Get a taste of China, try some silkworm pickle | india | Hindustan Times
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Get a taste of China, try some silkworm pickle

india Updated: Feb 24, 2009 00:56 IST
Padma Shastri

Want to try silkworm pupae curry, pickles or pizza?

It may sound annoying for die-hard vegetarians but the Madhya Pradesh Silk Federation, a sister organisation of the state’s sericulture department, has developed silkworm pupae recipes. And the plan is to compete with China that exports pupae to Europe as human, animal and fish food.

The state produces 15 tonnes of silkworm pupae every year that go waste after silk yarn is extracted from them. One kilogram of cocoons produces 122-300 gm of silk, while the remaining 700 gm are pupae. The federation, therefore, wants to explore developing pupae as human food.

“Silkworm pupae are rich in protein. We’ve developed few recipes and have contacted private companies in the canned food business to take them up. We feel it will be easier to export pupae as food than exporting the raw material,” federation general manager Y.P. Saxena said over phone from Bhopal.

The federation’s assistant manager in Indore Alok Verma has with the help of nutritionists developed pupae curry, pickle and pizza recipes for Indian and European palates. He has conducted three successful cooking trials so far.

“We served the dishes to non-vegetarians and they liked it very much — especially the pupae curry. Those who ate them said the dishes were similar to prawn and crab curries,” Verma, a vegetarian, said.

“Tribals in the Northeast eat silkworm pupae and have developed dishes. But popularising these recipes among others is a challenge. We’re also working to encourage pupae consumption among tribals in Madhya Pradesh,” Verma added.