By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Hyderabad's famous tandoori chicken is all set to get a new taste with the city-based Project Directorate on Poultry developing a special variety of chicken that resembles the desi hen in flavour and delicacy.
The PDP's "Gramapriya" looks like a domestic hen (naatu kodi) both in appearance and taste. Because of moderate body weight, the males of Gramapriya are best suited for preparation of tandoori type chicken dishes. The females produce good number of eggs, under free range farm conditions in rural and tribal areas.
"The bird is predominantly an egg producer, developed for village rearing. It has high disease resistance and immune competence and this gives the strength for the maximum survivability of this bird under semi-free range conditions," according to PDP project director Dr RP Sharma.
Since the bird feeds on insects and other natural food in the backyards unlike a farm bird, Gramapriya's meat fibre becomes strong giving it the taste of a desi fowl. And because of its low body weight the bird is tender and good for tandoori dishes, which Hyderabad is famous for.
The PDP, a member of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, has earlier developed Vanaraja, a poultry variety primarily meant for meat. The Gramapriya is meant for eggs. The male Gramapriya attains 1.2 kgs to 1.5 kgs at eight to 10 weeks of age on broiler chick feed. The eggs are tinted and have fairly good size.
Gramapriya produces about 160 to 180 eggs in a year with the resources available under free-range conditions. Depending on the environment, feeding and health conditions Gramapriya can lay up to a maximum of 200 to 220 eggs up to 72 weeks of age.
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