Dhenkanal: If Cuttack is famous for ‘Dahibara and Aludam’, Nimapara for ‘Chhena Jhili’, Baripada puffed rice and Kendrapara for ‘Rasabali’, the Dhenkanal mouth-watering food is ‘Biri Bara’.
But ‘Biri Bara’(prepared from black gram batter mixed with onion slices, crushed ginger, red chili flakes, green chili, curry leaves and some other ingredients) has lost its taste and flavour, thanks to the spiraling price of onion.
With the tourist season at its peak, people from Odisha and other parts of the country have started visiting various attractive spots in this district. The tourists are well aware of the Dhenkanal ‘bara’. However, this year while tasting the delicacy, many said that it is not up to the mark due to the lack of onions in it.
“After knowing from locals that the ‘bara’ is famous, I went to a restaurant famous for it. But I did not find it to be as tasty as I was informed,” said a non-Odia tourist.
“I was told that onion slices play a vital role in making the item crispy and tastier. Since this staple vegetable has vanished from the local market and its price has touched Rs 150 mark, the makers are not using onion anymore while preparing the ‘bara’. With the staple ingredient gone, the delicacy has lost its taste,” he added.
The restaurant owners are also helpless about the situation. “The price of onion has almost touched the Rs 150/kilogram mark here. We are not being able to use onions properly while making the delicacy and hence the customers are suffering. Also the price of black gram has increased to Rs 120 per kg. So we being forced to reduce the size of the ‘bara’ also,” informed a couple of stall owners.
When contacted, district food supply officer Sanjeeb Sahu said, “The department has nothing to do in controlling the price of onion. Retailer points have regularly been visited and inspected. The price is expected to come down after December 15.”