Cow dung is still used in India for cooking

Did you know that cow dung is still used in rural India for cooking? In fact, when I visit my grandparent’s home in the village (Bihar), I still see my relatives using it. If you are thinking that these poor lots are still living in the dark ages, you’ll be surprised how progressive some of these village people are.

In fact, India has produced the best civil servants, doctors and engineers in these very villages. Poor they may be, but the culture of India lies in these very villages. But then, that’s a different story altogether. Let’s talk bull sh*t for the time being.

Village woman making goitha from cow dung
Village woman making goitha from cow dung

These cow dung or cow faeces is called “gobar” in India. They are used extensively for fuel in many parts of the country. The village women would collect the faeces excreted from the bovine species (cows, bulls or buffalo) and they would be mixed with hay as seen in the picture and made into dough. They would then be flattened and stuck on a wall mostly the walls of the clay huts or even on the ground to dry.

Wall is covered with cow dung or "gotiha"
Wall is covered with cow dung or “gotiha”. Source:  Wikimedia Commons

After they have dried out, they would be scrapped of the walls and stored in a dry place and used all year round for cooking. The final product is called “goitha”, think of it as “dunk cakes”.

You’ll be surprised how delicious the food tastes when cooked on the dung.

Lady making food
Here is a lady cooking using clay ovens. In this particular photo, the lady is using dried grass but often she would use cow dung to cook her family’s dinner.

Why not visit some of the villages of India. One popular village is called Bishnoi Village in Rajasthan. You’’ll find the lives of the villagers completely different compared to those living in the cities.

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