Wooden utensil in himalayans


Do you know that how to make butter from curd in Uttarakhand villages and which utensil used to keep curd for long time. “Paredu” is the utensil used for making butter from curd and “Parothi” is utensil for keeping curd long time.Today post is about two wooden utensil called “Paredu” and “Parothi”.

For reading in garhwali: भीमळ की लेतँण और सांदण की परोठी

A common Paredu can keep 20~50 liter curd while Parothi is very small with 5~10 liter capacity.I have never seen personally but my father said old time there were people called “Chuner” who make this utensil by visiting village to village.For making this utensil keep wood rotating with the help of water turbine and drill with scrape, center part of wood to make hollow round portion in the wood. Once wood is hollow completely in the center part the next work is to do micro work from outer side of the wood to enhance its outside looking. To make one big vessel it took 5~6 hours.

The use of of the vessel is to keep curd milk as well as make butter from curd.
There are 3 main instrument of this process.
1- Rodi – long stick dissolve into curd for churning butter milk.
2- Letan – Its a rope with some small stick to hold in the hand for rotating “Rodi”.
3- Please check photo and let me know this part name, basically this part give support for “Rodi” with wall for giving rotational stability.

Once finished with the process of making butter keep open end down and close end in the air to avoid moisture in the vessel. The other use of the vessel is to hold Brass plate for for making music in folk song with “Daunri and Thali”. The food in this vessel keep protein as it is in the food compare to steel with keeping these minerals only 20~30%, Somehow wood vessel is good for health without any side effect. Parothi and Paredu is made from the wood called “Geenthi” with biological name “Boehmeria Rugulosa” and locally known as “Sandan”.The wood of this tree absorb less water with due to that it avoid moisture and we can keep using it for long time.

For reading in garhwali: भीमळ की लेतँण और सांदण की परोठी

Declaimer: All photos and video in this post is not clicked by “Khuded Pravasi”, we did just editing. It is downloaded from various Facebook groups.If someone clicked it personally please show us original copy in order to receive name in credit part.

Due to demand of this vessel become less and less in the market, the traditional woodcraft maker known as “Chuner” has been change their profession for surviving in daily life. There are few people still left in Rudraprayag and Bageshwar district who are making vessel in winter. This art is sitting in the edge of dying. My message for people reading this post, I understand the way of life and lifestyle both changed but we need to think about preserving this art before complete die, you can not buy big utensil but you can think about to buy small one Parothi. This post is dedicated to all wooden artist who are surviving in their daily life and not getting proper fund or support from others.


Mixi of the mountains silbatta

Byo Barat Wedding
Byo Barat Wedding

Today my post is about “Batan” which is called “silbatta” in hindi. It might be possible that some people do not know what it is so, let me give a brief history of this small kitchen utensil which is used to grind spices like other grinder and mortar and pestle.

Also Read:  Ghenja the festival of welcoming winter

With the advent of new technology and easily accessible morden handy machinery the use of silbatta has been greatly reduced.I feel happy that even now there are people who, even after leaving their village have brought their silbatta along, in order to keep the authentic taste alive especially in the himalayan pahadi cuisines. Silbatta is not only used in Uttarakhand but also in many states all around India such as Rajasthan and southern part. It is also used in many countries around the globe like Peru , Bolivia and other southern american states.

Read more wiki:  wikipedia link

Silbatta is divided into two parts: the first one is called ‘sil’ (plain stone) and second one is ‘batta’ ( a long roller). Usually silbatta is kept  in a clean corner, against a wall. For using it is laid down and generally spices (such as turmeric, cloves, various kinds of leaves) are grinded manually. In Uttarakhand importance of silbatta is a bit high than other parts. During marriage, there is an auspicious ceremony in which turmeric is grinded in silbatta which is then used as a body mask for the bride/groom to be.Silbatta is also popularly used for making split black gram(Udad daal) batter, which is used for making deep fried dishes (pakodas).Silbattas are often marked with tilak(vermillion and turmeric’s holy mark) before performing some traditional rituals. Usually, most of the authentic flavors of wedding cuisines pass through silbatta.

Different Type Of Silbatta
Different Type Of Silbatta

Silbatta has certain scientific and ayurvedic benefits. Slow grinding prevents extreme loss of oil from the food material, thereby retaining its nutritional values.The silbatta stone is also rich in mineral content.It is also a good form of exercise and will also save your penny.

