Have You Tried Bastar's Much Sought-after Red Ant Chutney? Read Recipe Here

Have You Tried Bastar’s Much Sought-after Red Ant Chutney? Read Recipe Here


India is home to people from different cultures, ethos and backgrounds. They bring with them their unique array of luscious dishes and cuisines. In this article today, we will tell you about one such unique dish called red ant chutney.

We can imagine the look on your faces. Ants, that too the red ones; the creature that can leave you writhing in pain served as a dish? Yes, you read it right. Red ant chutney or Chapda chutney is a much sought after food in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar region. It is referred to as Chaprah there. Chaprah means leaf basket and is referred to as nests that ants make using the leaves of Sal tree.

The paste made from Red ants and their eggs makes for a delicious chutney in India’s eastern states of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand. However, the process of preparing this delicacy is filled with a lot of hurdles. Nests of these red ants are surrounded by protective rings of male ants, who guard the egg-laying females.

Even at the slightest of provocation, the male ants attack ferociously. Harvesters have to suffer the excruciating pain caused by the painful bites of male ants. They first kill the males after a long struggle. Then adding them to their bags, they move on to the females and their eggs.

How the chutney is made

For making the chutney, villagers first crush and dry all the ants and their eggs. They are then crushed with a mortar and pestle. Then coriander, tomatoes, garlic and ginger are added. Chili, salt and some sugar is also added to create a smooth orange paste. Sometimes, the paste is further cooked with oil and chopped onions.

Vendors then sell the chutney at markets in small packets of Sal leaves. For the people who are going to taste it for the first time, it tastes very spicy. High levels of formic acid coupled with added seasonings make this dish very hot.

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