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As a Part of Self-reliance, Tripura CM Introduces Bamboo Rice After Cookies, Claims Its Rich in Protein

File photo of CM Biplab Deb

File photo of CM Biplab Deb

According to CM Biplab Deb, the so-called bamboo rice, which is actually the seeds of the bamboo, has more protein than normal rice and wheat, and its intake can provide adequate vitamins to pregnant women.

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Niloy Bhattacherjee

From the tender shoots to the rare flowers: no part of the bamboo goes to waste. Especially if this tall grass is from Tripura. While the shoots of the bamboo can be used to make delicious cookies, its flower will now provide the "highly beneficial bamboo rice”.

ITs

Chief minister Biplab Deb introduced the exotic product with claims that it is high on protein, a remedy for aching joints and can tame shooting sugar levels. Launched as “Tripura Bamboo Rice”, the CM in his tweet said the product will play a crucial role in making the state's youth self-reliant.

“I have not tasted it personally but what is called as bamboo rice is actually the seeds of bamboo. Bamboo normally flowers in 20-25 years and the seeds are sweet in taste. The seeds look like rice. It’s primarily the seeds of Mritinga variety of bamboo which is found in abundance in Tripura,” said Dr Prashant Kumar Goyal, former director of Tripura Bamboo Mission.

“Bamboo rice has more protein than normal rice and wheat. Intake of bamboo rice is extremely useful to provide adequate vitamins to pregnant women,” Biplab Deb has said.

Bamboo flowering is considered a bad omen in several northeastern states, especially when accompanied by an increase in rodent population. It is believed to lead to famines and natural calamities. However, Tripura is turning the tables and changing the prevalent notion.

The Bamboo and Cane Development Institute in the state is presently providing three days training course to its youths on making cookies from Bamboo. Though bamboo shoot is a quintessential part of Northeast cuisine, having it as crunchy cookies with tea is always a fresh experience. The bamboo shoots are very rich in nutrients. It has a lot of dietary fibre and is low on calorie and sugar content.

Bamboo cookies are made with the shoots of a remarkably thin and naturally sweet variety of bamboo called 'Muli'. The tender shoots are crushed and processed before being mixed with wheat flour, butter and a few other ingredients to make these cookies.

“There has been an increasing demand for the cookies. We want that when tourists come to Tripura, they take back the bamboo cookies as gifts," says Dr Vinod Pant of the Bamboo and Cane Development Institute (BCDI).

Bamboo shoots have been food for people in the Northeast since time immemorial. According to fables of Mizoram, a tortoise ate young bamboo shoots for three months and then did not eat anything the rest of the year. The tortoise still remained healthy until the end of the year.

Accordingly, people consider bamboo shoots a healthy food and consume a lot of it during the season in various forms like pickles, condiments, soups, side dishes or as a complete vegetable. All the tribes and localities have their own ways of processing bamboo shoots for food. People also have their own preference for a particular species or variety for food and for other uses like pickles, condiments or flavouring agents. People also use bamboo shoots in various forms like powder, paste, fibre extract, fermented shoots and preparing different food items like chapati, paratha, bakery and steamed products and various vegetables, soups and sweets.​


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