scorecardresearch
Thursday, Oct 06, 2022
Premium

In Agartala, Durga Puja gets a very indigenous flavour

Local entrepreneur and journalist Kamal Kalai’s traditional food festival at Lake Chowmuhani Corporation Market in Agartala this year was a much bigger success than its humble debut last year.

Tripura’s Durga Puja had a very unique flavour this year with a whole array of indigenous foods on offer for pandal hoppers. (Express photo by Debraj Deb)

Durga Puja in Tripura had a very unique flavour this year with a whole array of indigenous foods on offer for pandal hoppers. Local entrepreneur and journalist Kamal Kalai’s traditional food festival at Lake Chowmuhani Corporation Market in Agartala this year was a much bigger success than its humble debut last year.

“I found people coming to visit Tripura asking around for traditional food. They would either get fooled by conmen or would return empty-handed. This is not fair. So, I started this initiative in 2018 and have got a tremendous response this year”, Kalai told indianexpress.com.

While the festival had just 12 stalls last year, this year there were 25 shops. Another 20 were listed but turned down due to shortage of space.

All the dishes come from the 19 Tripura tribes and are different in their composition and treatment. (Express photo by Debraj Deb)

From godok, wahan mosdeng, tohan mosdeng, chonga godok, awalai fish, khangrai (sweetwater crab) roast, asokja (roasted fish), chalta salad to pope mukhoi, chatang, chakhoi, chutoi mosdeng (turmeric and dry fish bharta) and wakh buthui (pork blood and rice dish), there was something for everyone at the fest this year. All the dishes come from the 19 Tripura tribes and are different in their composition and treatment.

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key-October 6, 2022: Why you should read ‘Committees of Parliament’ ...Premium
World Bank says 70 million plunged into poverty in 2020: What caused setb...Premium
Remembering Indian tennis great, Naresh Kumar, who passed away on Septemb...Premium
How Carlsen would need to cheat just once in a game of chess to be invinc...Premium

Interestingly, most of the food items are sourced from jhum (shifting) cultivation and are fully organic. Rabi Sadhan Jamatia, a 32-year-old tribal youth from Kuarkami Para village in Gomati district, 50 km from here, said: “All these food items are fully organic and healthy. We don’t use oil or any spices in our food items. We are trying to showcase our traditional cuisine through this indigenous food festival.”

Most of the food items are sourced from jhum (shifting) cultivation and are fully organic. (Express photo by Debraj Deb)

Jamatia said modern cuisine has distanced people from their tradition. Though the food festival doesn’t offer them much profit, the effort has been to popularise their native and traditional dishes.

Liliparmui Reang, a local tribal fashion designer and culinary enthusiast, hopes to get some international popularity for Tripura’s indigenous dishes one day. She has rakes in a business of around Rs 40,000 in the past three days. With one more day to go, Liliparmui feels indigenous cuisine has caught up with Chinese, continental and fusion dishes which are in vogue these days.

Advertisement
Liliparmui Reang, a local tribal fashion designer and culinary enthusiast, hopes to get some international popularity for Tripura’s indigenous dishes one day. (Express photo by Debraj Deb)

“Most of us participants are professionals in some other trade. We have come together to assert our culinary identity. Durga Puja is always a great time to try our skills. We have had a very encouraging set of customers,” she said.

Indigenous cuisine has caught up with Chinese, continental and fusion dishes which are in vogue these days.(Express photo by Debraj Deb)

Earlier this month, the Tripura Tribal Research and Cultural Institute organised a three-day long tribal food festival in collaboration with the state government’s Department of Tribal Welfare at Dasharath Dev Memorial Hall premises in the city. However, only six food stalls turned up at the government-sponsored food festival.

First published on: 08-10-2019 at 01:57:17 pm
Next Story

Shanghai Masters Tennis 2019 Schedule, Fixtures, Time Table, Players: When and where to watch

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement