Consuming food is an integral part of being a living being, as it is a source of life and energy. Food also constitutes a large part of cultures across the world. There’s a quote in my community for when an old person passes away, “Nen ho do jom pure kidah” which means that the man finished eating his share of food in life. It’s a quote for those who age to a ripe old age and die a peaceful death. This quote signifies how important food is for all of us.
In my Ho Adivasi community, there is a delicacy that has earned the status of being ‘the last wish of a dying person.’ This dish is none other than the Porom Laad Jilu, often called as Laad Jilu in the Ho language. This is a traditional chicken recipe, prepared especially during the Gowan Bonga festival which is celebrated during winter.
The word porom means to wrap, laad means to steam and jilu means meat.
The chicken is wrapped with Saal Shakwa leaves; the saal leaves are the most important ingredient which add the flavour of the leaves to the chicken. The other ingredients used are arwa rice, on which the blood of the chicken is poured to add a more traditional twist. Turmeric powder, salt and mustard oil are also used in the process.
The amount of ingredients used depends on the quantity of meat. When the mixing of the ingredients and wrapping is completed, the final stage is to make a fire using firewood and place the wrapped-up chicken into the fire and leave it to steam for about 15-20 minutes. The slower the chicken is cooked, the better the taste.c
Curious about the recipe? Here is a video about how it is prepared:
"हम आदिवासी हर तरीक़े से बाज़ार पर डिपेंडेंट नहीं रहते। हमारे खाने में भी सुस्तेनबिलिटी की झलक हैं।हमारा मानना है की आज हम जो कुछ भी खाते हैं, सब हमारे पूर्वजों की देन हैं। वह हमारे लिए, आने वाले पीडियों के लिए इतना छोड़ कर गए है, की आज हम उन सब चीज़ों का लाभ उठा पा रहे हैं। हम अपना पेट भर पा रहे हैं।इसलिए सबसे पहला हिस्सा उनको ही जाता हैं।"देखिए Ashish Birulee के इस विडीओ को और जानिए की खाने का परंपरा के साथ कैसा रिश्ता है।आदिवासी आवाज़ इस उपक्रम के ज़रिए भारत के भिन्न-भिन्न क्षेत्रों के आदिवासी अपने समुदाय के साथ हम सब की पहचान करा रहें हैं। ये वो ही तय करते है, की उन्हें अपने समुदाय के बारे में किन कहानियों को बताना हैं। हम (आदिवासी लाइव्ज़ मैटर) सिर्फ़ एक ज़रिया हैं।आने वाले दिनों में, आप आशीष और अन्य आदिवासी डिजिटल कथाकारों के विडीओज़ देखेंगे और लेख पढ़ेंगे। हम उम्मीद करते है, की इनके इस प्रयास में आप सब समर्थन देंगे, और इन्हें और कहानियाँ बताने के लिए प्रोत्साहित करेंगे। #आदिवासीआवाज़ बुलंद रहें।
Posted by Adivasi Lives Matter on Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Adivasis use chicken as a devotional offering in almost every festival, prayer and orison, so it’s difficult for a lot of us to become a vegetarian. My community selectively uses only desi chicken and avoids the high breed/poultry chicken which is commonly available in markets. If the two are compared, the desi chicken is better than the poultry in terms of quality, safety, health and taste. Moreover, eating desi chicken is a matter of pride in the Adivasi community.
If we look at the method of preparation, this recipe does not harm the environment. The saal leaves that are used are brought from the jungle, plucking only the leaves without cutting or breaking the branches of the saal tree. The sticks and tiny raw wood for the fire are naturally available in villages, jungles or in areas surrounding the house. The chicken and arwa rice used is from the house itself, almost every family in the village keeps chickens at home and grows their own rice so that they don’t have to buy it from the market.
Although tribals are minimally dependent on the market, ingredients such as mustard oil, salt are bought from the market.
Everything we eat today are gifts to us from our ancestors. Our ancestors were not selfish, they have left enough sources of food for us today and that’s the only reason we can enjoy all the things nature has to offer. We are able to fill our stomachs, nobody in the community is dying of hunger. With the utmost respect, gratitude and honour, the first share of food is always offered to the ancestors. The ancestors were like soothsayers, they intelligently conserved the forests, rivers, trees for the future generations to come.
Let’s inherit and put the ideas of our ancestors into practice to help the coming generations.
To everyone who thinks that it is not our responsibility to ensure a sustainable future for humans in the future, here is saying in my Ho language-
“Tising ka redo chuileh, aanj ka redo okoi?”
“If not now then when, if not me then who?”