Odisha’s Rasagola and Kodaikanal’s Malai Poondu Garlic under GI Tag

Context

  • The Rasagola, a popular dessert of Odisha and Kodaikanal’s malai poondu Garlic has received the geographical indication tag from the Registrar of Geographical Indication.

About Odisha Rasagola

  • The registration was conferred to ‘Odisha Rasagola’ under Section 16(I) or of authorized Section 17(3)(c) of Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act 1999.
  • The GI number 612 has been registered in favour of the Odisha Small Industries Corporation Limited (OSIC Limited), a government of Odisha undertaking and Utkal Mistanna Byabasayee Samiti, a traders’ organisation, in the foodstuff category.
  • According to the application submitted to the Registrar of GI, ‘Odisha Rasagola’ is a sweet from the state of Odisha made of chhena (cottage cheese) cooked in sugar syrup.
  • This culinary is offered to Lord Jagannath as part of bhog since centuries.
  • Colour development of the ‘Odisha Rasagola’ is very specific, where without addition of external colour, various intensely-coloured rasagolas are prepared using the principle of caramelisation of sugar with specific methods of preparation.

History of Rasagola

  • Both Odisha and West Bengal have been contesting the origin of the rasagola.
  • Historical records submitted say the ‘Odisha Rasagola’ is associated with world famous Puri Jagannath Temple.
  • As per Record of Rights, this is the duty of Bhitarachha Sebaka. It is mentioned in Bhitarachha Sebara Niyama and published in Record of Rights, Part‐III, Orissa Gazette.
  • The reference of rasagola is found in the late 15th-century Odia Ramayana written by Balaram Das.
  • Balaram Das’s Ramayana is known as Dandi Ramayana or Jagamohana Ramayana as it was composed and sung at the Jagamohana of the Puri Temple.
  • In its ‘Ajodhya Kanda’, another religious script, one comes across elaborate descriptions of chhena and chhena‐based products including Rasagola.

About Kodaikanal’s malai poondu Garlic

  • Also known by its scientific name Allium Sativum, this particular garlic is known for its medicinal and preservative properties. It is grown in the Kodaikanal Hills, Dindugul district.
  • It has anti-oxidant and anti-microbial potential, which is attributed to the presence of higher amount of organosulfur compounds, phenols and flavonoids compared to other garlic varieties.
  • Its usually white or pale yellow and each bulb weighs 20-30g on an average.
  • According to the GI application, Kodaikanal Hill Garlic cultivation is done twice in a year, once around May and for second time in November depending upon the suitability of the climate.
  • The hill altitude, the misty condition and the soil prevailing in the Kodaikanal region are responsible for its medicinal property and the long storage shelf life of the garlic.

Source:TH