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This Red Ant Chutney From Chattisgarh Is Not For The Faint Hearted

Chutneys  have long been the mainstay of Indian cuisine. Whether it’s pudina, tomato, coconut, imli or mango chutney, our meals become wholesome only after a dash of chutney to it. On a day when tinda or kaddu is cooked at home, it is this humble chutney which saves our day.


Chhattisgarh has taken the chutney culture to a whole new level. Wonder how spicy their version of chutney is? As sharp as an ant bite. That’s right. It’s a chutney made from red ants & their eggs. The Red Ant chutney is  one of those local  dishes in India that you must try once. 
In the jungles of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, red ants are found in abundance.  The local tribes of Chhattisgarh no longer find them a cause for nuisance . They have actually utilized them to  prepare a chutney called “Chapra  ki Chutney”. The name chapra literally means a leaf basket and refers to the nests the ants make out of the leaves of the sal tree. Although it sounds bizarre, this dish is quite popular & is an indispensable part of all feasts in the region.
How is it prepared?
The red ants along with the eggs are collected  from the nests and are crushed and dried. Then the  dry chutney is prepared by adding salt, sweeteners, ginger, coriander & chillies. The tribal people sell this chutney in small packets.  The red ant chutney will give a tough time to your tongue at first. The formic acid found in ants coupled with the seasonings renders this chutney very pungent &  hot, but it’s found to have medicinal properties. Even Gordon Ramsay found it amazing in spite of it’s sour taste. Hunting for Red Ant nests is a favourite pastime for youngsters in the area .


Benefits of Red Ant Chutney
Red ants contain valuable proteins and this tribe has put this virtue to good use.This chutney provides essential proteins and  calcium. It is also an excellent source of Zinc, which is good for our immune system. Vitamin B 12, which is essential for a healthy brain and nervous system, is also found in these ants. Consumption of Red Ant chutney helps to battle depression, fatigue and improves memory.
Who would have known, that a chutney can do a lot more than just lend zest to the cuisine. No wonder, it’s called an chutney adventure by the local Dhuruva tribe rather than just a dish.
The dare is on you, whenver next time you visit Chhattisgarh.
Got interested in chutneys? 



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Thought of the day

“प्रत्येक अच्छा कार्य पहले असम्भव नजर आता है।”