The taste and aroma of different dishes in their preparation and taste is called Chhappan Bhog. This vast range of delicacy is offered in the Puri temple to Lord Jagannath and to Sri Krishna in Mathura, these both events take place on the day of Goverdhan Puja celebrated next day of Diwali.
Chhappan Bhog means 56 foods offering, this whole cuisine consists of the different dishes like:
Rice Dishes: Sada Anna, Kanika, Dahi Pakhal, Khichdi, Mitha Pakhal, etc.
Lentils and vegetable Dishes: Dal, Mahura, Besara, Sagi, etc.
Sweets Dishes: Haja, Gaja, Magaja Ladoo, Khurma, Mathapuli, Kakara Marichi Ladoo, etc.
Baked and roasted Dishes: like Sura Pitha, Jhili, Manda, Puri, Arisa, etc.
Milk-based Dishes: Khiri, Khoa, Tadia, Chena Khua, etc.
These are the handful of dishes among the Chhappan Bhog offered to Lord Jagannath in Puri temple.
The dishes in Chhappan Bhog changed from region to region, yet the number of 56 dishes remains the same. The lore of Chhappan Bhog connects to the legend of Shree Krishna, it was said that Shree Krishna lifted Govardhan Mountain for 7 days to protect people from heavy rainfall due to the wrath of God Indra. It was said that Shree Krishna had 8 meals a day and due to seven day of rainfall he was not able to eat. On the eighth day, the people of Vrindavan offered 56 dishes to compensate the seven days he didn’t eat.
This entire event started when Shree Krishna stopped the people of Vrindavan from offering food to Lord Indra. The devotion of offering to god is so deep-rooted in people that now they offer it to Lord Krishna.
The preparation of 56 different dishes is a festival itself that has boosted the cuisine capacity of the region in such a fascinating range to a variety of food culture. The dishes that are prepared have their own tale to tell from its origin to its place in Chhappan bhog.
The cuisine is the speciality of a region which finds its flavour into the daily life. To promote the cuisine of India, India Post has issued a commemorative stamp in 2017.
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