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Paliyars' Red Ants Diet!

Red ants are usually called Mosuru by the Paliyar tribe people. Folks from the Kodaikanal Hills are fond of eating the red ants in their meals. Let us continue to see why and the reason these Paliyar people eat Mosuru.

These red ants do not live in underground layers or holes in the soil. Red ants are mostly found in dense trees. Also, red ants make dense leaf nests in small plants such as coffee and orange trees. Red ants do not live alone and always live gregariously. Miss Vanaselvi who belongs to the Paliyar tribe says that these types of ants take small particles and small insects in the bark as food. Also, the Paliyars get red ants more during the rainy season and offer them more to Paliyar women after giving birth.

Men often go into the forest to search for Mosuru to give women. It is mostly found on the tops of dense trees like mango trees (Attru Mangai) in the forest. They are cutting only the small branch in that Mosuru. They put the red ants in a pan and fry them well along with the leaves. After that, the leaves and small sticks in them are separated and taken out. Then they put it in a bamboo kula (Muram) or Sulak and remove all dust.

Nest of Red Ants

After that, the roasted Mosuru and two white garlic, two onions, chillies (Kaanamilagai) and Narangikaai, etc. Put it in an Ammi and grind it well. Mosuru chutney is ready to have but some people take it as food by putting mustard on it. But in Paliyar people no one eats with mustard. Following this, we will also look at Mosuru Rasam, which is called red ant rasam. Firstly, fry the red ant and remove all the dust from it. then along with it, they put cumin, chillies (Kaanamilakai) and Narangikaai in the Ammi and grind them. After that, they tie it in a clean white cloth and squeeze it and then filter it again and keep it separately.

Add oil in a pane, mustard pepper, turmeric powder, and a couple of chillies and add the filtered water from Mosuru and put wild coriander leaves on top, and bring it to a boil, Mosuru rasam is ready. The main reason why all the Paliyar tribal people take this Mosuru chutney and Mosuru rasam is the best medicine for colds, coughs, etc. These Paliyar people see it as a great medicinal product. Also, this Mosuru rasam is given to the women who have given birth to a child from the first day to the fifth day.

By giving in this way, the mother does not dry up milk even till the baby drinks milk. That's why the women of the Paliyar tribe breastfed their children till five years old. This Mosuru is said to be one of the medicines of the Paliyar tribe people. The medicine and its properties of the Paliyar tribal people can be seen through their different food habits. We too will benefit by protecting those medicines and their uses.

This article is created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.


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