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Old 4th April 2011, 14:00   #31
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Great Pics and description.
Waiting for more eagerly.
regards
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Old 4th April 2011, 20:12   #32
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Great Pics and description.
Waiting for more eagerly.
regards
Thanks Coooolcat. The next instalment is out in next fifteen minutes
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Old 4th April 2011, 20:36   #33
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Tokapal haat, fighter cocks and lal chinti ki chutney!

We were hungry as we left Tiratgarh. Chetan suggested that we go to Makri dhabha on the way to Tokapal which was our next stop. We were not sure how the dhabha would be as we had not seen many of them in Chattisgarh. It was a hot afternoon and we were sweating as we entered the dhabha. We had roti and palak Masala. Ravi ordered his staple chicken. Wherever I go, I try and eat local cuisine. Unfortunately, we were not able to get any in Chattisgarh. The dhabha served us typical Punjabi dish. Surprisingly, the food was very good. The best part of lunch was the Kheer. It was very excellent. Eating our heart fill, we started towards Tokapal haat.

Ravi in front of Dhabha
Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-dhabha.jpg

Weekly haats in Chattisgarh is a scene not to be missed. Every village has a weekly haat. These are something similar to weekly markets we have in our villages. The haats in Bastar generally starts by afternoon and end by sun set. These haats are held on one of the days in the week. The weekly haat in Narayanpur is supposed to be largest and most colourful. Since it is held on Mondays, we had missed it and had to settle for haat at Tokapal which is held on Tuesdays. We were not disappointed.

These haats are the nerve centre of Chhattisgarh’s economy. This is also the place for social networking among the tribals. As we moved towards Tokapal, we could see tribals walking over long distances in bare foot to the haat with their produce.

What makes Bastar's weekly haats a “not to be missed” event on any tourist itenarary is the amazing vibrancy and energy it has. Also about the mindboggling variety of items you can buy. Everything is sold and bought here. From home made jiggery (gur) to dried fish to dried mahua flowers and fighter cocks! If lucky you can taste local cuisine as well. We had Bajjis and samosas and washed it with Salfi, the freshly brewed palm beer. Salfi is light beer and taste little tangy and good. We were looking for liquor made of mahua but could not get any. Women in colourful dresses dominate these haats and obviously make the place very colourful.

Homemade Jaggery for sale

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-t1.jpg

What are these? Snakes or fishes!!

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-t3.jpg

Group of women networking (can also see pics of dried fish on sale)

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-tribal-women-tee.jpg

As we were moving around, I stopped at a stall selling a familiar looking sweet. It looked like what we call it as “Halu bai” in Kannada and is made of Coconut and Jaggery (Halu in Kannada means Milk and Bayi means sweet). I was surprised to see it being sold in the market in Bastar! It almost tasted like ours. I could not get the recipe from the lady selling as she could not speak Hindi!

Halu bai in Bastar!

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-t2.jpg

Moving on, we saw mounds of dried Mahua flowers being sold. I asked Chetan, our guide as what do they do with it. I get a surprise answer from him “Liquor”. Yes. The tribals brew liquor out of these dried Mahua flowers. Mahua trees grow in abundance in the region and they produce mildly scented mahua flowers which tribal women adorn their hair with. As these flowers contain nectar you can find many birds hanging around in these tress during flowering season.

Dried Mahua flowers ready for brewing
Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-mahua.jpg

We continued our exploration of Haat soaking in its vibrant colours and energy. We stopped suddenly to see this woman selling red ants! Is it “lal chinti ki chutney” (Red ants chutney), I asked Chetan. He nodded in affirmative. I could not believe my eyes. These were live red ants peppered with Masala!! Like Russian caviar and French blue cheese, this has to be acquired taste. Either you like it or despise it. I did not dare to experiment being a veggie. But for non vegetarians it should be an experience of life time! I had read about lal chinti ki chutney and I was seeing it live now!

Lal chinti ki chutney!!

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-lal-int.jpg

As we were coming out, we saw a group of people negotiating price of a cock. I asked Chetan what was this all about. Chetan said that these were fighter cocks and prized ones! Cock fighting is a big game in Chattisgarh and huge bets are laid during these fights. It is also a prestige issue for owners. Fierce competition ensues in these cock fighting sessions. We could not see any in Tokapal haat and Chetan said it was being held at a place which was ten KMs away.

