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Updated January 11th, 2024 at 16:21 IST

Red Ant Chutney From Odisha Gets GI Tag, Know More About This Superfood

This unconventional chutney, recently granted geographical indication, is particularly popular in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district.

Manasvi Asthana
Red ant chutney gets GI tag.
Red ant chutney gets GI tag. | Image:Unsplash
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On January 2, 2024, this distinctive savoury chutney was awarded the geographical indication (GI) tag. India boasts a diverse culinary landscape with unique dishes enjoyed across states. Among the surprising delicacies is red ant chutney, a renowned favorite among the tribal communities in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. This unconventional chutney, recently granted geographical indication, is particularly popular in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district. 

Beyond Odisha, this chutney is enjoyed by the people of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, where it is known as 'chapra'.

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How is it obtained?

Locals embark on forest expeditions to gather the red ants, notorious for their unsettling presence. Once a swarm is located, they carefully collect these ants, breaking their nests. Subsequently, a delicious chutney is crafted from these unique ingredients.

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Making of the chutney

The process involves grinding red ants along with garlic and green chilies. Initially, both the ants and their eggs are collected from anthills, ground, and then dried. The eggs of the red ant are also incorporated into the preparation of red ant chutney, imparting a notably spicy flavor.

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Once dried, they undergo a secondary grinding in a pestle. The chutney is crafted by combining the processed ants and eggs with tomatoes, coriander, salt and chili.

Health benefits of the chutney

For those curious about consuming this chutney, it's essential to recognise its nutritional value.

The red ant chutney serves as a protein-rich treasure with numerous medicinal properties.

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Notably, the formic acid it contains acts as a preventive measure against various stomach ailments. Additionally, abundant quantities of calcium and zinc are present, making it a recommended choice by experts for disease prevention.

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Published January 10th, 2024 at 15:16 IST

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