When we talk of Indian cuisine, we often fail to account for dishes from India’s North-east. The dishes originating from the Northeast are deeply rooted in the traditions and culture of the seven states. Their cuisine has had little to no outside influence. And, the dishes range from very basic to wildly exotic. Here are some of the best dishes you should definitely try in the Northeast India!
This is the dish you will see on every Assamese table. This is prepared with the unusual combination of red rice, beaten pulses as well as raw papaya in addition to traditional Assamese spices. Don’t go on the ingredients, it’s delicious. Khar is believed to cleanse the stomach and palette which is why it is served at the beginning of the meal.
Masor Tenga (Assam)
This graceful dish of Assamese cuisine is extremely refreshing on the palette. The fish is slow cooked with a broth made from outenga, tomatoes, and lemon and offers an extremely tangy refreshing flavour once done. This is one dish every Assamese definitely loves. Ask any Assamese person about this dish and watch them drown in home-sickness just at the mention of it.
This simple yet fabulous dish is prepared with fermented fish, mashed potatoes, fresh green leaves and blazing red chillies. It is characterised by a strong and pungent taste. So, next time you are on your trip to Northeast India, do not forget to treat yourself with this flavoured dish.
One of the most popular Khasi dishes of Khasi community of Meghalaya, Jadoh is appetizing. Rice drenched in a flavourful mix of sour and spicy, topped with an assortment of herbs like mint leaves and ginger flower, along with pork meat that packs a real punch. For those willing to be more adventurous, it can also be cooked in pork blood. If you love pork, this is a dish not to be missed.
Nakham Bitchi (Meghalaya)
Nakham Bitchi is delicious soup to satisfy your foodie soul. Best suited for consuming after a spicy meal, it is made of dry fish with vegetables. The fish is then fried and boiled in water, to make a thick, rich soup. It is then flavoured with lots of chillies and pepper to make it tasty and tangy, suitable for the Meghalaya’s weather.
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If you think there is no room for vegetarians in Northeast India, then you really need to taste sanpiau. One of the few popular vegetarian dishes in Northeast India, sanpiau is eaten as a snack in Mizoram. A simple yet lip smacking dish, it is prepared with rice porridge and served with fresh coriander paste, spring onions, crushed black pepper, zesty fish sauce and finely powdered rice.
Bai is one of the most popular dishes of Mizoram. This popular Mizo dish is made of steamed vegetables along with pork, spinach and bamboo shoot, and spiced with local herbs. Though it’s mostly prepared with pork sauce (made out of pork and mustard), it can be made with butter as well to make a vegetarian. Bai is one of the most easily available dishes in the capital of Mizoram- Aizawl.
Smoked Pork (Nagaland)
If you have read about Nagaland, then you’d know that rice, pork, chicken, dog, insects and worms, vegetables, and famous chili sauces are essential in the Naga diet. So, if you are a true foodie who likes tasting different local dishes, Nagaland is the state for you. The meat is cooked in a number of ways, but bamboo shoot is the favoured ingredient as it goes well with pork. Pork with Akhuni (piquant fermented soya bean) or Anishi (fermented yam leaves) are other popular preparations. It is rightly said that the real taste of Nagaland lies in its smoked pork.
This is the famous rice beer from Nagaland which is prepared by a method that is used to make pickles and several other drinks. This fermented drink of Nagaland looks white. This porridge-like drink is savoured happily by the Angami Nagas.
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Sael Roti (Sikkim)
Reminiscent of a soft pretzel because of its ring shape, a sael roti is a bread prepared during festivals in Nepal. This bread is different from any other bread that you might have seen and tasted. The dish is made from a batter of fermented rice and then deep-fried. Satiate your taste palettes with this flavourful and amazing dish while you are holidaying in Sikkim.
Sha Phaley (Sikkim)
This wonderful dish of Tibetan origin is literally heaven on your taste buds. Everyone loves bread, everyone loves meat, everyone loves the deep-fried stuff, and Sha Phaley has all three. The bread is stuffed with a variety of meat or you could just have veggies in it, according to your choice. With different people having different demands a lot of variations have been done to the traditional dish, and people have readily accepted the addition of cheese and tofu to the stuffing.
Awan Bangwi (Tripura)
Awan Bangwi is a specialty of the local cuisine of Tripura. It is an important dish cooked and served during all the major festivals in the state of Tripura. This dish is made up of long grained coarse textured Guria rice and is fashioned into the shape of a cake. Pork and pork fat can also be used to make this dish. So, whenever you are in the state of Tripura, do not forget to indulge in the traditional recipes of the state to fill your stomach with such delicacies.
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