A Press Trust of India (PTI) story published on Thursday, reported that five food items from Odisha received the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. Their names were entered in the GI Registry in Chennai.
The products include an indigenous rice variety kalajeera from Koraput; a special date palm jaggery named khajuri guda from Gajapati district; kai chutney made with red weaver ants in Mayurbhanj district; kanteimundi brinjals from Nayagarh district; and a sweet named magji from Dhenkanal district.
The aromatic, small grained Koraput kalajeera rice is believed to have multiple health benefits. It is popularly known as the ‘prince of rice’.
Dhenkanal’s magji is a laddoo-shaped mithai prepared with just three ingredients: buffalo milk chenna (cheese), sugar and cardamom powder. Its simple honest flavours has earned it a huge following—and a GI tag.
The kai chutney is integral to the diet of the tribal communities in Mayurbhanj district. The primary ingredient is kai pimpudi(red weaver ants) that are ground to a chutney with chillies, garlic and ginger in a silbatta. It is seasoned with salt. The ants are believed to be rich in nutrients.
Nayagarh’s kanteimundi brinjal is a hardy vegetable that can survive long dry spells without rain and is grown through the year. Unlike most brinjals, it is round in shape with a green skin and lots of seeds. It is easy to cook, and is used in a number of stir-fried dishes.
Khajuri guda or date palm jaggery from Gajapati district is a winter speciality. The process of making it is similar to nolen gur from West Bengal. It goes into making several sweets during Makar Sankranti. It is also used to make a special payesh. A documentary, titled Khajur gud preparation, on the YouTube page Lotus Documentary shows how this winter delicacy is prepared.