Fighter cocks on sale!!

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-cock.jpg

Meanders in Madhya Bharat – Chattisgarh & Kanha-cock-2.jpg

As we had to go to Chitrakote and it was getting late, we dropped the idea of seeing the cock fighting.

Next stop – Chitrakote falls – Niagara of India
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Old 4th April 2011, 21:05   #34
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Please tell something more about this...

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Chattisgarh gets back so many memories, especially the Laal Int Ki Chutney.
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Old 5th April 2011, 06:55   #35
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Please tell something more about this...
GD Sahab,
Me too me too, I need to know about anything that can be consumed, especially if it tastes exotic and good. The striking name needs to be eleborated with the recipie.
Regards,
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Old 5th April 2011, 07:33   #36
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Bastar ...interesting pics and information. Please roll the wheels !
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Old 5th April 2011, 09:59   #37
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Please tell something more about this...
Gd Sir,

What i came to know is that these Lal Chintis - red ants - are eaten alive with Chilli and salt and other masala by tribals. Something like our Bhelpuri! Call it Red ant Bhelpuri if you want!! Red ants, wild mushrooms, meat and rice are the staple diet of tribals in Bastar.

When you bite the ants, possibly you get the taste!! I am not sure what happens if one odd ant goes inside with out being chewed??
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:00   #38
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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GD Sahab,
Me too me too, I need to know about anything that can be consumed, especially if it tastes exotic and good. The striking name needs to be eleborated with the recipie.
Regards,
Fazal Bhai,

Let me find out the recipe from the folks in Bastar and share it here
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:15   #39
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Its interesting how like Rajasthan here too you see an explosion of colours in the market place. Love their sense of colour !
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:24   #40
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Wow. Interesting. Did you see cock fight. I have seen many times. It's preety interesting.
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:32   #41
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Its interesting how like Rajasthan here too you see an explosion of colours in the market place. Love their sense of colour !
Dkg,

You are correct.

I have noticed this among the tribal and nomadic communities. Whether it is tribals in the North east - where i was posted during my army days - or in Rajasthan and Gujarat or even in South India - look at Lambanis - communities living in harmony with Nature tend to be colourful in their attire.

More we move towards cities and metros, the colours become dull and drab
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Old 5th April 2011, 10:44   #42
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

Hi Faujiji, nice snaps of the unexplored world.. can you share some more snaps of caves. I liked the waterfall background . Keep coming with the travelogue.

Cheers!!!
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Old 5th April 2011, 18:10   #43
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Hi Faujiji, nice snaps of the unexplored world.. can you share some more snaps of caves. I liked the waterfall background . Keep coming with the travelogue.

Cheers!!!
Thanks Milestone. Unfortunately, the batteries of my camera drained out when we enterd the caves and we could not click much. That is the only regret of this whole trip.
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Old 5th April 2011, 18:13   #44
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

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Wow. Interesting. Did you see cock fight. I have seen many times. It's preety interesting.
Thanks Subrat. No we did not as we were getting late for Chitrakote falls. Howver, i had seen earlier in other parts of the country
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Old 5th April 2011, 19:53   #45
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Default Re: Trailing Tribals and Tigers - Chattisgarh & Kanha Diaries

You all missed out on the humour. I know & have heard about the live Red Ant Chutney. Many African tribes eat this.

But what intrigued me was - the Laal Int Ki Chutney. I asked traveloholic to tell me more about this Red Brick Chutney...


Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
GD Sahab,
Me too me too, I need to know about anything that can be consumed, especially if it tastes exotic and good. The striking name needs to be eleborated with the recipie.
Regards,
And fazalbhai, aap to kamaal hain. Hyderabadi manoos goes hyper at the mention of the food.. Be it a brick too....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Gd Sir,

What i came to know is that these Lal Chintis - red ants - are eaten alive with Chilli and salt and other masala by tribals. Something like our Bhelpuri! Call it Red ant Bhelpuri if you want!! Red ants, wild mushrooms, meat and rice are the staple diet of tribals in Bastar.

When you bite the ants, possibly you get the taste!! I am not sure what happens if one odd ant goes inside with out being chewed??
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fauji View Post
Fazal Bhai,

Let me find out the recipe from the folks in Bastar and share it here

Last edited by gd1418 : 5th April 2011 at 19:55.
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