Matabari Pera Prasad From Tripura Receives GI Tag

Following the footsteps of the queen pineapple which received its GI tag recognition in 2023, Tripura’s Matabari pera is the latest food item to be added to the list of recipients. Distributed as holy offerings or prasad to devotees who visit the Tripurasundari temple in Gomti district, the pera has a unique appearance – being round and with a slight indentation in the middle. Made with cow milk and sugar, which is slow-cooked until the solids begin to caramelise, enhancing the flavour of the pera.

Image Credits: Matabari Temple/Facebook

With a dedicated market selling the pera prasad outside the temple premises, the sweet preparation is packed in bamboo boxes that are native to the state. The hand-rolled peras start off with the boiling of milk, following which the mixture is stirred continuously using a customised cauldron placed over firewood that has a mechanised stirrer. This process allows the sugars in the milk to deepen in flavour, giving the peras a toffee-like taste. Although some shops in Tripura continue to slow-cook the milk in kadhais, mass production has led makers to formulate a more sustainable method. The constant stirring is what gives the pera its smooth texture, preventing the proteins from coagulating and turning grainy when bitten into.

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Once the milk mixture reaches a batter-like consistency or khir, it is mixed with sugar, cooled and allowed to set – after which it is kneaded by hand to form a ‘dough’, that forms the foundation of these famed peras. Along with the pera prasad, the state’s handwoven cloth called pachra was also awarded the tag this year. With special efforts undertaken by the self-help groups, Matabari Mahila Cluster Level Bahumukhi Samabaya Samity Limited from Udaipur and the Dewanbari Mahila Cluster Bahumukhi Samabaya Samity Limited from Killa, the success of the GI tag was applauded by Tripura’s chief minister, Manik Saha.