Indigenous knowledge on processing of ‘Godak’ – a delicacy of the tribal population in Tripura and its nutritional quality.

· Articles
Authors

Bahni Dhar1, Deepayan Roy2, Arin Majumder3 & Nandita Ray4

Dept. of Fish Processing Technology, College of Fisheries,

CAU, Lembucherra, Tripura- 799210

3 Dept. of Agriculture, Govt. of Tripura,

Agartala, Tripura – 799001

1Corresponding author : e-mail : bahni_4s@rediffmail.com

Phone :  (0) 9436124188

Author 2 : e-mail : hellodeepayan2008@gmail.com

Author 3 : e-mail : arin.bahni@gmail.com

Author 4 :  e-mail : nanditaray4@gmail.com

Abstract

To document  the uniqueness of food habit of tribals of Tripura initiated to conduct a survey in two villages near Lembucherra of West Tripura Dist. covering 100 households on traditional processing of Godak, a delicacy of tribal communities, its consumption pattern and nutritional qualities. Survey revealed that a majority of the population consumes the product which is a non-oily dish prepared by boiling fermented fish shidal with vegetables and consumed with rice. The plants used as ingredients bear some medicinal value. Nutritional study of the product shows 88.65% moisture, 2.4% protein, 2.04% ash, 2.067% carbohydrate and very low content of fat 0.22% and a calorific value of 19.85. Godak is nutritious, healthy and safe to eat.

Keywords: Traditional recipes, Fermented food, Shidal, Tribes of Tripura, fermentation

Introduction:

Shidal is a traditional semi-fermented fish product of Tripura processed from Puntius sp. Fermentation is an age old practice of preservation of fish. In addition to preservation, fermented foods also develop a distinctive flavor, increase digestibility, add palatability and improve nutritional & pharmaceutical values. Traditionally fermented food shidal is very popular and preferred highly by all the section of population in Tripura. Shidal is also popular in other North-eastern states and are locally known as Nngari in Manipur, Hidal in Assam, Sheedal in Arunachal Pradesh and Seppa in Mizoram (Singh & Shaya Devi, 2010).

 Puntius sp., a small fish of carp family is mainly utilized either in dried or raw form for the preparation of shidal. Raw shidal cannot be consumed as such because of its smell. So, development of ready to eat products from shidal will be the way to popularize it among the non shidal eating population (Muzaddadi, 2009). A few products are made using shidal as raw material viz; Godak & Shidal chutney. The people of Tripura relish shidal & products prepared out of this. ‘Godak’ prepared from shidal is mainly consumed by the Tribal population of different communities in the state and is gaining popularity among the other section of the population also. Chutney prepared from shidal is consumed by both Tribal & Bengali population of the state. The raw shidal bears a pungent smell that may be unattractive at start. But this no longer will be repulsive as people get accustomed to it. Shidal can be either boiled with other vegetables & plants in Godak preparation or cooked with different combination of condiments & spices as Shidal chutney. These preparations are delicious and totally neutralize the unpleasant smell of raw shidal.

Godak prepared from shidal is a traditional oil-free dish mainly prepared and consumed by the tribal population of the state. It is a good appetizer when taken with rice and is enduringly tasty. The product needs no spices and is good from the health point of view. Several studies have been carried out on indigenous knowledge of traditional recipes of different regions of India such as processing of ‘Selroti’, a fermented food of Nepalis (Yonzan and Tamang, 2010), nutritional value of under-utilized tribal food legume (Vadivel and Pugalenthi, 2010) and traditional recipe of Kangra Dist. of Himachal Pradesh (Kapoor et al., 2010). A few studies on shidal have also been reported by Muzaddadi & Basu, 2010. Studies on hygienic preparation of Shidal (Muzaddadi, 2006) and Shidal chutney (Bahni, 2006) have been reported by some authors, but no study on preparation of Godak and its nutritional composition has been conducted so far. Here, an attempt was made to bring to light the indigenous knowledge on traditional processing of ready to eat product Godak of the tribes in Tripura and to study its nutritional qualities.

Materials and methods:

A survey was conducted in randomly selected 100 households of two tribal villages near Lembucherra of west Tripura District representing the major tribes of Tripura (Tripuri, Reang, and Chakma). Information was collected on consumption of Godak using questionnaire. Indigenous knowledge on processing of Godak, its consumption pattern and ethnical importance was documented based on the information sought from local tribes of the villages during survey.   The traditional processing involved in its preparation are documented and the ingredients used are presented in Table 1. The product immediately after preparation was brought to the laboratory of Dept. of Fish Processing Technology at College of Fisheries, Lembucherra, Tripura to study the nutritional characteristics.

Traditional processing of ready to eat product Godak : Godak can be prepared by boiling shidal with different combination of vegetables and bamboo shoot. Fresh shidal (fermented Puntius sp,) was washed in clean water and kept aside. All the ingredients such as beans, green pea, green chilli, banana stem, bamboo shoot, potato etc. were washed properly and cut into small pieces (fig. 1, 2 & 3). In a big aluminum round bottom container locally called dekchi water was taken and to this all the cut ingredients were added one by one. The quantity of water taken should be adequate to immerse all the ingredients. The ingredients were boiled and then Shidal was added to the mixture and boiled for about thirty minutes. (fig. 4). Then the contents were allowed to cool. The total boiled content was mashed using a cylindrical bamboo stick (fig. 5). The final product is Godak (fig.6) having a semi-solid consistency.