Read in Garhwali:  आज का दौर की मिक्सी हमारु गों कु सिलौटु

“If you are thinking to make rock salt and chutney I would suggest you to try it on silbatta. You can easily buy it from villages and online stores. Now you know the importance of silbatta, so use it for its authentic taste and promote others too. Let me know if you have more information about silbatta”


Ghenja the festival of welcoming winter

Glimse Of Ghenja
Glimse Of Ghenja

Today’s post is about Ghenja.Ghenja is a festival in Garhwal which is celebrated in the poosh month(in english calendar December mid to January mid).Every-year celebration date is different, based on the Indian hindu panchang (panchang is an Indian hindu calendar where different festivals and occasions are marked).It is always 27 gate(date) poosh(Hindu calendar) and this year it was on 12th January.

The word Gheja came from dish name called Ghenja.We prepare ghenja from flour. We grind wheat, rice, corn and barnyard millet (Jhangriyal in local language)together in chakki (Mill) in order to prepare flour of ghenja . In hill the flour is called ‘Mota anaj’ and flour of mota anaj is good for health. Jhangriyal, which can be easily digested, is a rich source of calcium, protein and iron.

First mix flour with sweet water if you are making sweet Ghenja and normal water if making some stuffed one. Make a dough and leave it for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes roll the small dough like round bread. It is prepared in steam you need big lemon leaf covered both side of bread so that it will not stick with each other. One more additional use of lemon leaf is to get flavour of lemon. Now you can put bread inside steam vessel, it will take 10-15 minutes to prepare and you are ready to eat. If you do not have steam vessel just keep it in normal big vessel with some dry grass at bottom to avoid burn and put little water for making steam in vessel and I am sure it will work as this is traditional way of preparing it.

Ghenja is prepared with steam and no oil and other ingredients are required.This is the main reason that it is considered healthy food in winter. It looks like missi roti and prepared like idli in south India or dumpling in china. After 10~15 minutes in steam you can serve it alone or with yummy yogurt of Himalaya. Festival is big in its celebration and represent strong relation of farmer with family.

One thing I am still researching is about why we celebrate this festival ? Is there any ancient story behind it? Currently I can see only health benefit behind it, which can easily understood by seeing its recipe and the way we prepare this.If you have any further details about this festival or you know the story or any interesting fact about the festival please share with all.

Last time we asked that why we celebrate GHENJA and here is the story behind it.We got information from some other people and identity is Confidential and if the will allow us we will disclose the name.

There was a saint in old time who has three son. First one was educator a spiritualist, while second one warrior. Third one was music lover and he become a music instrument player.

All the time when second son won any battle the first one always celebrate it with big level which make them prosperous as well as famous in the surrounding. Third son was a charm of all festival , traditional events due to his high value of musical instruments. Whenever there is discussion about big things , saint always make his first two son as representative.

slowly slowly saint third son feel this inequality and become sad. He stoped to visit any festival and any events in the city.Due to continuous absence of his third son, all festival glory charm was disappearing slowly slowly.

When saint seen this he called all three son and asked youngest one why are you so sad?He said that I am an artist and not have firm interest in name and fame but i need opportunity time for all of you to celebrate my art of instrument and music.

Saint feel his mistake of neglecting his third son so he gave him blessing that we all will celebrate a festival named GHENJA dedicated to you are your work in the month of Poosh(English month Dec mid ~ Jan Mid) when there is no festival just two days before Makar Sankranti. This was the way Ghenja came in existence.

Note: All the facts are imaginary taught by elders, and we make it as story to keep entertaining readers. There is no relation of this story to any reality.

Happy belated Ghenja festival to all beloved 🙂

Glimpse Of Uttarakhand

PC: Ajay Kanyal
PC: Ajay Kanyal

आप ईं पोस्ट तें गढ़वाली मा भी पढ़ी सकदा: क्लिक करा उत्तराखण्ड का बारा मा एक झलक

I was out of Uttarakhand for many years, mapping the globe but still, there is something which attracts me towards the essence of the forests, rivers, mountains and villages of Uttarakhand. Today, I will tell you what are the things in Uttarakhand, which make me to remember the place each day in my routine life.In my first post I will give you a brief information about the Uttarakhand.

Introduction in brief: Uttaranchal became 27th state of India on 9th November 2000 and in January 2007 the name was changed to Uttarakhand.Before becoming an independent state,it was a part of Uttarpradesh. State can be divided into two regions, one is called Garhwal and other is Kumaun. Major part of the state is situated in foothills of himalayas and stretch to plains area.

Dehradun is provisional capital of state and well connected with rails, road, and air.Many political parties are supporting to make Gairsain as a permanent capital due to it’s geographical centrality but, reality seems very far as for now. Recently, state started a kind of winter assembly session in Gairsain and this practice seems to be continuing in near future too.

Nature: Uttarakhand is bestowed with rich natural beauty, wildlife, snow caped mountain and many more. State is the source of India’s most holy rivers ganga and yamuna. If you are nature lover, go for white water rafting in Rishikesh, trekking in phoolon ki ghati(valley of flowers), trip to Badri Kedar, boating in Nainital and wild life safari around Rajaji National Park  or Jim Corbett National Park. Common man is connected to nature via forest, agriculture and there common practices make nature as a part of life and this is the reason that state is well known for a birthplace of chipko aandolan.

