Friday, 7 December 2018

Keonjhar Special Badi: The Taste of Odisha

Keonjhar Special Badi

It’s one of the special occasions during which I along with my family plan a sudden trip to Keonjhar. Though it’s my in-law’s place, I hardly get a chance to go to Keonjhar even after more than 4 yrs of marriage due to my working schedule. But this time, somehow, I manage to find a break to visit to attend a Marriage Function.

I have heard about Keonjhar Special Phula Badi a lot. Though I was not a fan of this special dry food from Odisha despite being an Odia. But after getting a sample of Badi (sent by my friend from Keonjhar), I fall in love with this. It was so crispy and crunchy..!!
I started my journey from Bhubaneswar very early in the morning on a Sunday. I have to leave as early as possible to avoid the city traffic. It was all 4 Lane road to Keonjhar through which I had to drive my car. I and my family were very excited for this Road Trip.
As per plan, I managed to cross Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Chandikhole, Panikoili in a very short time. Then I was on a Newly Constructed straight road to Keonjhar. After crossing Anandapur, we landed in the district zone of Keonjhar. We were so mesmerized by the outside beauty and greenery. It was so magical!

On the way, we arrived at the famous Maa Tarini Temple at Ghatagaon. After doing a small Puja over there, I continued my journey to my destination. It was around 11, when we arrived at Keonjhar and straightly headed to my Uncle in-law’s home. There we took rest after having some refreshments.

At around 2, I called up my Keonjhar friend and we both went to explore something for which I had been here. We both went to a place called Atopur that belongs to the Old Keonjhar. As we arrived there, I was being welcomed by the White Colored freshly sun-basked Badis. It was all over, spreading in front of some small huts. 

I was very surprised to see the cleanliness maintained over there. They are all different shaped and seemed as if they were ready to be eaten just like that only in the raw form.
As I spoke to one of the Badi sellers there, I came to know a lot about this traditional food of Odisha which I was really unaware of. 

Basically, there were 4 types/Shapes of Badis they are selling:

a) Keonjhar Special Phula Badi: They are Crispy, Chewy and Crunchy..!! Yes, they are eaten upon shallow fried in Oil. They are freshly sunbaked with Raasi or Khasa on one side. They shaped like a Flower by which the name was given for. The main ingredients used to prepare this Badi are: Urad Dal, seasam seeds and other spices.


b)  Keonjhar Phula Badi with Raasi Mix It’s same as the normal Phula Badi but here the Seasam Seeds and spices are mixed and then given a proper shape. It can also be eaten upon shallow fried in Oil.


c) Keonjhar Pumpkin Badi These are normal Badis that can be mixed with a particular dish to enhance its taste. The raw badis are roasted in a Tawa or simply in Fire. The main ingredients are Urad Dal, Pumpkin, Salt, Black Papper and other Spices. Traditional dishes include Badi chura, Alu chui Besara Badi Curry and lot more.


 d) Keonjhar Special Masala Badi These Badis are mixed with various spices like Garlic, Salt, Urad dal and other spices. This special Masala Badi tastes very good when it is fried with onion and garlic and being eaten with even overnight cooked rice.

I managed to buy few Badis for me and my Office Staffs since I got huge requests for Keonjhar Badi before coming here. So, I packed few of them in a Cartoon Box and hurried towards my in-law’s place as I was getting frequent calls by my Boss of the family – My Wife...!!

After attending the marriage function in the evening, on the very next day, I started my return journey to Bhubaneswar having a lot of sweet memories on my mind, specially this Keonjhar Special Badis to which I am very much influenced.

Lastly, I can say that these traditional dry foods like Badis need special attention, needs to be marketed so that the whole world can taste this traditional food of Odisha. I even found few online stores like Ritikart and few other online stores are promoting these Badis that are best known for their quality and essence.

Deepak Mahanta