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Local snack in demand for Bihu - Residents of Sivasagar village get bulk orders to prepare hurum

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  • Published 14.04.13

Sivasagar, April 13: Residents of Meteka Laimekuri village, around 8km from here, are putting in extra effort to cater to the rising demand for hurum, a local variety of crispy rice, which has slowly found a place in the Bihu menu.

The unprecedented rise in demand has led to more villagers preparing the food item for Magh and Bohag Bihu this year. The food item, traditionally prepared for home consumption, has become one of the most sought-after jolpan (snack) in Assamese households.

At present, almost 100 residents from around 30 households in Meteka Laimekuri are engaged in producing the snack.

Hurum is eaten dry or by mixing with either curd or milk along with gur (jaggery) or sugar.

Ranjan Bora, a resident, said hurum worth approximately Rs 10 lakh was sold last year. “The villagers earned around Rs 12 lakh during Magh Bihu alone. We are expecting a turnover of Rs 8 lakh during Bohag Bihu,” he said.

Bora attributed the increased sales to soaring demand for the food product this year. “More buyers from different parts of the state are coming to place bulk orders. This year, hurum prepared here was sent to Guwahati, Nagaon, Tinsukia, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Sivasagar.”

Bhaity Bora, another resident, said they started bulk production of the food item about 15 years back. “We started to produce hurum in bulk quantities after the product received good response at a Bihu exhibition in Sivasagar. Soon, buyers started to come to the village to order in bulk. Subsequently, more families got involved in producing the food item,” he said.

This season, the villagers have produced nearly 100 quintals of hurum. “It is prepared with a specially-grown local rice variety called borbora. Paddy is first softened in water and subsequenly steamed and heated. After the frying process, paddy is broken down by dheki, to separate rice from paddy. Thereafter, it is heated again with sand to get the crunchy product. The finished hurum is immediately sealed in polythene packs to avoid moisture from damaging it,” said Rekha Bora, another resident.

Dwipen Konwar said preparing hurum has helped his family to earn more income. “Earlier, my family had to face a lot of hardship with the meagre income from farming. Now, we are able to earn about Rs 50,000 during Magh and Bohag Bihu. I am able to send my children to school, which was not possible earlier,” he said. Konwar’s family sells the packets, each weighing 200gm, at Rs 25, which are otherwise sold for Rs 40 each in the market.