Odisha’s Red Ant Chutney receives GI tag

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Kai Chutney also known as Red Ant Chutney from Odisha, recently received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its unique taste and texture. Here’s all you need to know about this rare chutney and what makes it so special. Read on to find out…
The unique delicacy
Since ancient times, insects and worms have been consumed for their numerous health benefits in India and other parts of the world. This rare delicacy, made with Red Weaver Ants, hails from the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha, where this dish has been a quintessential part of their culinary culture.

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What’s special about this chutney?
Kai chutney is a classic coarse chutney made with a melange of spices, herbs, and Weaver Red Ants. This delightful chutney was awarded the geographical indication (GI) tag on January 2, 2024, for its exceptional health benefits and nutritional value.
All about the ants?
Red Ants are biologically known as Oecophylla Smaragdina. These ants can cause skin rashes or blisters on the skin with their extremely painful sting. In India, these ants are extensively found in the forests of Mayurbhanj, Similipal forests, parts of Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh.

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Nutrients and health benefits of Kai Chutney
According to health experts, this chutney is packed with nutrients like protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, potassium, etc. What’s more, this chutney is believed to boost brain health and contribute to the development of a healthy brain and nervous system, along with aiding conditions like depression, fatigue, and memory loss.

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How is it made?
This dish is not only a part of the local cuisine, but it is also a source of income for many tribes as they collect, prepare, and sell these insects and chutney. To prepare this dish, ants and their eggs are gathered from their nests and cleaned several times before making the chutney. Meanwhile, the spices and herbs are ground into a paste using a pestle mortar along with the cleaned ants. Ingredients like ginger, garlic, chilies, and a mixture of salts are used to make this dish, which is ground nicely into a semi-solid mixture.



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