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Bishnupriya Manipuri can not live without `heedol`

By Rebati Mohan Sinha

This time Ranita has impressed us very much. I was expecting a sudden thunder after a long silence from her side.I knew, she would come out with such a wonderful topic, GOLDEN THREAD, where she has poured her full efforts to justify that the majority of Bishnupriya Manipuri community can not live without `heedol`. It was a universal topic where every one of us would like to share our views. And I am a heedol addicted person, in other words, I like paltoi and irolpa very much, for which, my granny used to call me ‘heedolor chungotto jorom osotgo.’

In 2006,while going to Australia, I wanted to carry this ‘matsya churno madhak’, the heedol; but my daughter forbade me to carry any eatable items because of the restriction imposed on.I realized on landing there, that an elderly couple was not allowed to take even a dozen of apples they were carrying, reason, it may have germs.

During our stay in Australia nothing could deter us from having ‘irolpa’ there, as I could find out the heedol-maach compatible to one which is available in Mumbai. Maharastrian also have heedol-maach; but not as paltoi or irolpa. They roast the dry fish and smash it to make chatni with chopped onion & green chillies, of course salt to taste.

So far we have been dwelling on home made heedol and Maharastrian heedol-maach, now let me let you know the research carried out on heedol with indigenous dry sea fish available in the market in Mumbai and found out that it is quite compatible to our home made heedol with lesser bitterness (saruka haan khani kom).The quality of heedol is depending on the combination of dry fish like, Pooti, Moka, Ichaa, Chaaksira and Fetia.

There is a saying, ’there is will there is a way.’ When there was no constant supply of heedol, one has to search for alternate arrangement, which I tried and succeeded about15 years back in Mumbai. Type of sea fish for heedol was available in plenty and the fan-kochu was also an ingredient required; but how could it be found in metro cities like Mumbai? It was a mere luck that I could find the item in a fisher man village; but how to get it? I approached the mukhia and lied him, saying that my daughter having a high fever for which two/three bagua needed .He happily allowed me to take what ever I liked. Later I used to buy fresh sea fish and dry it in the backyard of my house. On drying, it could be machined ground and kept it in a jar and when required, paste could be made out of it with the mixture of fan-kochu. After a year, I started growing the plant in my backyard for making of heedol.

On my retirement,there is no more heedol of Bombay-made. Now, I fully rely on the supply of relatives and friends. And once it so happened, my younger brother sent this ‘matsya churna madhak’in a empty plastic bottle, wrapped with two in number towels(fitur tup).The postman delivered of parcel in the afternoon, saying that the staff inside the container, was spoilt and giving bad smell. My better half had smilingly accepted and kept it on the table. The matter was not ended there, as soon as I entered home, I could smell a nice aroma of heedol all over the house. After a cup of tea, as I was about to open the parcel, and to my utter surprise, I could see two big penetrations, might be the handy work of rats, while on transit. I immediately spread the towels and found, there were plenty of holes in it. With a broken heart I had to throw it in the dustbin along with the bottle.

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  1. oh this one is very entertaining... chariobede hidolor joi joikar dehia kalak na peloya narlu.. :)

    thanks Rebati kaka for this nice piece of article. also i like to thank "hidol" for its great role in our most economical and simplest dish paltoi/irolpa, without hidol & irolpa we are nothing!

    joi hidol!

  2. 'Hidol'Hidol jadi neor taile amiow neoitagnai karon middle class family ekmatro suroksha chakro'Hidol' Hidolei ammar Takat Hidol ek proker Sanjiboni Buti .

  3. 'Hidol' Chahe leirapa chahe nungeipa Jegor gore Hidol nei ugar dekhi leirapa nei. Hidole ammar Suraksha chakro Hidolai ammare jingtakoira thosego.
    Hidol is long if know how to use it.
    Hidol sanjiboni buti, Middle class family ir ka Anmul Amrit Hidol.
    Hidol ekproker Aurvedik Medicine
    Petor jabotio problem solve korer Hidole , Man Kochu bath nuarar ka jobor hoba , hukone bitoror tap han and meleria thik korer nibu patai hidolor Nungsipa gathan nikalar.
    Thank you all Hidol suporting party.

  4. really good... actually i want to know more about ur community ...bcoz i have interest in it..

  5. Well, as far as I'm concerned, I'm a veg...Mi paltoi khauri kintu hidol sara...Paltoi onek healthy, kintu mi hidol sara paltoi theek pauri...

    Not to offend anyone, why are we so crazy about hidol? Is it the taste or just because of the culture?

  6. Dear Tridiv,
    May I give u the answers for ur questions?(1)Majority of us like heedol because of it`s taste and aroma,(2)And in very negligible numbers,like u, take it as a Bishnupriya Manipuri food culture. Ur parents have taught u,that even without heedol one can have it.People say Irolpa & Paltoi are synonymous to heedol.

  7. Do u knw 1thing paltoi or irolpa (heedol)are not only a major food for only manipuri bishnupriyas but also for many other communities of generally nrthest people like bodos, koch, meitei, nagas etc. It is a food served in almost every mongoloid communities of northeast. Heedol is a mixture of moka, fatia, chakchira, puthi, icha small fishes which is grounded in a gahali into very fine pieces with green fahn kosus. And stored in a chung made of bamboo covered by lemon leaves and stored for 3 days or a week and that we can eat it either by making paltoi - which is made by heating a piece of heedol in a khang or in an pan and after in a khari ( bati) we put the heedol in the khari and pour water and mixed with mokchi(chilli) and salt and eat with bhaat, we make paltoi as our curry, i think it is a very healthy food. Another item which is irolpa - which is very tasty, it made with heedol and dal. Paltoi zindabad, heedol zindabad.


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