The Restaurant Putting India’s Disappearing Tribal Cuisine Back on the Menu

India, indigenous food

WHEN ARUNA TIRKEY, A MEMBER of Central India’s Oraon indigenous community, walked into her small town’s glossy new department store almost a decade ago, one product made her stop short: a packet of millet. Known locally among the Oraon as madua, millet was a staple in Tirkey’s family when she was growing up. As the influence of industrial agriculture spread to India’s hinterlands, however, the traditional grain had become increasingly rare. Seeing millet in an upscale store, marketed at a price many indigenous Indians couldn’t afford, Tirkey was shocked. “It was surprising for me to see the product in the store at a premium price, knowing that at the same time it was fast disappearing from our diets,” she wrote.

Read more at Atlas Obscura. Featured image: Simon Williams/Ekta Parishad.

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