Today’s chefs are very aware of the issues surrounding ‘Clean, Green and Fair’ food. Many of the country’s top chefs try their best to use sustainably grown produce to benefit the community and are associated with us.
Meet Bhoomi Ka Chef of the Month, Aruna Tirkey!
“Each month, Bhoomi Ka features a chef thus inspired and applauds his or her contribution to the food scene in the country.”
Aruna, being from an indigenous community, has an inherent bond with tribal food and tribal ways of cooking. She has also trained as a Rural Development professional, which made her realise the deep connection between the culture, food and ecology of Jharkhand’s tribal communities. A concern for the growing disintegration of tribal food culture especially in urban settings and amongst tribal youth who seemed more inclined towards junk food, kindled a desire within her to do something to revive Adivasi identity and culture through food.
She founded Ajam Emba – a traditional and fusion food restaurant. Starting with a small stall, she followed up with food supplies to local government/ NGO offices and participated in programmes involving women living within the urban periphery and training them in preparing tribal food. With an eye on the younger generation, she focused on food fusion to make food especially palatable to them, by improving its texture and using forest produce for making ready-to-eat food, adding pickle as a product. She has participated in festivals organized by Bhoomi Ka, eg. at Vedik Village.
“The most important challenge I faced is to raise start-up capital and resources for my indigenous food venture as these kinds of projects continue to be non-bankable from the view point of the mainstream finance sector. Further, my attempt to receive support from the government has been caught in red tape for several years. However, Bhoomi Ka, through CWS, is helping me to keep the critical momentum going and in gaining recognition and exposure.” – Aruna Tirkey
Chakor Jhol – a wild edible leafy vegetable, cooked in red rice soup.
Dhuska Pitha – Country chicken dumpling wrapped with ragi millet flour.
These are some delectable preparations by Aruna Tirkey.