Would you dare to eat red ants Chutney?
I often end up looking for amazing local produce available in different parts of the world.
Nothing explains the essence of a place better than the local food.
Why go far when your own country has so much to offer with its abundance of cultures?
Bastar village of Chhattisgarh, in Central India, has one such quirky food to offer its visitors.
In this village, a lot of devious red ants are found. However, the villagers have found a foolproof way to deal with the nuisance caused by these ants.
What better way than to eat them all up? The red ants are an important part of every household meal of the locals. It is a favorite pastime of the teenage boys to climb up the trees looking for the ant nests. The ants, larvae, and eggs can be eaten directly.
But it is mostly preferred to grind them into a chutney.
Every family has a unique recipe for their red ant’s chutney with a different combination of ingredients such s salt, chilies, ginger, tomatoes, garlic. This chutney is known as ‘Chaprah’, which translates to leaf basket, and refers to the nests made by the ants out of the Sal tree leaves.
The Red Ants Chutney has a strong pungent, taste that will send a shiver down your spine.
Some say it is sourer than tamarind and has a crunchy texture. The formic acid in the ants is what imparts a sour taste to the chutney.
Other than being considered a delicacy, red ants chutney also offer some health benefits.
Ants are rich in protein, giving you 14g per 3.5 oz of serving.
They also have a lot of Zinc, Vitamin B12, Copper, Potassium, and Calcium. It is known to build immunity and is good for brain health.
Whether it really has all the said beneficial properties or not, the fact that you can eat ants is intriguing enough to give this dish a shot on your next visit to Chhattisgarh.
What are your views? Have you ever tasted Red Ants Chutney? Let us know in comments below.