“To give life to beauty, the painter uses a whole range of colours, musicians of sounds, the cook of tastes – and it is indeed remarkable that there are seven colours, seven musical notes and seven tastes.” – Lucien Tendret
The boredom of life entreats you for the need of a break. All you need is a mind full of rejuvenation, to have the essence of nature and definitely along with a deliciously mouth-watering cuisine.
As concern the Northeast India holds the glory of vibrantly colourful nature and the sprinkles of countless architectures. Well, there are currently eight states in India’s northeast, all of which consist of people from diverse cultures, communities and ethnicities and of course a different of delicious food habits.
Before going ahead with, I must clarify the misconception prevailing that the northeastern eats Dog. Yes, that may be a tradition or food habit of some tribal groups in northeast India. But that hardly suggests that ‘all’ people from the northeast are ‘dog-eaters’! In fact the paradox here is that, Northeast India do have a huge variety of cuisine. This is perfectly said that variety of cuisine here is bridging the multi-coloured threads of both the tribals and non-tribals of the region. A firmly bound unity can be seen among the all states of Northeast India. An example to be cited, when we go somewhere out of our region, and for the cuisine of food to be considered we search for a Northeastern restaurant and not for a restaurant state wise like Tripuri restaurant or Naga restaurant.
The dishes here are generally prepared by the local ingredients and spices available. Here, I must mention , Northeast India grows the world’s hottest chilli that is “Ghost pepper” or “Bhut Jolokia” which is a hybrid of “Capsicum Chinense” and “Capsicum Frutescens”. In 2007, Guinness World Records certified Ghost Pepper as the most hottest chilli in this world,400 times more hotter than Tabasco sauce. Sikkim holds the title of “India’s first fully organic state”.
Northeast India remain unexplored most of the time though, one should definitely not miss to have the taste of the region’s cuisine. So, if you are in northeast India ever, here are some dishes, you must try out once.
1) Wahan Mosdeng: This is the most delicious pork dish from the region. The dish “Wahan Mosdeng” or “Chilli Pork” is a dry, healthy boiled preparation. The dish is most profoundly preferred as a Tripuri dish. The pork is cooked with chopped ginger, onion and salt. The enchanting aroma of the dish is conferred by the roasted chillies that are mixed. You can add as much chillies as you prefer. Coriander leaves for garnishing is used at last. The dish will definitely excite your taste buds.
2) Singju : This is basically a Manipuri Salad. The salad is prepared for both a veggie foodie and a non-veggie foodie. It is an all-time favorite both as a side dish as well as an evening snacks. The salad is mainly prepared with sliced cabbage, lotus roots, coriander leaves, hawai maton (pea leaves) mixed with roasted and crushed perilla seeds, red chillies, dry peas and salt and chana masala. When served as a non-veg dish, Ngari fish is added. For sure, it can be one of your favorite Northeastern herbs salad.
3) Awan Bangwi: This is preferred as a dessert sometimes called as special type of cake by the Tripuris. This is prepared in a leaf called Lairu, in unavailability of the said leaf, banana leaf is also used. A type of long grained sticky rice called Miami is used. The rice comes both in red and white variety . The dish is prepared by steaming the cone formed Lairu leaf wrapped rice along with ginger, garlic and cashews, resins. And the cone of the steamed dessert is ready.
4) Smoked Pork: This is mouth watering dish from Naga cuisine. The dish contains the hottest chilli of the world. The addition of the bamboo shoots uprises the smoky flavor The dish is also deliciously favorite for the northeasterns. Apart, the local spices and ingredients are also added to make this perfectly tasty dish.
5) Thukpa : It is a hot noodle soup, a cuisine from Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The soupy noodles is mixed with vegetables and can be made of chicken or pork base. Thukpa is a perfect nutritious dish in the country.
6) Bai : The most popular dish from Mizoram. The main meat base of the dish is pork. The ingredients contains are locally available herbs, bamboo shoots, vegetables steamed. Bai is the most available and easy to find dish in Mizoram.
7) Misa Mach Poora: This Mizo dish is basically a recipe of grilled or roasted shrimp. The shrimp is grilled on banana leaf on a hot open charcoal. The addition of the local ingredients makes the dish luscious. The dish is served with steamed rice. So, if you are in Mizoram, give the dish a try.
8) Pitha : This is the most preferred and popular from Assam. Apart, this Bengali food is also a food love for the people of Tripura. The pithas can be steamed or fried, sweet or spicy. With the blended rice, sugar, kheer and preferred spices are used to make different types of pithas.
9) Jadoh : This is the most popular and drool worthy dish from Meghalaya. The turmeric added yellow coloured rich is cooked with pieces of pork meat. Green chilies, black pepper, onion, gingers, bay leaves adds the aromatic flavor. The dish somehow resembles the essence of Pulao. The rice in the dish used is of long grained pale red coloured with a distinct aroma.
10) Gudok : This is a steamed dish where the main base is dry fish. This is the another most common and mouthwatering dish from Tripura. The de-scaled dry fishes along with bamboo shoots and ingredients like onion, chillies, garlic are cooked by steaming. This oil-free tasty dish is waiting here.
(All the pictures used here are for representation only ; picture courtesy: Internet)