Locusts were dried in Shah Jahanabad in the 1960s

A generation that still remembers the conquest of the 1960s talks about how to eat an insect, boil it with curry or fry it

A generation that still remembers the conquest of the 1960s talks about how to eat an insect, boil it with curry or fry it

Aladdin Saab was seven or eight years old when he remembered throwing a wet towel into the air at thousands of people.
Teddies or
TIDA (Locusts) fly fast over his house near Delite Cinema in Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi). The infestation of locusts was horrific in 1964 and 1965, and it is remembered that in 1964 Pandit Nehru died.

The dingy’s wet towel would hit the locusts, and many insects were being bought on the floor of his house.
chhath (Balcony) With smooth skin, some try to escape the weight of a heavy towel. Repeating “throwing” the wet towel over and over, he was collecting about 35-40 into a small cloth bag. Then his mother pulls out the prickly legs and wide wings, chops off the head and soft back and climbs insects into the water. Fry chopped onions and tomatoes in oil with garam masala, as you would with kaleji (goat liver), she’d add peeled locusts and make a slightly moist dish. “It will taste like a crunchy, juicy chicken neck,” says Alaa Al-Dinji.

However, for him and his friends it was not so much the dish or its taste, but the pleasure of bragging about who caught and ate as many as possible.
Teddies It is the common locust, but because it is very similar in size and shape, locusts are also referred to by the same name. Mahtab, the son of Alaa al-Dinji, says that locusts are called in Persian
Mthe brother.

In the same year, Professor Anis Hassan, an octogenarian who had lived near the Jama Masjid all his life, believed that he was about 24 years old. “A friend, Patan Afghani, suggested that we put nets at night on the
Haveli balcony to catch
Teddies He remembers. In Afghanistan, locust attacks were frequent and he remembers his friend telling him that when locusts destroyed their crops, Afghans were eating locusts.

Now Hasan, who belongs to the Khan Bahadurs (the nickname given to the family by the British), with a rich heritage of indulging in diverse cuisines from India and around the world, was keen to try out his friend’s idea. Preparations were made immediately for that night and a large number of locusts were caught in the nets over the course of two days. After removing the usual inedible parts of an insect such as wings and legs, his family
khanh (Cooking) I saute them with ghee, sprinkle some dry masala on them, and he recalls “a crunchy, spicy snack.”

Hasanji and his family now run a food service called Delhi 6 – Royal Cuisine of the Walled City, although there are no locusts on the menu! They have Nihari and Matangan (on request).

Ibn Hassan’s wife, Iman, who is Moroccan, says that by returning to her country,
locust (Arabian locusts) It will be such a danger in certain years, that the shops in the bazaars sell them in bags. At home, they boiled locusts in water for a while and instead of the whole body, they fried the lower part of the body with eggs, because it was considered the most nutritious and tasty.

The Food and Agriculture Organization states that “about 62% of the dry weight of an adult desert locust consists of proteins and 17% of fats…”

Mehtab says that locusts are considered halal in Islam, referring to a tale he was told when he was a child about the Prophet Ibrahim. God asked Abraham to sacrifice what was most precious to him. So the Prophet took his son Ishmael to the top of the mountain to perform the sacrifice. He didn’t cut the knife and God seemed to say he was testing Abraham’s loyalty to him. The knife fell on a few animals under it, the locust was the only insect in it, and therefore it is considered halal or suitable for consumption. He explained that the Qur’an does not support this story. Besides, Hassanji adds, “I can prepare hundreds of delicious meat, fish and chicken dishes, so why eat a
Teddy ! ”

Locusts eat in religious texts

In the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, that locusts are permissible in books such as Sunan Ibn Majah (Hadith: 3222 Salaat Abu Huraira) who says: “We went out with the Prophet for Hajj or Umrah, and we found a swarm of locusts. We started striking them with whips and sandals. The Prophet (pbuh) said ): Eat it because it is a game of the sea.

In the Bible, John the Baptist, who Christians believe came to “prepare the way for the Lord,” lived in the wilderness, eating locusts and wild honey (Matthew 3:4). In the Book of Exodus from the Old Testament, the locusts are cited as one of the plagues that God unleashed on the Egyptians, each time Pharaoh promised to let the Israelites go and then pulled them out.

The author is the co-founder of DelhiByFoot Adventures (DBF). It immerses you in the capital’s rich culture, history and food

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