Monday 25 September 2023

Does Rasabali Have A Hole Like Doughnut?

Rasabali is a traditional Chhena sweet of Odisha.

It is a bhoga/offering at Shree Baladevjew Temple, Kendrapara, Odisha.

More information about Kendrapara Rasabali here-

Source: Mobile News

By now, many are aware that the Geographical Indication (GI) application for "Kendrapara Rasabali" has been submitted and it will earn the GI tag shortly.

Application was submitted by the Kendrapara Rasabali Mistanna Nirmata Sangha and the Rural Infrastructure Development and Employment in December 2021.

The Consultative Group (CG) Meeting for or a number of Odisha GI products including Kendrapara Rasabali was held in Bhubaneswar last year on December 6, 2022.

The consultative group of experts of the GI Registry had evaluated and ascertained the submitted details in the application.

Having guided & done the facilitation for this GI, I had tried to attend the CGM to to give suggestions and recommendations to ensure correct representation. I had already shared with stakeholders that the details given in the Kendrapara Rasabali GI application were/are incorrect. However, as I was not allowed to be a part of the CGM, the wrong submission made by applicants could not be shared at CGM. They went ahead with the submitted details and have published all the wrong technical details in the GI Journal.

More information here- Kendrapara Rasabali- GI Tag-

The Rasabali GI application states that Rasabali is prepared like a "Doughnut" - with a hole.

As per the Wikipedia:

"A doughnut or donut (/ˈdnət/) is a type of food made from leavened fried dough. It is popular in many countries and is prepared in various forms as a sweet snack that can be homemade or purchased in bakeries, supermarkets, food stalls, and franchised specialty vendors. Doughnut is the traditional spelling, while donut is the simplified version; the terms are used interchangeably.

Doughnuts are usually deep fried from a flour dough, but other types of batters can also be used. Various toppings and flavors are used for different types, such as sugar, chocolate or maple glazing. Doughnuts may also include water, leavening, eggs, milk, sugar, oil, shortening, and natural or artificial flavors."

Doughnut is a different dish that has not originated in India.

Why should we describe our traditional Indian dessert Rasabali by using the refence of a foreign product that does not even look or made like it?

This huge doughnut was recently in the news-

Via many of my messages, phone-calls and newspaper reports, it has been brought to the notice of stakeholders that the entire Rasabali recipe and preparation process given in the GI Application and Journal is incorrect - having been conveniently downloaded from a food blogger's blog.

There has been no effort on the part of the applicants to present the authentic recipe of the Shree Baladevjew Temple, Kendrapara, Odisha- to which the GI is supposed to represent!

Blogs with wrong information and incorrect online representation of products serve as references for future articles and social media posts. 

On researching, some other images of "Rasabali with a hole" are found.

Dahibara is a famous dish of Odisha. Baras may or may not have holes in them. That is dependent on their size. Bigger Baras have holes so that the frying process is uniform and better. Baras are put in Dahi i.e. curd.

Those who are familiar with it, may confuse the product in the following image to be Dahibara:

Source: X (Twitter)

In contrast, the Rasabali dish consists of thickened and sweetened milk.

Regarding the above image-

Yes, Rasabali is a famous sweet of Odisha i.e. "Odisha Ki Famous Mithai".

No, it is NOT "Rasbali".

No, it does NOT have a Hole like Doughnut & Dahibara.

No, it is not made using Vinegar.

Who knows the correct information? The genuine producers and local representatives.

They should be consulted and there should be proper documentation before GI application.

GI recognition should be granted to products with correct information; else there will be misrepresentation. Once GI is granted, all will believe and refer and share the submitted details in the application.

What does the GI registration and status mean and how does it aid "recognition" and "distinction" when the product description given in the GI application is wrong?

Applicants must make efforts to submit correct details and ensure correct representation.

After all, GI is representative of the community, place, district, state and nation.

There should not be any HOLES in the GI application process.

The tithi day and date of Akshaya Tritiya has been decided to be celebrated as "Rasabali Dibasa" from this year- 2023 onwards.

Do you find any holes in this given Rasabali image?

Are you aware of GI? 

Had you heard of Kendrapara district of Odisha? 

Did you know about Rasabali? Please share in the comments below.

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