IndusFresh Details

By TPCI | November 8, 2019

That India is a land of diversity is an indubitable fact. Be it climate, flora & fauna, culture, cuisine or physiography – there’s hardly any area where the country enjoys uniformity. And nowhere is this disparity more evident than in the country’s culinary landscape. It is therefore, hardly a surprise that there exists a very interesting variety of the kind of foods that are enjoyed across the country. This multifariousness is even evident in the list of food products that have been awarded the prestigious Geographical Indication.

While there are some like Odisha’s Rosogulla and Darjeeling Tea whose popularity across the various nook and crannies of India and the world is statuesque, there are others who have recently been endowed with this widely acclaimed status and are lesser known to the rest of the world. This, however, does not diminish their uniqueness. In this article, we bring out 5 such arcane food items that have recently been awarded the GI Status:

Mysore Betel Leaf (Mysore veelyedele), Karnataka
Prized for its heart-shaped leaves, smooth texture and hot flavor, these leaves have a taste that is unlike the famous ‘Pan Banaras Wala’ or any other quintessential pan. What imparts these leaves this nonpareil flavor is the agro-climatic condition in which the leaf is grown –black clay soil with moderate rainfall. It is also said that betel leaves have benefits like improving digestion, oral health and keeping away bad breath.

Kadaknath chicken, Madhya Pradesh
Hailing from MP’s Jhabua district, this variety of chicken is not like any other variety consumed in the country. This all-black superbird is also said to be loaded with extensive medicinal properties and is used to cure a particular nervous disorder. It has a game fowl taste. Interestingly, though, the eggs have a brown colour. The only other parts in the world where Black Meat Chicken is produced are China & Indonesia.

Naga Mircha, Nagaland
Bhut jolokia’s spicier cousin, the Naga Morich is a wrinkled chili that was awarded the GI registry mark by the Government of India on 02/12/2003. It is one of the hottest known chilli peppers and is also called ghost pepper, ghost chili and ghost jolokia. It is a small-to-medium shrub with large leaves, small, five-petaled flowers, and hot fruit. So, if you are in the mood to spice things up by a few notches, then you must definitely try out this fiery chili.

Beed Custard Apple, Maharashtra
In 2016, the Indian government awarded GI status to Maharashtra’s Beed Custard Apple or sitaphal. Owing to its sweet & delicate flesh, this deciduous fruit is a popular delicacy. Rich in carbohydrates, this is one of the finest fruits introduced in India from tropical America. Beed custard apple is known to be especially sweeter due to its Total Soluble Sugar Value, which is higher than its counterparts in US and UK. What makes this crop farmer-friendly is that it can be cultivated in a plethora of agro-climatic conditions - from saline soils to droughts and from hilly terrains to barren lands.

Tirupati Laddu, Andhra Pradesh
What makes this product stand out from the others is that it is the prasad of the famed temple of Tirupati Balaji. This delicious food offering was introduced about 3 centuries ago on August 2, 1715. It is prepared by special hereditary priests called archakas in special temple kitchen known as potu. Made using quality ingredients including sugar, ghee, oil, flour, cardamom and dry fruit, this delectable sweet has become a major source of revenue for the temple. Over the years, the popularity of Tirupati Temple Laddu has proliferated to such an extent that it was conferred with the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2014.