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Housewife from rural Sundarbans reach top 5 in all India Nutritious Food Contest – GetBengal story

29 April, 2024 17:26:37
Housewife from rural Sundarbans reach top 5 in all India Nutritious Food Contest – GetBengal story

800 food items and recipes from all across India were laid in front of the judges. But they had to be simple and nutritious food, not just spicy and tasty. Nutrition for all was the key word, and the organisation behind this Nutritious Food of India contest had been running this show for quite a number of years. This year is different as one of the dishes to reach the top 5 is from a remote village of Sundarbans, and the woman to make us proud with her culinary skills is Ganga Rani Haldar, not a decorated chef of some five-star hotel but a down-to-earth homemaker who has hardly stepped out of her rural home.


But what did she make? Crab Dal! To most Bengalis, crab is a delicacy because it is cooked with a lot of spices and considered to be a hot and happening meal for special occasions, as the juicy crabs can be at times gut wrenching for the richness of meals made with them. To Ganga Rani, however, crabs are a daily meal, as Sundarbans is famous for crabs. Often, she catches them in the rivulets by her house, and she has never been exposed to exquisite crab recipes. To her, it is a simple and delicious ingredient to make a non-spicy dish of regular dal. She told the media: “We catch crabs often, and it is part of our daily meal; hence, whenever anyone comes to our house, we serve them crab dal, as it is easy to make and very nutritious with a big dose of protein in it. I use two types of lentils, or dal, along with the crabs and minimum spice, a bit of haldi and jeera.”

No wonder this was considered as a nutritious recipe by the judges of the all India contest, and she will be travelling to Mumbai this week as a top-five contender for the Nutritious Food Crown. “I have never stepped out of my home, and this is a huge respect,” said Ganga. Her husband, a farmer, is also very happy. But how could her recipe reach the shores of Mumbai? There are many NGOs working in Sundarbans. Once, the members of one such NGO had come to her house, and she had cooked for them crab dal. The members were mesmerised by the taste and decided to send her recipe and name to the contest. That’s how Sundarbans’ Crab Dal from Gurguri village made it to the top 5 as a simple, nutritious meal.

We wish Ganga Rani all success at the contest.

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