Chunga Chaul

“Food is a symptom of our culture. The way that we grow and eat food tells us everything about who we are. Everything.”
–Mary Rohlfing, Morning Owl Farm

‘Chunga chaul’ means rice made in bamboo tubes. Rice is known as ‘chaul’ in local dialects and ‘chunga’ refers to bamboo tubes cut between nodes with one end closed while the other end is left open. Chunga acts as container for storing mostly food and water in villages of North East India. Although it may sound to be pretty primitive, careless and coarse but the rustic way of cooking rice in the bamboo chunga is healthy, aromatic and simply mind-blowing. The technique is easy and gives a deep flavor to the rice. The time for cooking depends on the size of chunga, the amount of water, rice and the size of fire.

This issue, Fried Eye guest, Hardeep Singh Matharu explicitly brings the exquisite ethnic way of making chunga chaul.  The following photos shot by him will take you through the process of using bamboo as a rice cooker.

Step 1

 

 

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Put rice in a washed 'aamcha' leaf . A Banana leaf can also be used.

Step 2

 

 

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Fold the rice in the leaves according to the size to fit in the bamboo tube. ' Dholu' bamboo which has got a thin wall and grows in the Naga hills is the best to use.

 

Step 3

 

 

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Insert the sleeve into the bamboo tube. The bamboo has got the sealed node on one side and is open on the other side.

 

Step 4

 

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Pour water into the bamboo tube which has the rice packed in a 'aamcha' leaf

Step 5

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Fill water a little below the brim of the bamboo tube.


 

Step 6

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Keep the bamboo in a fire for about 20 minutes


 

Step 7

 

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Rice boiling inside the bamboo


Step 8

 

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Remove the hot cooked rice sleeve from the bamboo

Step 9

 

 

 

Chunga Chaul

Cooked chunga chaul along with other Naga dishes

Keep Reading this space for more recipes on the Tribal fiesta.

 

Enjoy !!!

 

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