You offer bhog (naivedyam) to the Lord; when the Lord accepts, it becomes prasad. The idea of Mahaprasad is based on the concept of Chappana Bhoga since Lord Jagannath is being believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Mahaprasad is an elaborate preparation of 56 food dishes, hence known as 'Chappana Bhoga'
Ananta Vasudeva Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located near the holy Bindusagar Lake in Old Town. One visiting Bhubaneswar can easily get anna prasad here like Puri Jagannath Temple.
During the lunch hour you can see a crowd at the dining area of the temple. You have to sit on the ground and eat the prasad that is served on a banana leaf. Banana plants are considered to be sacred, so their leaves are used as a plate to serve Satvik temple food. It is believed that serving hot food on banana leaf will emanate important nutrients from the leaf too.
All foods are prepared in big clay pots using earthen-stove. Unlike Puri temple, you are allowed to visit the kitchen during the preparation hour.
Dishes that One Should Not Miss
Ghia Anna: Rice coated with clarified-butter mixed with golden raisins and whole spices is one of the simple and delicious dish of Chappana Bhog. The aroma is soul soothing.
Kanika : It is a fragrant sweet rice and looks yellow in color. The aroma itself activates the hunger pang. They add whole spices like clove, cinnamon and prepare with generous amount of clarified ghee.
Dalma : Dalma, the most popular vegetarian dish from Odisha is a kind of slow cooked lentil-stew with vegetables, which has almost no-oil.
Besara : A dish cooked with mustard paste, fresh grated coconut and assorted vegetables. The addition of pancha-phutana spice mix makes it super delicious. At the end it is topped with fried crunchy coconut.
Mohura : The dish has arum, yam and sweet potato all those typical Indian veggies. You won't get vegetables like potato, carrot and tomatoes etc. in temple food. This dish has more coconut compared to Besara and served with crunchy nadi at the end.
Mitha Dali: A sweet lentil curry prepared with toor-dal. Preparing it in a clay-pot adds more flavor to the dish.
Pachedi: It's prepared with diluted curd, mustard paste and a good amount of shredded coconut and served as it is. The resulting flavor is super delicious. Sometimes they add 'Ambula' which is sun-dried fermented green-mango, to augment the taste.
Khata: The moment you take a spoon of this dish, there will be explosion of flavors on your taste bud. It's a kind of sweet and sour chutney prepared with mustard paste, elephant apple (if in season) and sweet-potato etc.
Kheeri: Here the dessert comes, the rich creamy concoction. Kheer was derived from the Sanskrit word kshirika (a dish prepared with cow milk). Popularity of kheeri is accounted to its religious association during festivals and celebrations at temples across India.
At Ananata Vasudev Temple, this dish is served in a small clay pot called “Kudua”. The sight itself is enough to tempt a sweet-lover.