dry salted hilsa has a uniform pink colour with a

glossy appearance (Fig. 10 ). The texture remains farm and the flesh does not easily

separate from its bone.

Salted hilsa is traditionally prepared by dry salting the longitudinally cut hilsa

followed by fermentation in saturated brine (previously boiled and cooled) in a container.

The fermentation period is usually 4-6 months. After fermentation, the fishes are allowed

to dry under shade for 10 to 15 days. The self-life of the dried sated hilsa is about 12 to

18 months; in some cases properly dried fishes can be preserved for two years.

Dry salted Khainga (Mugil cephalus)

Preparation of the dry salted Khainga fish preparation is almost similar to the dry

salted Hilsa preparation. The catch is usually made from sea or Chilika Lake. This

fermented fish has its own flavor and taste. The fermentation period is usually 4-6

months and like hilsa, the fermented fishes are dried under shade for 10 to 15 days. The

self-life of khainga dry fish is about 12 to 18 months.

Non-salted dry fish and prawns

Rice field fishes and fresh water pencil fishes (i.e., Nannostromus beckfordi) are

used widely for the preparation of dry fishes. The fish are harvested in plenty during the

month of June and July. The fishes are washed properly and then sun-dried in open or
13

some time directly in the gunny bags. In some cases, the washed fishes are submerged in

to the turmeric water for few hours and then allowed for sun drying. The sun drying of

the fishes is continued for 20 to 25 days under direct sun light. The non-salted fishes are

stored in the gunny bags or bamboo baskets for further use; the self life of these types of

non-dried fish is very short, in most cases less than six months.

Prawns and shrimps are preserved in a similar ways as small fish. They are

washed, sun dried in open and graded in to size and then packed under sealing for

transporting to market.

MILK BASED FERMENTED PRODUCTS

There are few fermented milk based products in the state such as curd and cheese

and baked sweet cheese.

Cheese and curd

These are common fermented milk products prepared and consumed at household

levels. The preparation methods are same as followed in other parts of India and hence,

not elaborated further.

Burnt sweet cheese (Chhenapoda)

Chhenapoda (Fig. 11), literally known as burnt sweet cheese, is a special type

cheese-based sweetmeat, has its origin in Odisha in the 20th century and very popular in

the state and elsewhere. It is made of well-kneaded homemade cottage cheese, sugar,

cashew nut and raisins and is baked slowly for several hours in oven until it turns brown.

Chhenapoda is the only well known Indian dessert whose flavor is predominantly derived

from the caramelization of sugar. Its shelf- life is usually 3-4 days.
14

FOREST BASED FERMENTED PRODUCT

There are many forest based fermented products. Two important ones are:

(1) Fermented bamboo shoot (Karadi) and

(2) Mahuli (a country liquor).

Fermented bamboo shoot (Karadi)

Locally (in the Districts of undivided Ganjam, Kalahandi, Koraput, Sambalpur ),

the fermented bamboo (Bambusa arundinacea L) shoot is known as karadi. The tips of

youngling bamboos are collected, sliced into pieces and then dipped in water for a day to

be fermented. In the process of fermentation, the bitterness of bamboo shoot is washed

off. This fermented bamboo is usually produced during June-September when bamboo

shoots sprout. It is cooked along with locally available vegetables such as taro

(Colocasia), cucumber (Cucumis sativus L., potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), brinjal

(Solanum melongena L.), etc. Karadi is sometimes pounded and sun-dried. The

powdered form is locally called as handua, which is cooked as curry throughout the year

(Panda and Padhy, 2007).

Mahuli (Country liquor)

Mahuli is a distilled fermented mahula flowers commonly practiced by the tribal

peoples in Odisha. Usually, in the preparation of mahuli, the flowers are thoroughly

washed in water and submerged in plastic drums or tanks for a period of four days with

the addition bakhar (syn. ranu) (Dhal et al., 2010; Sharma and Biswal, 2010).

Fermented mahula flower mass is distilled in a metallic (aluminum) container by keeping

another earthen pot on the top of the first container in a reverse manner (Fig.12 ). The
15

joints of two vessels are sealed by using sticky pond mud. A metallic pipe is connected to

the upper earthen vessel, which passes through water and opens to a collecting vessel.

The lower metallic container containing fermented mahula flower mass was heated at low

temperature with wood fire (Behera et al., 2012). Finally steam is condensed in metallic

pipe and collected in collecting vessel. The traditional distillation process is described

graphically in the Fig 13. The alcohol (ethanol) concentration in the distilleries varies

between from 30 - 40%. The distillate produced from mahula flowers alone (10 kg) and

mahula + sugar cane molasses (4 kg mahula flowers and 6 kg molasses) are 6.5 and 9

liter/batch, respectively (Behera et al., 2012). The distillate is diluted to approximately

10-15% alcohol (ethanol) and consumed as country liquor.

