Northeast India is a vibrant place with all its colourful tribes, culture and so are Northeast India cuisines and food. It is not quite often that the state ranks in the bucket list of travellers. And more so they also overlook the culinary varieties of the place. But with almost 200 tribes across the eight states, the region offers food lovers and cultural seekers a unique opportunity to taste the cuisines of various cultures of the region that traces their ancestry in the faraway lands of Mongolian and Southeast Asia.
You have to taste a culture to understand it. – Deborah Cater
The Seven Sisters has some very interesting cuisines that are an experience in itself. So along with appreciating the beautiful landscapes of the place, also taste the delectable food and cuisines. The cuisines of the seven sister states that is Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are definitely are definitely a bit different from the so-called spicy Indian food. The oil and masala (spices) that are linked with typical Indian food is not found here. The food is bland but hot as well as pungent and aromatic. And these dishes are totally incomplete with a dish of steaming rice and other green vegetables. The northeast Indian cuisines has a liberal dose of non-vegetarian courses that include chicken, duck, geese, beef, pork and freshwater fishes. As for the spices, they use chillies (enough for the hotness quotient), ginger, garlic, sesame and some local herbs to bring out the special flavour and taste.
Food from these northeastern states is actually just as exotic as the place itself with diverse taste and type. The local street-side vendors are the best way to have a look at what the locals prefer to eat. If you are planning to tour Northeast India, make sure to try a few of these cuisines.
Masor Tenga (Assam)
Masor Tenga is a must-try food of Assam after you have tasted the world famous Assam Tea. It is a sour and tangy fish curry and is best enjoyed with steaming rice. This is one of the staple Assamese dishes and has a few variations in recipes.
If you are in Assam, then you must have pitha or pitika. Pitha is a popular snack time dish of the Assamese and comes in many variations. They can be sweet or sour, steamed or fried or can even be barbecued inside a hollow bamboo stem. Pithas are usually made of rice or wheat flour with a stuffing of coconut and jaggery.
If you are in Meghalaya, it would be a sin not to indulge in Jadoh. It is a rice and meat-based dish widely loved in Meghalaya. Have Jadoh with chicken, pork or fish and you will definitely ask for more.
Pika Pila (Arunachal Pradesh)
Pika Pila is one of the favourite dishes of Arunachal Pradesh. Actually it is a pickle made by using bamboo shoot and pork fat with a little addition of King Chilly. Made mostly by the Apatani tribe, the pickle is definitely hot and spicy.
Pork with bamboo shoot (Nagaland)
One of the most famous Nagaland dishes is dry bamboo shoots cooked with pork. Nagaland loves to eat pork and in this dish, the pork is fried with dry bamboo shoots (Also a Naga signature ingredient) and lots of chillies. The bamboo gives the pork a lovely aroma and unique flavour. Don’t forget to try this while in Nagaland.
This simple dish is prepared with fermented fish, mashed potatoes, vegetables and blazing red chillies. This is one of the favourite dishes of the Manipuris.
This Mizo dish is made of steamed vegetables, pork, bamboo shoots and lots of local herbs and spices. Though it’s mostly prepared with pork sauce (made out of pork and mustard), it can be made with butter as well if you want it to be a vegetarian dish. Bai is definitely one of the most popular dishes of Mizoram.
Kosoi Bwtwi (Tripura)
Kosoi Bwtwi is a traditional Tripuri dish made of French beans, chopped onions, Green chillies, garlic cloves, salt and turmeric powder. The dish is also sometimes made with fermented fish. The locals also add Khundrupui leaves, a Tripuri spice to add to the flavour.
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