Kolhapur ‘Spicing’ Things Up!

In addition to Kolhapuri Chappals (registered as GI), Kolhapur is also going to be famous for its Kolhapuri Masala. Yes, you heard it right! The Karveer Adarsha Mahila Aaudyogik Sahkari Sanstha (KAMAAS), a group of women self-help organizations with the help of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), a state-initiative of agriculture department, had applied under the application no-475 on 26th March 2014, to get the Geographical Indication (GI) status for the delectable mixture of different spices that claims to bring a distinct taste to the food.

The GI recognition will prevent unauthorized use of the brand name ‘Kolhapuri Masala’ and will not only bring in economic prosperity for the local producers, but also the quality and authentic taste can be established. The GI status will also help the producers to export it, in huge quantities.

Kolhapur is famous for its spicy food and piquant taste due to use of ‘ Kolhapur masala’. It is one of the spices prepared in every house of Kolhapur and used in the daily diet. The masala is available in two forms -Kolhapuri Kanda Lasun Masala and Kolhapuri Jain Masala i.e. Kolhapur masala without onion and garlic’. ‘Kolhapuri masala’ is brownish red in colour having a slightly coarse texture. It has very spicy, savory and piquant taste with a specific aroma due to frying and roasting of spices, which also increases its shelf life. It is said that it is good for digestion because of its onion and garlic contents in a specific ratio. Sesame seeds and dry coconut lend sweetness to the masala. No added colour, additives, harmful chemicals and flavors are used in preparation of this masala. It has a shelf life of 6-12 months without using preservatives. Kolhapuri masala has acquired valuable reputation and it is indicative of its quality and uniqueness.

In the application for GI before the Registry, KAMAAS has claimed that commercial production of the Kolhapuri Masala started in 1952 by Annappa Gatade, and was marketed by establishing the company ‘Shrikant Masale.’

Formal check report was issued by registry on 28th July on 2014, which was required to be responded by the applicant within 30 days of the receipt of notice. The Registry had suggested filing the application along with the logo (if any) for better protection of GI rights. The report required the applicant to provide the uniqueness of ‘Kolphapuri Masala’ while comparing it with other masalas, along with other mandatory requirements.

The applicant is hopeful to get the GI status very soon for ‘Kolhapur Masala’ as they have complied with most of the requirements. They even presented the difference between the other spices such as ‘Punjabi Masala’ or ‘Hyderabadi Masal’a in order to prove that the ingredients, quality and composition of ‘Kolhapuri Masala’ is different from the other mixtures.

The proposal requires support such as traditional customer reactions and details about the production, before the GI application is accepted by the Registry to give a GI tag to ‘Kolhapuri Masala,’ according to a recent meeting in New Delhi of the Geographical Indication Registry.

Kolhapur, boasts of having GI status recently for two of its products-‘Kolaphur Jaggery’ in 2014 and ‘Ajara Ghansal’, a domestic variety of rice produced in Ajara taluka was also granted GI status, this year.Kolhapur is hoping to add ‘Kolhapuri Masala’ to its list of GI products soon.

The post has been authored by Sambhabi Patnaik.

Source – here

Image Source/ Attribution- here, Creative Commons License CC BY-SA 3.0