Photo Friday (22) – A Delicacy

InstagramCapture_d2e4b9cf-240b-405a-9426-89e4519b23e6_jpgThis photo was taken last month during one of my work trips to Bongaigaon, Assam. I had taken the Goalpara route and it was my first time in that part of my state. We had stopped at a place called Dudhnoi for breakfast and it was where I saw a lady selling the above silkworms along with many other ethnic food items like bhoot jolokia (ghost chilies), black rice, homegrown ginger, pigeons & chicken, etc.

The above are Eri silkworms and are one of the delectable food items in the NE Region, especially Assam (sadly I haven’t tasted any as yet). It is also enjoyed by people of other Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand & Singapore. Out here, it is basically deep fried and served as finger food with rice beer, etc. An excerpt about this food item –

For the tribal people in NE India, the eri pupa is considered a delicacy, whereas the cocoon is more or less a by-product. The species is an ideal example of sustainable agriculture, which produces silk and a pupa that is a high-protein food or animal feed, and the caterpillar and other rearing residues can be used for fishpond culture. Silkworm pupae have been used in Chinese traditional medicines since ancient times . Pharmacological studies have shown that silkworm pupae increase immunity, protect the liver and prevent cancer.  (Source:

Have any of you heard about or eaten this indigenous food item?

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      1. same pinch!
        but isn’t it amazing to learn about the different food items human beings eat based on the their natural surroundings, climate, etc. and all the science behind that…i find it really fascinating! 🙂

      2. And the dishes and styles of cooking that have evolved based on the native crops and the weather of that particular place. Truly fascinating..

      3. yeah! And this is why I enjoy watching those cookery shows which includes travelling to various corners of the world, back to back till my head hurts 😛 😛

  1. They look rather interesting 🙂
    Though I am sure, I can’t bring myself to eat them just cause in my mind they are worms first and a delicacy later.

  2. Errr… Love the yellow colored silk worms! I guessed it to be a worm even while clicking on this post but had a small hope that you would have clicked a very zoomed out picture of corn 😛 😛
    I have seen people selling a type of insect called “eesal” (basically a fly) in Chennai. I use to run in the opposite direction on spotting these vendors. As you said, people fried those insects. I cant and wont eat any of this stuff bu food is food.

    1. Yeah! Also in parts of Nagaland, people eat various kinds of insects. Basically for the tribal people, living in hills & jungles, where hunting was of more prominence then growing food, it was the easiest source of their protein. And yes, at the end of the day, food is food 🙂

  3. I couldn’t dream of eating any kind of insects! 😦 That said, I don’t mean any offense to anyone. It is just my personal opinion.

    Bhoot jholokia and black rice sound interesting. Never seen them before. If you can get a pic of these two, would greatly appreciate it! 🙂 BTW, bhoot jholokia is the world’s spiciest chilly, right? How do you eat it then? And is black rice the same as forbidden rice?

    1. yeah…even me; to each his own.
      Next time I will try to post photos of bhoot jolokia and black rice too! Yes bhoot jolokia or ghost chilly is the hottest one in the world. we use it as regular chillies in curries/salad/pickles, etc. (I guess we are used to it 😛 ) and yes black rice is also known as forbidden rice which is found mainly in China and Manipur too.

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