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Traditional tribal foods on display at Khadyotsav in Odisha

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Bhubaneswar: At least 50 near extinct indigenous collections of paddy, 21 varieties of raggi, two types of foxtail millet and 41 varieties of plant parts used for medicinal purposes were on display at the second edition of the ‘Khadyotsav’ in Odisha’s Jajpur district.

An exhibition of more than 80 varieties of ethnic and age-old traditional and tribal food was set up at the food festival.

There were 30 varieties of traditional cake called “pitha” (in local parlance), 10 types of rice, 25 types of curry, 35 types of roots, tubers and much more which the tribals have been using for ages.

The Khadyotsav was organised by Sukinda Chromite Mine (SCM) of Tata Steel on December 18, said a statement on Wednesday.

It witnessed an array of agro-food diversities among different ethnic and tribal groups of the region and other parts of the state. Around 200 tribal women had displayed their dishes in 30 stalls.

Exotic items like Black carpenter ant chutney, bamboo shoot pickle, country chicken khichdi, cakes made of Mahul flower were also a big hit among the visitors attending the exhibition.

Experienced chefs of star hotels of Bhubaneswar like Mayfair, Trident, Ginger assessed the cuisines, interacted with the participants and checked feasibility of adopting some of the delicacies in their menu.

R.R. Satpathy, General Manager (Operations) of Ferro Alloys and Minerals Division, Tata Steel said this was part of a series of similar events Tata Steel is doing with an aim to contribute its bit towards Sustainable Development Goal of United Nations which wants to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

It will also help spread awareness on rich tribal food diversity of the region, he added.

Bijya Parida, senior chef of Hotel Mayfair said local delicacies like Khir Kakra, Kanti (sweet dish made of black gram cakes), mischi ki sag (a kind of spinach) are very good and can be introduced in hotel’s Odia food restaurant.

Sukinda MLA Preeti Ranjan Gharai said programmes like these will go a long way in promoting the cause of biodiversity and helping in preserving the dying ethnic and tribal food habits of Odisha. (IANS)

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