CONCLUSION AND FUTURE PERSPECTIVES

The preparations of these fermented foods and beverages, like any other part in

the world, have remained a traditional village art practiced in homes in a crude manner.

Due to sub- urbanization, changes in family structure, growing number of household

units and increase in mobility, there is a gradual inclination of the newer generation

towards the modern fast foods, under-estimating their own traditional foods. Some of the

traditional fermentation processes are somewhat cumbersome and time consuming, and,

hence, many of them are being replaced by industrially processed and convenience foods,

often based on technology imported from urban conglomerate. The unfortunate outcome

of this replacement is the inevitable loss of traditional know-how and much valued

resources before it is fully understood and harnessed for the future generations.

Traditional processing methods are sometimes not ideal and there is ample scope for
16

improvements. But nevertheless, as these techniques developed based on trial and error

through generations they take into account all the constraints given by the environment

and the culture. They can reveal the value of traditional techniques and people can be

reassured about the worth of their knowledge.

REFERENCES

Battcock. M., Azam-Ali, S., Fermented fruits and vegetables a global perspective. Daya

Publishing House. Delhi, India, 2001.

Behera, S., Ray, R. C., Swain, M. R., Mohanty, R.C., and Biswal, A.K., Traditional

knowledge on the utilization of mahula (Madhuca latifolia L.) flowers by the

santhal tribe in similipal biosphere reserve, Odisha, India: A survey. Annals of

Tropical Research (in press), 2012.

Roy, A., Moktan, B., and Sarkar, P., Traditional technology in perpetrating legume-based

fermented foods of Orissa. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 6(1), 12-16,

2007.

Dhal, N.K., Pattanaik, C., and Reddy, C.S., Bakhar starch fermentation-a common tribe

practice in Orissa. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 9(2), 279-281, 2010.

Panda, S.H., Ray, R.C., Sheikha, A.F.E., Montet, D. and Worawattanamateekul, W.,

Fermented fish and fish products- an overview. In: Aquaculture Microbiology and

Biotechnology, Volume 2 (Eds., Didier Montet and Ramesh C. Ray), Science

Publishers, Inc. / CRC press, Boca Raton, USA, pp. 132- 172, 2011.
17

Panda, T., and Padhy, R., Sustainable food habits of the hill-dwelling Khanda tribe in

Kalahandi distrit of Orissa. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 6(1), 103-

105, 2007.

Ray, R.C. and Shivkumar, P.S.,. Traditional and novel fermented foods and beverages

from tropical root and tuber crops: review. International Journal of Food Science

and Technoogy.44: 1073- 1087, 2009.

Sharma, A.K., and Biswal, A.K., Use of potential medicinal plants in the indigenous

preparation of fermented food by santal tribes in Mayurbhanj, Orissa, India.

Proceedings of the Symposium on Medicinal Plants of Similipal Reserve,

Baripada, Souvenir, pp. 108-117, 2010.

Steinkraus, K.H. (1989). Industrialization of Indigenous Fermented Foods. New York:

Meryl Dekker.

Takagi, T., Hayashi, K., and Itabashi, Y., Toxic effect of free unsaturated fatty acid in
mouse assay of diarrhetic shellfish toxic by intra-peritoneal injection. Bullettin of
Japan Science of Fish, 50; 1413-1418, 1984.
Tamang, J.P., Sarkar, P.K., and Hesseltine, C.W. Traditional fermented foods and

beverages of Darjeeling and sikkim-a review. Journal of The Science of Food and

Agriculture, 44; 375- 385, 1988.


18

Table 1. Local names used in this text and their appropriate english meaning

Sl.No. Local Name Meaning of the local name


1. Bakhar : A mixture of rice flour, yeasts and
medicinal plant parts.
2. Bijaya dasami : A grand festival celebrated in month of
September or October in each year.
3. Chitou amabasya : A local festival celebrated by the local
people
4. Chitou, Arisa, Chakuli, : Different types of locally made cakes and
Chhunchipatra, Endure, Munha , snacks
Poda pitha
5. Handi : Earthen pot with large mouthed pitcher
6. Handia : Fermented cooked rice
7. Handua : Powdered form of Karadi
8. Jantani : Semi solid mixture prepared from rice
flour and jaggery
9. Karadi : Fermented bamboo shoot
10. Khanda, Khola, Santala, : The tribal races found in Odisha state.
Juanga, Bhuiyan, Saora,
Dharua , Bonda
11. Mahuli : Country liquor
12. Maker sankranti : A month beginning festival in winter.
Celebrated by the local peoples as
harvesting festival.
13. Odiya : Local language of Odisha state
14. Pakahla : Cooked water rice. A type of fermented
food.
15. Pali : An ancient language of India
16. Pitha : Locally made cakes generally prepared
form rice or rice and legume based batter.
19

