Udupi Gulla gets patent protection

Famed brinjal

Udupi Gulla gets patent protection

 Baskets full of Udupi Gulla. DH PhotoThe famed eggplant species adds an exceptional flavour to the cuisine and has tickled the taste buds of the food buffs far beyond the district.

The Gulla is grown only in Katpadi, Mattu and Kaipunjalu in Udupi district. The vegetable is an essential ingredient in the menu of cuisines that is dedicated to Lord Krishna.

The official consent from the department is the result of intense lobbying from farmers of surrounding areas, who were apprehensive that there was an attempt abroad to patent the vegetable.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, District Horticulture Department Assistant Director Narendra Babu said  the Geographical Indication Registration Department (GIRD), Chennai has approved the patent for Mattu Gulla, after a thorough study of the geographical and other characteristics of the vegetable.

The seeds and leaves of Gulla were sent to DNA test to Chennai at the beginning of the year by Dr Ramakrishnaiah of the Department of Horticulture. Arvindan, P H Kurian and A Sathyanandan from Chennai Geographical Indication Registration Department were had discussions with farmers who grow the variety. Based on their recommendation a team headed J L Sharma sanctioned the GI status to the Gulla.

Gulla is a secondary crop in this sandy loamy soil in the region. There are nearly 250 acres where it is cultivated in the entire belt. Once the paddy is harvested, gulla cultivation starts, ie, in the months of November and December and the harvesting takes place in January.

There is a 500-year-old fable on the origins of this delicious vegetable. People in Mattu believe that seer Vadiraja of Sri Krishna Mutt had bestowed on their ancestors a palmfull of mud that eventually turned into seeds. When sown, the seeds yielded a delicious fruit called ‘Gulla.’ The first yield is dedicated to Lord Krishna. Paryaya celebrations are incomplete without the delicacies prepared with Gulla.’

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