Tuesday 24 April 2018

'Rasa', Rasakora, Rasabara And Rasagola in Odia #AToZChallenge

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The word ‘Rasa’ is related to Odisha's culture. 

'Rasa' in Odia
The Odia word 'Rasa' means 'juice', 'relish', 'flavour' or 'savour'. Rasarefers to the 'taste of something'. 
In Odisha, 'Rasa' is intrinsically linked and present in so many spheres- food, literature, geographical places, conversations...
Many Odia epics like Rasabinod, Rasakallolla and Rasakalpalata etc have 'Rasa' in their names.
In the tradition and food culture of Odisha, the names of many dishes and sweetmeats like Rasabara, Rasakora, Rasakhai, Rasabali, Rasaphena, Rasmalai, Rasakadamba, Rasaladu, Rasagola etc. start with the word ‘Rasa’. These have been traditionally prepared from Chhena (cottage-cheese) and other ingredients from centuries.


Pages 7007-7020 of the Volume VI of Purnachandra Odia Bhasakosha (Purnachandra Odia Dictionary) list words starting with ‘Rasa’. This dictionary, with 1,85,000 words and their meanings in four languages, is the result of three decades of dedicated work by Gopal Chandra Praharaj (1874-1945).
Some sweets like Rasakora, Rasabara, Chhenaladu, Chhenamanda, Chhenabada/Chhenabara etc. are previous forms of Rasagola.
Chhena and Chhenabada, Purnachandra Odia Bhasakosha, Gopal Chandra Praharaj, Page- 2844
Chhenaladu means ball of cottage-cheese. Rasagola is also a type of Chhenaladu.
Unlike Chhenaladu, Rasagola is syrupy as balls of Chhena are boiled in sugar-syrup to prepare Rasagola. Chhenamanda is prepared by steaming balls of boiled rice flour stuffed with Chhena

Rasakora's description is similar to Rasagola. 

Rasakora and Rasagola, Purnachandra Odia Bhasakosha, Volume VI, Gopal Chandra Praharaj, Page- 7013

As per morphological exchange, Odia ‘Rasakora’ is a synonym of ‘Rasagola’.
In the exchange, in the ‘kora’ of ‘Rasakora’, ‘ka’ became ‘ga’ and ‘ra’ became ‘la’. Thus ‘kora’ became ‘gola’ and the word became ‘Rasagola’.

Christian Missionary Amos Sutton had described Rasakora as- “a kind of sweet; savoury, liquefied” in an Oria-English Dictionary of 1843.
Amos Sutton, Oria English Dictionary, 1843
William Brooks had described Rasakora as- “a round-ball sweetmeat” in an Oria and English Dictionary of 1847. 
William Brooks, An Oria and English Dictionary, 1847
Purnachandra Odia Bhasakosha mentions Rasabara as “Cake soaked in syrup.”
Rasabara, Purnachandra Odia Bhasakosha, Volume VI, Gopal Chandra Praharaj, Page- 7016
Rasabara is around 700 years old and is associated with the belief and traditions of western Odisha inhabitants. Rasabali, Rasakadam, Rasmalai, and Rasabara are still widely consumed in Odisha. Puri Pheni was earlier called as Rasaphena and is also mentioned in Purnachandra Odia Bhasakosha as 'a kind of sweetmeat soaked in syrup'. It may be noted that molasses, treacle and white sugar have been referred to as 'Rasa Pakaja'. Going with the food habits, there are villages in Odisha that are named as ‘Rasa’. 
Bhakta Tripathy, From Rasabara to Rasagola, Prameya, October 10, 2015
Some Odia Chenna-based sweets like the Rasabara are the predecessors of Rasagola.


The Mahaprasad of Shree Jagannath in Puri Temple in Odisha, constitutes of more than a hundred dishes including many Chhena dishes like Rasagola and Dahi-Rasagola. 115 varieties of bhog of Shree Jagannath Temple were on display in an exhibition held on 24th December 2017 at Bhubaneswar. 
Chhena-based dishes- Chhena Khai, Chhena Tadia and Niladri Bije Rasagola

115 Varieties of Bhoga, Sambad, Date- 25 December, 2017

Rasagola has been offered as a bhog in Shree Jagannath Temple Puri for centuries. Rasagola plays an important role on Niladri Bije, the last day of Ratha Jatra when Lord Jagannath gifts Rasagolas to His wife, MahaLaxmi
Recently, a special postal cover about 'Rasagola in SriJagannathji's Cuisine' was released by the Department of Posts in Puri, Odisha. 
Palanquin Carried Special Cover about Rasagola
Many traditional varieties of Rasagolas in different shades of white, cream, and light brown are available in Odisha. Rasagolas have witnessed innovation too. Tulsi Rasagola has been available for almost a decade in Odisha.

You must visit Odisha to try out the amazing cuisine with a mind-boggling variety of sweets & treats!

Special thanks to Dr.Asit Mohanty & Shri Bhakta Tripathy for their research & references.

Post for my second #atozchallenge. R for Rasa, Rasakora, Rasabara, Rasagola...and many more Rasa words!
My Theme is- "Odisha- The Soul of Incredible India".
Odisha is a state in the eastern part of India. Have you visited Odisha and India? 
I am sharing some glimpses from Odisha. Do keep reading and discovering!


  1. A very delicious and mouthwatering post that has left me drooling! Thanks for introducing readers to Ofia culture, customs, cusine and many more.

  2. Informative post 👍 Anita
    Thanks for sharing 🙂


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