Written by Khumtia Debbarma and translated by Rita Chakma
Chicken soup seems to be a universal comfort dish for when someone is unwell. Helpful with fever, cold, cough and even loss of appetite due to fever, chicken soup is cooked with different local twists in different regions. This is also a dish cooked quite often in the tribal villages of Tripura.
Chicken soup is called ‘Tok pengjak’ in Kokborok, the language spoken by the Debbarma tribe in Tripura. To make this Tripuri style chicken soup, water is first boiled and after leaving it to boil for 30 minutes, the chicken is immersed in the water. After this, the hair and feathers of the chicken are removed carefully to be able to clean it properly. For further cleaning, the chicken will be cooked in fire till the last piece of hair is also removed. Following this, the chicken will be chopped into small pieces and cleaned with water 3-4 times.
To cook the chicken soup, ingredients like moso kwthwi (red chili), hasing (ginger), piyojo (onion), risum (garlic) are required. Leaving onion and ginger, a paste will be made with the rest of the ingredients. The onion and ginger will be chopped into small pieces. The chopped pieces of chicken along with the other ingredients will be put into an earthen pot; salt, turmeric powder and two glasses of water will be added to the mixture in the pot and this will be cooked for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, the chicken is checked on stirred to ensure that it is cooked well. To enhance the taste, kasing (cilantro/coriander leaves) are added. It is said that the Tiprasa chicken soup is incomplete without kasing. With this, our Tiprasa style chicken soup is ready to be served. It is a very popular and tasty traditional Tiprasa dish.
Chicken soup is fairly easy to cook and you, too, can try cooking it at home!
Acknowledgements: I was assisted by Basanta Debbarma, a resident of the Sepahijala district in Tripura. He supports his family by working as a daily wager.
This article is created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.
About the author: Khumtia Debbarma is a resident of Tripura. She has completed her BA and wants to be a social worker. She likes to sing, travel and is an avid photographer and video editor.