Oriya cuisine (ōḍiā rāndhaṇā) refers to the cooking of the eastern Indian state of Orissa. Foods from this area are rich and varied, while relying heavily on local ingredients. The flavors are usually subtle and delicately spiced, quite unlike the fiery curries typically associated with Indian cuisine. Fish and other seafood such as crab and shrimp are very popular. Chicken and mutton are also consumed, but somewhat occasionally. Only 6% of the population of Orissa is vegetarian, and this is reflected in its cuisine. The oil base used is mostly mustard oil, but in festivals ghee is used. Panch phutana, a mix of cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and kalonji (nigella) is widely used for tempering vegetables and dals, while garam masala (curry powder) and haladi (turmeric) are commonly used for non-vegetarian curries. Pakhala, a dish made of rice, water, and yogurt, that is fermented overnight, is very popular in summer, particularly in the rural areas. Oriyas are very fond of sweets and no Oriya repast is considered complete without some dessert at the end. Festivals and fasts witness a cuisine without onion and garlic whereas other days witness an aroma of garlic and onion paste in curries. One can find restaurants serving food without onion and garlic in major places like Puri and other coastal area, which is run by many Brahmin owners.
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