Habisa Dalma & the significance of Kartik Purnima

Habisa Dalma

Habisa Dalma a very special and traditional recipe of Odisha made during the month of Kartika which is considered as the holiest month in the Hindu Calendar. This month (also known as the month of Damodar i.e. Krishna) starts from Kumar Purnima and culminate on Kartika Purnima.

This period is that time of the year when a few distinct annual rituals like refraining from eating non veg food, beautiful rangoli before the Tulsi plant, lighteddeepa(earthen lamp) known as Akasadeepa filled with ghee, placed inside an earthen pot and pulled atop in an erect pole are observed. Most people in Odisha refrain from consuming non veg items for the entire month and those who are not able to do this for the entire month, observe this for the last 5 days of the month known as Panchuka . As per a popular saying, even a crane, which is a fish-hunting bird, forsakes eating fish during Panchuka!

This iconic lentil based preparation is very different from the much popular Odia Dalma. Habisa Dalma is made using ghee , elephant foot yam , colocasia , elephant apple , grated coconut, grated ginger , raw banana,moongdal and prepared without turmeric . As Habisa was primarily observed by widows in the earlier times, certain restrictions are imposed on the diet. This dalma is normally serves with aruaanna .

On the auspicious day of KartikaPurnima ( the last day of the month-the full moon day) men, women and children across Odishahead for the nearest water body to set afloat boitas( toy boats made of banana branches, sticks, and paper ) with lamp, flowers, fruits and coins known as BoitaBandana. Karthika Purnimaalso commemorates the beginning of the grandest fair in Odisha, the famous Bali Jatraof Cuttack, the largest fair of Asia . This colourful and vibrant even celebrates Odishas maritime glory and trade relations with foreign countries.

Ingredients to make Habisa Dalma

  • 1 CupMoong Dal
  • 4 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup yam, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 cup colocasia, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1raw bananaraw , peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 3 to 4 elephant apple petals
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 inchGinger grated/crushed
  • Saltto taste
  • 1 tbspGhee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds


  • 1 tspCuminseeds dry roasted and powdered
  • 2 tbsp Grated coconut

How to make Habisa Dalma

  1. Do not soak the moong dal, just wash and cook.
  2. Wash and cut vegetables. Take a heavy bottomed pan, add water and mix salt and add the colocassia and yam in it first . Once thw water starts boiling add the daal and let it boil for some more time,
  3. Once the dal looks a little bit cooked, then add the chopped raw banana and in the last add Elephant apple petals and the grated ginger and slit green chilies in it .
  4. Once everything is cooked, adjust salt to taste and switch off the gas and keep aside to prepare the tempering.
  5. Take another pan, heat the ghee and add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, and once it splutters ,pour the mixture on the dal.
  6. Add some cumin powder and grated coconut and mix well in the dal.
  7. Your Habisa dalma is ready to be served with Rice, dollop of home made gua ghee and pagaw made from kandhia (a local variety of lemon ) .

The post Habisa Dalma & the significance of Kartik Purnima appeared first on Culinary Xpress.

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