Tripura announces the introduction of bamboo cookies, and is set to train local bakeries to make them
Ever expected a cookie to trend under #vocalforlocal? Triupura’s bamboo cookie is doing just that,and twitteratis can’t seem to get enough of it. After wowing environment lovers with their unique bamboo bottles, the NorthEastern State recently announced these one-of-its-kind muli bamboo cookies.
Yes, that’s right, cookies made from bamboo. Wondering how well it will go down your digestive system? Worry not, the said cookies are not made from bamboo husk or timber. It is the tender bamboo shoot that is used, and not just any shoot. The shoots that used are not more than eight inches from the ground. Abhinav Kant, in charge of Bamboo and Cane Development Institute (BCDI) Tripura, explains over phone from Agartala, “Any shoot higher than eight inches will have be fibrous, making it difficult to be mixed into dough.”
The cookies are named after the unique species of bamboo from which it is made — muli. This bamboo (Melocanna baccifera) grows in abundance in the forests of Tripura, and is specific to Tripura alone. “Almost 80% of Tripura’s forest is covered with muli bamboo and this shoot is the least bitter, making it ideal to be used in cookies,” says Abhinav.
Abhinav says it is as part of the continuous learning and development process that BCDI experimented with bamboo shoots to be made into cookies. “Bamboo shoots are consumed only in some regions. A lot of shoots are also wasted because they have very low shelf life and hence incapable of being transported to different regions of the country. So, we experimented by boiling the tender shoots and making a pulp out of it. This pulp is then mixed with flour or whole wheat, and baked into cookies. It is a very basic cookie recipe, only the use of bamboo shoots makes it unique,” he adds.
Muli cookies have salted, sweet, chocolate and ajwain variants, but BDCI initially wants to promote the basic cookies as they want people to appreciate and develop a liking for the taste of bamboo shoot pulp, “which is very very neutral in smell and comes with a hint of bitterness,” says Abhinav.
Another reason why BDCI thought of experimenting with bamboo shoots, is for their richness in fibre and other nutrients. “From milk to eggs, everything we eat comes fortified with minerals. Bamboo shoots are rich in minerals and proteins. When we use them in cookies the cookies get fortified naturally, thereby creating a healthy snacking option.”
BCDI will train local bakeries and businesses to make them. “It is very simple and anyone with an oven-toaster-grill or OTG can make it at home.”