DIBRUGARH, April 13 - Amloi puk (red ant and its egg), the popular Assamese delicacy especially sold during the spring season fetched a whopping Rs 800 to Rs 1200 today in the special Bihu haat here.
The special haat organised by and large on the eve of every Bihu, today set off the spirit for Rongali Bihu in the city here as people thronged the roadside market at Chowkidinghee and Milannagar areas, particularly to shop ingredients for their traditional cuisine and Bihu treats.
This haat, which is also popularly called Bihu bazaar, is very different (if not totally) from the city’s daily markets because its gets filled with varieties of seasonal vegetables, ingredients, herbs and other distinct festive delicacies besides fish and meat of various kinds, which city markets in general do not cater.
The red ant and its egg, which is locally called amloi puk or parua is also one of the most sought after delicacies during this festive season. In spite of the soaring price, people were seen purchasing it without much bargaining for the price. “In the morning hours, the best amloi puk was sold for Rs 300 per 250 grams. I purchased it at Rs 200 at noon time. The price was more or less the same last year also,” Vikram Gogoi, a resident of Boiragimoth who bought 250 grams of the delicacy told this correspondent.
Although the old Bihu ritual of consuming some 100 varieties of herbs is hard to follow today due to non availability of these specific species, some of the common festival-centric items seen in the market were the tender cane stem (bet), silkworm, new ropes for cattle, raw turmeric, honey, sweet potatoes, dighaloti, curd, rice flakes, bay leaves, elephant apple among others.