Tarana | An Odia festive dessert

Tarana is a rice flour based dessert from Odisha. Very very unique to Odisha. The finely ground rice/rice flour is cooked in simmered milk and sweetened with sugar or jaggery resulting in a buttery smooth desert that’s not only light in texture but also gluten free and vegetarian . Tarana is good on your palate as well as on your digestive system. If you are lactose intolerant, you can use almond milk or oat milk. Tarana takes literally 30 minutes to make and can be served warmed up or chilled and the taste is very similar to Khira Gaintha|Kheer Puli |Milky Rice Dumplings

Odia Bada Osa, Odisha, Utkal Divas

Honestly speaking, I haven’t heard about Tarana until my sister told me about it. She knows I love my Odia desserts or any dessert that’s rice based. Its her recipe and I followed it to the T. I usually mess around the recipes and add my personal touch to it (call me control freak) but not with this Tarana recipe. I wasn’t in slightest doubt about the taste nd texture of this dish. She knows my taste very well or else she wouldn’t have nudged me to try it.

Also, what great timing, right? Today is Utkal Divas and I’m getting to celebrate Utkal Divas with this very Odia dessert. Oh just to let you know, don’t confuse Tarana with Rose Pistachio Phirni. In Phirni, the rice is coarsely grinded, but here in the Tarana dish, the rice flour is used.

Now a little history on Tarana – while making Manda Pitha (Rice Dumplings with Coconut Filling), the dough or the ‘khali’ sticks to the walls of the container. Instead of throwing away the scrapings, the cooks pour milk and sugar into the pot and mix the scrapes of the manda pitha dough in it. That’s the origin of Tarana. It’s flavored with green cardamom and bay leaf.

Here is the recipe –


  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tea spoon cardamom powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • edible rose petals (optional)


  • Boil 2 cups of milk. Then simmer for 10 minutes once it comes to a boil
  • Add the bay leaf, sugar and cardamom powder into the simmering milk
  • Mix the remaining 1 cup milk with 1/2 cup rice flour and make sure there are no lumps
  • Slowly add the rice flour mixture into the simmering milk and keep whisking to void lumps. This step is very important. You have to keep whisking the milk in low heat or else it will take seconds to burn the dish
  • Once you notice Tarana started to thicken up, you can lower the heat even more and keep stirring for another 7/8 minutes
  • Turn off the heat and cover
  • Enjoy chilled or warm

Author: MyYellowApron

I’m scrappy, weird and goofy. I’m a snob when it comes to a LOT of things.., Mainly – coffee, wine and chocolates. I laugh loud and yell louder. I run fast, but walk slow. I love walking long walks with a hot mug of coffee held tight between my hands. I have lonely eyes and a kind heart. I forgive but rarely forget. I remember the silliest of things and forget important matters. I love to run, read, cook and entertain. I draw inspirations from anything and everything aesthetic. There are numerous people who have and still continue to enrich my life in many good ways. I will remain indebted to them – Always. My dad is my biggest fan when it comes to cooking. I could see his eyes light up every time I serve something. My mom’s agility and affectionate nature that reflects on her food is something I’m still trying to master. Travel fascinates me amongst other things. Leave me in Venice and I would get lost in its timeless beauty – The canals. The piazzas. The art. The espresso. Leave me in NYC and I would tirelessly walk the length and breadth of the city (after all, There is always something open 24 hours a day). Through this blog, I am hoping to bring in my passion and love for a few things – Cooking, Travel, Kids, Coffee, Clothes and in the interim learn more myself. Hope I am able to do justice to my PASSION.

11 thoughts

  1. That looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never heard of Tarana before, but I have to have it. It looks amazing, and it’s such a simple recipe to make.


  2. Was just passing by and could not let my eyes off from the pictures you posted of Tarana (new to me as I’m a Goan(Goa)). What a lovely writing . I will surely try your Tarana recipe👍🏻 .


  3. I have never tasted it, but it looks really delicious. I will definitely try making this for everyone.


  4. oh my world ! i am so going to try this , it looks absolutely delicios ! kind regards Pati Robins at style squeeze blog


  5. This is the first time I heard about this dessert. It looks so good. I hope I can try this soon.


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