Chhattisgarh is situated in Central India and is the 10th largest state in terms of area and stands 16th in terms of population.It is one of the fastest developing country in India.The whole country almost depends on this state for Chhattisgarh. It is situated in Central India and is the 10th largest state in terms of area and stands 16th in terms of population.It is one of the fastest developing country in India.The whole country almost depends on this state for its steel and electricity!
This state was formed on November 1st 2000 and was earlier a part of Madhya Pradesh. Its capital now is Raipur and has 27 districts.
If the name sounds interesting, there are a few theories regarding it. Chhathis means 36 and garh means fort.In the olden days, it is said to have comprised of 36 feudal territories.But somehow this theory cannot be agreed with as we cannot find 36 forts in this region now.
Historians also say that it has been formed from the corrupted term- Chedisgarg, meaning the Empire of the Chedis / Dynasty.
It is interesting to note that the state animal is the Wild water buffallo, the state bird the Hill myna and the state tree -Sal / Sarai.Many International brand chocolates use the butter from the Balsar Sal tree !Now, isn’t that something!
Chhattisgarh boasts beautiful waterfalls, hot water springs,caves with pre-historic paintings, archaeological sites,temples and dams.
Coming to the cuisine part, just like any other Indian state, this cuisine too is influenced by the neighboring states cuisine. Owing to the large tribal population,the food in this state is divided into the tribal and non tribal cuisine.
The traditional and tribal food are rice / rice flour based. No wonder because this state is said to be the rice bowl of central India.
Apart from rice, green leafy vegetables,curd / yogurt are also consumed in a meal.A local brew is a favorite among the locals and is prepared from the Mahuwa flower and is a very heady concoction.I read that the people of this state are fond eating sweets at the end of a meal!
Even though rice is the staple food here, wheat , maize and jower are also used owing to the influence form the neighboring states. Toor dal / Arhar dal is the favored and most widely used pulse here along with the other pulses which are cooked alone or in combination with green leafy vegetables / other vegetables.
The tribal cuisine of this state is very distinct. It was hard for me to digest the fact that they eat red ants, squirrels and rats! Red ant chutney is said to be a tribal delicacy!
Apart from this pork, mushrooms are their preferred food and pork being the most favored. In fact, an offering of pigs as sacrifice is a ritual that is followed to mark the beginning of something auspicious!Rakhia Badi and Petha are some of the dishes that are unique to the tribal folks of this state. Rice beer and Saphi are the popular tribal beverages.
The non tribal cuisine uses a wide range of cereals and vegetables and hence their diet is very balanced and provides the necessary nutrients.On the other had the tribal cuisine is devoid of all these and hence recent studies of the tribal children show that they have a low nutritional status.
There are several festivals that eh people of this state celebrate and they are indigenous to the tribal and non tribal folks.And during these festivals traditional dishes are prepared and served.
The weekly markets are called Haat Bazaar and the local produce is sold there.Everything from the tribal produce to local beer and live red ants can be found here!