Eating insects is an integral part of tribal culinary heritage, and could be the answer to problems of food insecurity, environmental pressure and population growth.
Weaver ants have a tanginess from formic acid that make them a delightful addition to chutney. A tribe from the Boipariguda block in Koraput district of Odisha is famous for their consumption of red ants; red ant eggs are best consumed alongside a glass of rice beer. More on foraging for weaver ants in the forest.
Recipe for Weaver Ant Chutney
2 cups of weaver ants
2 handfuls shredded coconut
4-5 small red chillies
Salt, to taste (the primary function being to bring out the the tang of the ants)
4 cloves of garlic
Mint and coriander leaves, to taste
Pound the ants well using a mortar and pestle. If you want a finer texture, you could simply blend them with the coconut and mint.
Finely chop your garlic and cook until the raw taste disappears.
Add the finely chopped chilli if you wish to temper the spice.
Remove from heat and add to the ant and coconut mix.
Add salt, and garnish with coriander leaves.
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