The ants are captured and crushed in a pestle and mortar with chilli, ginger and salt. They grind them into a paste to make chutney known as chapura. The bodies of ants contain formic acid believed to make useful medicinal qualities. People of the area believe that this cures malaria and dengue and quite useful for a person suffering from fever. people say that if there is normal fever, they go to the forest, sit under a tree so that red ant can bite them and the fever will be cured.
Some also use Tomatoes, green coriander and red chillies, to prepare the chatni. This is available more in the month of November and December. This is an unfamiliar dish which will not be found anywhere except its native place in Bastar. This tastes a bit sour.
Red ant chutney, also known as Chapura or Chhapra Chutney, is a popular and unique delicacy of the Bastar region in Chhattisgarh, India. It is made by grinding red ants along with other ingredients to create a spicy and tangy chutney that is enjoyed with meals or as a condiment.
To make red ant chutney, the ants are first collected from their nests, usually in the forested areas of Bastar. They are then cleaned, washed, and sun-dried for a few hours. Once they are dry, they are roasted over a low flame until they turn crispy and golden brown.
Next, the roasted ants are ground along with spices and herbs, including garlic, ginger, salt, coriander, cumin, and red chili powder. Tamarind or lemon juice is added to the mixture to give it a tangy flavor. Some recipes also call for the addition of roasted peanuts or sesame seeds to give the chutney a nutty flavor and a slightly thicker consistency.
The resulting chutney is a bright red color and has a strong, pungent aroma. It has a spicy and sour taste, with a slightly sweet undertone from the tamarind or lemon juice. The texture of the chutney is slightly coarse due to the ground ants, and it has a gritty feel in the mouth.
Red ant chutney is typically served with rice or roti as a side dish, or as a condiment with snacks like samosas, pakoras, or fritters. It is also used as a traditional remedy for digestive problems, as red ants are believed to have medicinal properties.
The consumption of red ant chutney is a traditional practice among the tribal communities of Bastar, who have been collecting and eating red ants for generations. The chutney is considered a delicacy and a source of pride among the local communities, who take great care in preparing it.
In recent years, red ant chutney has gained popularity among tourists and food enthusiasts, who are curious to try this unique delicacy of Bastar. However, it’s important to note that the collection and consumption of red ants can be dangerous if not done properly, and it’s best to seek guidance from a local expert or guide before attempting to prepare or consume red ant chutney.
In conclusion, red ant chutney is a unique and flavorful delicacy of the Bastar region in Chhattisgarh, India. Its spicy and tangy taste, along with its traditional significance, make it a must-try for adventurous food lovers visiting Bastar. However, it’s important to exercise caution and seek guidance from locals before attempting to prepare or consume this delicacy.