India’s love for food needs no introduction and neither does the diverse variety of unconventional dishes that people enjoy in different states, tribes and communities. Our food is a beautiful amalgamation of the culture and diversity that is part of the country.
When we think about Indian cuisine, we think about the rich flavours, the mouth-watering and eye-watering spices, the delightful sweetness of our mithais and the fine aromas. Food (Sanskrit— bhojana,’that which is to be enjoyed’) presents a way to understand everyday Indian culture as well as the complexities of identity and interaction with other parts of the world that are both veiled and visible.
Indian cuisines always insist on using local and seasonal produce for cooking. This ensures that the ingredients are fresh. However, few food items, that are eaten in some parts of the country, will leave you surprised because these bizarre dishes are far from the regular types of Indian cuisine which people have grown to love.
Here are some of the bizarre dishes of our country:
Silkworm dish – Assam
Silkworm pupae is a popular dish in many parts of upper Assam. They have a crunchy exterior and reportedly, the taste and texture of mashed potato inside when fresh.
Steamed or boiled silkworm pupae which are seasoned is eaten as a snack and are often served with drinks.
Red ant chutney – Chhattisgarh
Chutneys have been the staple accompaniment to Indian cuisine for a long time. But you may or may not have known this rather unusual chutney called Chaprah.
‘Chaprah’ a pungent chutney is made of red ants and their eggs! The pungent chutney is made of ants that bite and sting. They are collected in large numbers and grinded into a hot and spicy chutney. The chutney forms an indispensable part of all their grand feasts and is relished whole-heartedly by the tribe members.
Frog legs – Sikkim
For people of Sikkim there is nothing more exotic than few pieces of frog legs. For them, frog leg is a delicacy they can relish for their entire life. Lepchas community of Sikkim believe that frog legs contain medicinal qualities which can cure stomach problems.
Frog legs are actually one of the better-known delicacies of French and Chinese cuisine. Frog legs cuisine is also contested as an issue of animal rights, as the frog’s legs are often removed without slaughtering the frogs first, at which point the still-living frogs are discarded.
Fried snails – Odisha
Ever tried fried snails? Well if not, Odisha is the destination for you. This state is home to the largest number of tribes in India and Odisha food is natural, safe and nutritious. Adivasi and tribal community of the state eat cooked snails with special fried rice. The best time to buy snails is between April and October, when they’re hibernating, because in order to be edible they need not to have eaten for at least a week.
Dog meat – Nagaland
Dog meat is one of the most popular cuisine from the tribal communities of Nagaland.
Nagaland and Mizoram serve dog meat prepared in different ways. Eating dog meat is said to have many health benefits. Of the Five Elements, dog meat is considered to be fire. In the winter, consuming dog meat, it is believed, helps keep one warm, while in the hottest months it will help one overpower the heat.
Baby shark curry – Goa
While ordering food in Goa don’t be shocked when you see baby shark curry on the menu because this is the star dish prepared using different sauces. Shark meat has always been a part of the Goan diet. The meat has a pungent smell, and most restaurateurs say that locals, over tourists, prefer the meat.
Sharks are a group of elasmobranch fish that are characterised by a cartilaginous skeleton, five to seven-gill slits on the sides of the head and pectoral fins that are not fused to the head. They are ancient fish and range widely in size, from 17 centimetres to nearly 12 metres. There are about 500 different species of sharks in the world.
These food dishes may not be to everyone’s tastes, but the following foods, which may be considered weird and bizarre, or even dangerous to outsiders, are considered as delicacies in their regions.
It’s fun to read about these strange and weird foods, but if you’re actually planning to try and eat some of these dishes, some of them can be dangerous to you so make sure to check if the food is suitable for you.