4 Odisha Regional Foods Get GI Tags, Kanteinmundi Brinjal & More

Receiving a geographical indication or GI Tag from the Centre is one of the best recognitions local foods, ingredients and heritage products can get in India. Each state and region puts up local favourites for GI Tags, and every year, the Indian government picks the worthiest of these. Now, four local foods from Odisha have joined these ranks by getting GI Tags, and the list includes the famous Nayagarh Kanteimundi Brinjal grown in the state. 

The Geographical Indications Registry issued an announcement on the website revealing that the Nayagarh Kanteimundi Brinjal of Odisha is one of four foods that have been given GI Tags. The other Odisha foods that have been given GI Tags are Gajapati Date Palm Jaggery, Dhenkanal Magji and Mayurbhanj Kai Chutney. Here are more details about each of these Odisha foods. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Kitchen Affairs

Nayagarh Kanteimundi Brinjal 

Grown in the Kantilo area of Nayagarh, Kanteimundi Brinjals are a delicious vegetable with prickly thorns. Green in colour and round in shape, these brinjals are loaded with seeds. This brinjal variety is said to have originated in the Badabanapur and Ratnapur areas of Nayagarh. Grown in a sandy soil and known to have a unique taste among brinjal genotypes, Kanteimundi Brinjal has reportedly been grown in Odisha for at least a century.  

The Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology (OUAT) had applied for the GI Tag for Kanteimundi Brinjals in 2021 on behalf of the Neelamadhab Krushi Sangathan at Banpur, Nayagarh district.  

Gajapati Date Palm Jaggery 

The Gajapati district of Odisha is just 300kms away from the state capital of Bhubaneswar, and this is where date palm trees are abundant on the hillsides. These date palm trees are the source of Gajapati Date Palm Jaggery, which is traditionally made by the Soura Tribe of the region. Working under the Odisha Rajya Talgur Samabaya Sangha (ORTSS), thousands of Soura Tribe members are engaged in producing this jaggery variety every year. 

Purely organic and incredibly sweet, this date palm jaggery was put up for GI Tag status in 2020 by Dr P Karthigeyan, an IPR expert from the MSME Ministry of the government of India.  

Dhenkanal Magji 

A very famous sweet prepared in the Dhenkanal disrict of Odisha, Magji is a delicious treat made with buffalo milk cheese. This buffalo milk cheese and the addition of cardamoms make these white laddoos from Dhenkanal an outstanding confection from Odisha. Reports suggest that the sweet has been around for over 100 years and even regional literature is packed with its praises. In December 2020, the Odisha University of Technology (OUAT) had submitted the applications seeking GI Tag status for Dhenkanal Magji.

Mayurbhanj Kai Chutney 

You might have heard of red ants chutney from Chhattisgargh, but did you know a similar chutney is also made with red weaver ants by the tribal communities of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district? In Mayurbhanj district, this Kai Chutney is predominantly made for its medicinal value, especially as a cure for viral fevers and pneumonia. The application for GI Tag status for Mayurbhanj Kai Chutney was also submitted by the OUAT on behalf of the Krishi Bigyan Kendra or Yashipur.