Besides these, some other vegetables such as brinjal, raw jackfruit, jackfruit seed and some plants are also used for Godak preparation. The ingredients used for preparation differs based on the taste of people. Generally, potato with 2 to 3 other vegetables are used along with shidal, which is the main ingredient responsible for the typical flavor and taste of the product.

The product was studied for nutritional compositions such as moisture, protein, fat, ash using the method of AOAC (2000).  Carbohydrate content of Godak was estimated by Anthrone method (Yemm & Willis, 1954).

Results and discussions

Survey revealed that almost the entire population consumes Godak and they prepare it using traditional method. Generally tribal women are involved in the preparation. The consumption of the product is centered mainly in the adult age groups, particularly the women. In some families it is a part of their everyday diet. Tribal communities irrespective of their socio-economic status consume the dish mainly with rice. A different combination of vegetables, bamboo shoot and local fermented fish shidal is used for the preparation. Besides these, preparation of Godak also involves use of some of the locally available plants which have medicinal value. These include: twigs and leaves of Ipomoea aquatica (locally: Kalmi shaak), leaves of which shows antioxidant property. Seeds from the fruits of Solanum torvum (locally: khamka sikum) is also used in Godak preparation. Extracts of the fruits showed wide anti-microbial activities against human & animal clinical isolates (Chowdhury et al., 2010). Another important plant’s tender stem & leaves used as vegetable in Godak preparation is Lasia spinosa (locally: Pachak). For popularizing Godak among the masses quality of the product has to be enhanced and this can be done by using good quality raw materials like freshly prepared shidal, fresh vegetables which are cleaned properly with water before cooking. Ingredients used should be of fresh quality and the method of preparation should be hygienic. The use of plant material which are completely organic and no oil make the product safe to eat and thus healthy.

Results of nutritional compositions of the Godak are presented in Table 2. The product has a moisture content of 88.65%, crude protein content of 2.4%, a crude lipid of 0.22%, ash/mineral content of 2.85% and carbohydrate 2.067%. The product contains a high amount of moisture as water was used for the preparation and the product is semi-solid in consistency. Good content of carbohydrate in the product is mainly due to use of potatoes and other plant materials for preparation. The product has got a low content of protein because no protein source has been used in the product except shidal.  Godak is non-oily product as no oil or fat is used in the preparation and so has got a very low fat content. The plant materials used for the preparation is organic and both nutritious and safe to eat.

Godak has an ethnic value among the tribal of Tripura. This product is prepared by almost all tribes of the state like tripuri, reang, chakma, lusai, mog etc. It is served during marriage ceremony of various tribes of Tripura along with other items. Besides this, Godak is served in almost all tribal festivals. The product is consumed by all strata of tribal consumers irrespective of their socio-economic status. The product has now become very popular among the Bengali populace of the state as they are also very fond of shidal and products prepared out of it.

Conclusion

Godak is an important dish of the tribal of Tripura. It is served in almost all big festivals of the different Tribal communities. There is an ample scope for establishing an industry with shidal and shidal based products in the North-Eastern India. Even though the food habits of people have changed over time, but those who have their roots in villages still take pleasure in consuming this traditional food item. So, there is a need to bring ahead such recipes and carry out study on nutritional qualities. The traditional knowledge on preparation of such foods by different tribal communities of North-East India may be useful for future research in this area.

Summery :

The Tibals of Tripura are unique in their culture, tradition and food habit. Over the years of food processing related to fish, noticed the consumer preference of a local indigenous product ‘Godak’. This prompted to conduct a consumer preference of a local indigenous fish product ‘Godak’ in two villages near Lembucherra, Tripura. Survey reveals that Godak is a non-oily boiled dish prepared using fermented fish shidal, bamboo-shoot, vegetables and some plants of medicinal value. Nutritional quality analysis shows a good content of carbohydrate, minerals and very low fat and good calorie content. This indigenous nutritional product requires attention of various organizations for promotion.

Acknowledgement

The support and facilities provided by College of Fisheries, Central Agricultural University, Lembucherra, Tripura to conduct the survey and carry out the work at laboratory of the institution is gratefully acknowledged.

References

  1. A.O.A.C., Official Methods of Analysis, 17th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists,  Washington, DC, USA, 2000
  2. Bahni, D., Preparation of ready to eat product (shidal chutney) from shidal, In: Training manual on Preparation of Shidal Employing Hygienic Methods, (ed. Muzaddadi, A.U., Das, S. and Debnath, S.) Dept. of Fisheries, Govt. of Tripura, 2006, p. 41.
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Table 1. Recipe used for preparation of Godak

Ingredient used

Local name

Scientific name

Potato

Aloo

Solanum tuberosum

Brinjal

Begun

Solanum melongeana

Bamboo

Baansh

Bambusa tulda

Bean

Barboti

Phaseolus lunatus

Green pea

Motorshuti

Pisum sativum

Green chilly

Kaancha lanka

Capsicum annum

Banana

Kala

Musa acuminate

Jackfruit

Kathal

Artocarpus heterophyllum

Table 2. Nutritional composition of Godak

 

Parameters

Result

Moisture (%)

88.65 ± 0.88

Crude protein (g%)

2.40 ± 0.14

Crude fat (%)

0.22 ± 0.036

Ash/mineral (%)

2,85 ± 0.079

Carbohydrate (%)

2.067 ± 0.036

Values are mean of three replicates ± standard error

 

 

 

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