A café owner in Garo Hills has made it his mission to give priority to locally available ingredients and celebrate the produce available to the region and, hopefully, help his patrons appreciate local bounty.
Hendri G Momin, proprietor of Aman A’song, launched the café in 2019 with a menu with ingredients that achieve nutritious, wholesome benefits and healthy choices to create awareness among the community.
He believes that the menus he creates will inform the community members who own food stalls and cafés that they can use local ingredients found in their yard which is chemically free and sustainable.
Momin said, “There are many varieties of wild, cultivated yam and taro in the community, but many are left to waste in the community because of the lack of taste and community people are not aware of the value it can give in place of processed refined flour products. Therefore, as a cook, I like to develop products which will give benefit to the people in terms of health and cost-effective menu in the community café.”
Momin has now used tapioca and yam rather than the product commonly known as ‘bhujia’. Besides that, he uses wild edible as a substitute for flatbread to add nutrition to the food items available in the café. He also incorporated a cold beverage section to his menu where he serves wild edibles fruits as drinks.
Momin has also influenced and altered his community’s behavior towards using local ingredients to help build a strong healthy community. His approach has also reached community members in the urban areas to practice reviving traditional food systems with ingenious recipes in the community.
The café is an initiative of NESFAS and funded by the Rural Electrification Corporation Foundation (REC) as part of the ongoing ‘No One Shall Be Left Behind’ initiative.