Bhubaneswar: Odias across the world celebrated March 20 as International Pakhala Day or Pakhala Dibasa. From hotels to individual households pakhala topped the menu for the day.
Pakhala or rice water is prepared by mixing water with rice and let it ferment a little, which gives the dish a different aroma and taste. Pakhala is also known in Bengali as Panta bhat. To celebrate the Odianess and the association of this dish with Odias, it’s not only celebrated in Odisha, but also across the world wherever Odias have been staying, they are observing this day with special Pakhala dishes at home or organising feasts in their community.
In Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, hotels had offered special items and discounts and offers to customers to celebrate Pakhala dibasa. As it was a working day, many people couldn’t organise get-together events where they used to throw Pakhala parties.
Pakhala with badhichura, different types of shaga, bhendi bhaja, aloo bhaja, aloo bharta, machha bhaja, sukhua chatani, chingudi bhaja, chingudi checha, onion slices, lanka were topping the menu. Besides hotels were also providing different types of pakhal, like dahi pakhal, chhunka pakhal, etc.
“Pakhala is associated with Odianess and we leave no stones unturned to offer to our customers anything that’s Odia. So we have special Pakhal day items made for our customers and many tourists come here to taste pakhal only,” said Rajeev of Odisha Hotel.
“We had organised a pakhala party, but it couldn’t work out, as today is Monday and it’s a working day. We will host it next Sunday. The Summer is entire dedicated to Pakhala in Odisha and we will enjoy the entire summer with this delicious dish,” said Sunnil, a photographer.
Even Sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik also created a sand art at Puri beach showcasing Pakhala Dibasa and this day was trending on Twitter also.