17. Prathamstami : A festival celebrated for the eldest chilled


in the family
18. Raja sankranti : A month beginning festival in summer.
Celebrated by the local peoples in India
19. Saja pakhaka (fresh water rice), : Different verity of water rice
Basi pakhala (stale water rice),
Jeera pakala (spice water rice),
Dahi pakhala
20. Sambar : A type of legume pest based local mouth
appetizer normally eaten with morning
snacks.
20

Table 2. Phytotherapeutic uses of plants used in preparation of bakhar (Behera et al.,


2012)
Si Name of the Plant Local Family Parts used Medicinal uses/properties
N Name
o
1 Asparagus racemosus Willd Kader Liliaceae Roots Roots used curing fever,
nutritive tonic,
2 Cissampelos pareira L Andia Menispermaceae Roots Roots used to increase milk in
kidula lactating mother,
3 Clerodendrum serratum Saram lutur Verbenaceaer Roots Roots used in rheumatism
(L) Moon, Cat. Pl
4 Dipteracanthus suffruticosus Ranuran Acanthaceae Roots Roots used in renal problems
(Roxb.) Voigt
5 Elephantopus scaber L. Hadem ran Asteraceae Roots Roots used in diarrhoea,
dysentery
6 Gardenia gummifera L.f. Bhurlu Rubiaceae Young Gums of young shoot used in
shoot nervous disorder of children
7 Holarrhena pubescens Hat Apocyanaceae Bark Bark used in amoebic dysentery
(Buch Ham) Wall ex. G. and diarrhea
Don
8 Homalium nepalense Benth Danmari Flacourtiaceae Bark Bark juice is used to cure colic
J Linn.
9 Lygodium flexuosum (Linn.) Nanjam Lygodiaceae Roots Fresh roots used in eczema
Sw rehed, Aliz
tukah
10 Madhuca indica Gmel. Matkam Sapotaceae Seeds, Mahula oil obtained from seeds
Leaves & is used in rheumatism, leaves
Bark and bark used in diabetes
11 Ochna obtusata DC. Var. Ot champa Ochnaceae Roots Roots used as antidote in snake
pumila (Buch Ham. Ex DC) bite
Kanis
12 Orthosiphon rubicundus (D. Khara ranu Lamiaceae Roots tuber Roots tubers used to cure colic
Don) Benth ran
13 Polygala crotalarioides Lilkathi Polygalaceae Bark Used for cough
Buch Ham ex DC
14 Phoenix acaulis Kitah Arecaceae Roots Laxative
Buch. Ham ex Roxb.
15 Rauvolfia serpentina (L.) God Apocyanaceae Roots Roots used to relieve from
Benth. Ex Kurz nervous disorders
16 Smilax macrophylla Roxb Atkir Smilaceae Roots, Roots used for urinary
Stems complaints, stems used as tooth
brush
17 Woodfordia fruticosa (L.) Iche Lythraceae Flowers Dried flowers are used as
Kurz astringent
18 Xantolis tomentosa (Roxb.) Dhumodhu Sapotaceae Fruits Fruits contain a thermostable
Rafin. r anticholeric principle
21

Figure 1. Map of Odisha state


22

Boiled rice

Boiler rice dried for 2-3 h

Dried boiled rice mixed with


2-3 bakhar tablets

Shacked with water in a big


earthen pot (Handi)

Incubate for 2 days at room

3rd days the beverage is ready


for consumption

Handia

Figure 2. Flowchart showing preparation of handia

Figure 3. Bakhar tablets


23

Figure 4. Chitau pitha


24

Raw rice

Shocked in normal water for 24h

Grinded the socked rice with


coconut pest

Mixed batter kept for 6 to 8 h at


room temperature for fermentation

Fermented batter steamed in an


earthen pot for 15 to 20 min

Chitou pitha

Figure 5. Flowchart showing preparation of Chitou pitha

Figure 6. Arisa pitha


25

Figure 7. Steps in the preparation of legume based traditional fermented food (Roy et
al., 2007; modified).
26

Figure 8. Steps in the preparation of legume based traditional fermented food (Roy et
al. 2007; modified).
27

Figure 9. Poda pitha

Figure 10. Dry salted Hilsa ( Tenualosa ilisha)


28

Figure 11. Chhenapoda (Burnt Sweet Cheese)


29

Figure 12. Small scale traditional mahuli distillation process from fermented mahula

flower. Dotted white arrow: Metallic pipe connected to the upper vessel, Black arrow:

Mud water, through which metallic pipe passes and it helps in condensing vapors to

liquid, White arrow: Condensed Mahuli Collecting vessel.


30

Figure 13. (a) Large scale traditional mahuli distillation plant (b) Outer sketch of large

scale distillation plant.

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