Bhubaneswar: It’s an insect, but not harmful. For tribals, this insect is a very useful food that sustains them for major part of a year.
Sindhikida, the insect seen in the forests of Malkangiri, is considered a popular food by tribals.
With the arrival of January, the tribals – both elders and children – prepare themselves to venture into the forests with daggers and other traditional weapons to collect Sindhikidas.
Sindhi is a date-palm variety of tree and since the kida or insect live in this tree, people call the insect Sindhikida.
Looking like date-palm nuts, Sindhkida is very sweet in taste. Its market demand is very high four Sindhikidas sell at Rs 10.
The tribals take Sindhikida in different forms – sometimes they cook Sindhikida curry with spices and at times they make chutney by adding chilly, garlic and onion.
While Sindhikida curry is taken with cooked rice, the chutney is mostly consumed with traditional drinks like Salap, Pendum, Landa and Mahuli.
Rama Padiami who along with his wife Aita Padiami goes to forest to collect Sindhikida says he earns around Rs 200 a day during the Sindhikida collection seasons that runs from January to June.
The tribals also believe that Sindhikida has got large medicinal values and it can be used to cure many diseases. True or false, Sindhikida has become a part of tribal culture and food habit, say researchers.