Education: Indian military academy(IMA), Oil And Natural Gas Corporation(ONGC) and Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology are pride of  Uttrakhand. State provide best schooling in India or I can say education capital (Dehradun) of India, Dehradun has many schools which are witness of shaping many leaders, writers, artists and Nainital also follow the same spirit. Rajiv gandhi, Amitabh bachchan and Abhinav Bindra are few of them who are the alumni from Uttarakhand’s education and there is unending list.

Occupation- Most of the people living in villages have livelihood as agriculture, while in the city people are working in government as well as private sector. In last few decades, many new universities and colleges opened in the state, which have given people an opportunity to build career in different fields.

People: State is always known for it’s simplest people with rich culture and tougher lifestyle in daily routine as well as on work. If I will talk about living standard than most of the population is living as a middle class. In cities man and women are working side by side and have equal contribution in each work. While in villages the work system is divided. Women are strong part and  pillar of the family doing majority of the work (leader in household to agriculture routine work), men work in a agricultural field and labour work etc. Previously,  agricultural society worked on give and take relation called padyal(sharing work with each other) but now there are few people in village and padyal culture is rare to see. In city sharing concept is a bit far from villages and all are independent.

Hill station: Uttarakhand is famous for it’s natural scenery, which had attracted many movie directors, writers, photographers. You should never be surprised that while Delhi is heating with 45°C, you still need a jacket if you are visiting Uttarakhand. Out of many, Mussoorie, Nainital, Ranikhet are main hill stations, which are full packed in summer while in winters tourists are there to enjoy snow caped mountains. You can enjoy ski in Auli which also hold winter sports for the state. Recently, due to global warming in many places snowfall is no more or for short time only. The concern of global warming is raising an alarm still hilly area population is enjoying fresh air and natural running water for now. But we don’t know the future?

Migration: Migration(palayan) is vibrant issue in the state and its graph is increasing yearly.There are few reasons behind that, like education and health facilities. Most of the educated people want to work in main cities. Unemployment is another component of migration, people without proper jobs and wages, choose to work in Delhi, Mumbai and earn enough money to support their family. Most of the people are leaving their villages due to above miscellaneous reasons. We need some stable development model to stop migration.

Border security : Border security along china is a critical issue of the state, due to continues migration from remote area. Population in each village is shrinking. Many villages along international border have nobody or very less people living in village, border area may be converted into barren ground sooner or later, so government need to think about these issues by providing basic facility to remote villages.

Agriculture: Many factors related to global warming and various hydro projects on rivers are making weather unstable in the state. Recently it’s common to see hailstone, cloud bursting, downpour suddenly which are ruining the crops and making people helpless. People are doing hard work but output is not good as expected. We need to work with mother nature to provide sustainable development to the state as well as employment to the people.

Sustainable development: Our state is blessed with very good environment for agriculture like vegetables, which are good to make different chunks for protein lovers.If you are regularly visiting villages, you can see families growing vegetables, tomatoes etc on the bank of small rivers, same thing can be done on larger scale. In current market scenario organic products are in demand so, we need to think seriously  about organic farming like Sikkim. Many people also found mushroom and herbal products as the way of reverse migration and I would like to thanks youngster to make it happen. Bamboo handicraft is another source, which is in our tradition and in demand too. All the work which I explained here have training centers where you can get training for couple of months and start your own business or be a part of some business.

Music:  Uttarakhand has a deep rooted culture of music, but unfortunately nobody is bearing the responsibility to take this culture forward. We have various instruments to support music like hudka, dhol, nagada, flute and masak baja. There were many traditions in the past like beda bedun (specially designated people who used to perform in marriages or in some special functions ), painsara (two dhol player who use to prove their expertise by competing with each other on every beat) etc. Music can be used to preserve languages by composing music for folk poems or local language songs. The folk songs are the way to tell your history to future generation. Now a days there are many ways to show your talent to the rest part of the word. In old days it was tough time for new singers to release their album but now a days they can do it via youtube. We must have to promote new singers, writers and all who are associate in this industry for preserving language.

Special Note :  There are many more things in Uttarakhand like Asia’s highest dam (Tehri dam),  Dehradun basmati(variety of rice),  Tehri city submerged under water, Uttarakhand aandolan, Jaagar(Music to please god ), Sangrand(Very month specific date), thaulamela(fair) and many more. I will be trying to post about each topic so keep watching our new post on every Sunday 🙂

आप ईं पोस्ट तें गढ़वाली मा भी पढ़ी सकदा: क्लिक करा उत्तराखण्ड का बारा मा एक झलक