Odisha Goes Pompous On Plate With Sumptuous Non-Veg Fest On Chhadakhai

Bhubaneswar: It’s Chhadakhai when the outpouring love for meat reaches the zenith in Odisha. It is the day when most Odias return to their non-veg-twice-a-week at least format and go pompous on the plate after a month-long abstinence with a meat-loaded feast.

This festival marks the end of holy Kartik month and the beginning of the winter season.

It is the day for the foodies to indulge themselves in some non-vegetarian ‘sin’ when households prepare mutton curry (Mansha Jhola), fish fry (Machha Bhaja), crab curry (Kankada Jhola), and mustard prawn (Chingudi Besara) to fish head cooked with dal and selected vegetables (Mudhi Ghanta).

After wearing a deserted look for five days, the markets at Unit-4, Unit-8, Damana and Chandrashekharpur too have sprung to life with people thronging to buy fish, crab, prawn, egg, mutton, and chicken. However, non-vegetarian food sellers are seeing a little less business this year with Chhadakhai falling on Tuesday.


  • Mutton is priced at 800/kg
  • Chicken is being sold at 220/kg
  • Rohi and Bhakur fish are sold at 200–240/kg
  • Pomfret is selling at Rs 800/kg
  • Hilsa (Ilisi) is priced at 1500-2000/kg
  • Shrimp/ prawn is priced at 400/kg
  • Bhekti is priced at 500/kg

While they are hoping to sell better on Wednesday when hotels and restaurants across the state are also likely to see a huge footfall.

Historically, Kalinga, under King Kharavela and others, celebrated Chhadakhai that came after the maritime trade and fishing resumed, with great pomp and show. The ritual began with the Bali Jatra festivities when sailors, fishermen, and traders set sail with wind changing its direction during this time, according to old Spice Route records. The farewell to traders and sailors was celebrated with a big feast, constituting best of fish, crab, prawn and even meat in the coastal areas of Odisha.

Coincidentally, the meat is said to taste better with an improvement in the fat-moisture ratio and the fish also moved toward the coast mid-November.

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