|TECHNIQUES OF FOOD CONSERVATION AND STORAGE
|Dhakwali, Kwanda, Sajoli, Tomri
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Description of the local variant of the technique
Rice storage practices
Grains or seeds are stored soon after threshing, cleaning and sun drying for at least 2 days. The seed for next year’s crop is stored separately in smaller storing devices locally called Dhakwali, Kwanda, Sajoli and Tomri. Except Tomri (hollow dried Bottle-gourd), which is used to store seeds only, all others are made-up of a small variety of Bamboo, called Ringal. These storing devices are made locally by some especially skilled persons, and are in use since time immemorial. Although people now are shifting to wooden and iron boxes called Kothar and Munch or barrel made of tin due to unavailability of
these implements and skilled persons, but still most of the people in the hills are still using these traditional storing devices.
The grain to be used for food is kept separately in the bigger utensils to avoid mixing. Before storing, grains are spread over the canvas for Sun drying. After proper drying crop is stored in freshly repaired, cleaned and polished utensils. The last year’s crop is taken out and kept in separate bag or Kwanda and the utensil is repaired for the damages (if any) done by the rodents or other animals and pests. Utensils are polished by hand with a mixture of red soil, straw and cow dung; if possible the mixture is made by cow urine (which is anti-fungal in nature). After polishing and Sun drying these utensils are keptinside the house. Big utensils are repaired and polished inside the house only, because it is not possible to take them out due to their large size. The lid of the pot after pouring the grains inside is sealed with the help of cow dung and red soil to prevent the dust and moisture. The grain stored through this method remains fresh year after year if kept away from direct moisture and rodents.