Indigenous processing of Tikhur (Curcuma angustifolia Roxb.) for the extraction of starch in Baster, Chhattisgarh
Curcuma angustifolia Roxb., commonly known as Tikhur in Hindi, occurs widely in many parts of India. It is traditionally recognized as medicinal plant and also contains starch in its rhizomes. In some forest tubers, extraction of starch is simple; whereas this is not always so with other tuber starches. An exhaustive survey was conducted in Baster region of Chhattisgarh to explore the traditional practice of extraction of starch from Tikhur rhizomes being followed by the tribals/ forest dwellers and to document the same. Information was documented by Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) technique followed by live demonstration of the actual methodology. The paper discusses, various unit operations essential in the extraction of starch from Tikhur rhizomes. Efforts have also been made to record the traditional knowledge of ethnic people in relation to Tikhur starch preparation with due justification and practical implications. The purpose of the investigation was also to provide protection to the knowledge of forest dwellers and document it before it is lost under the onslaught of development process. The knowledge would help researchers, scientists and development workers in adding value to the indigenous knowledge for sustainable development.
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