As I stepped into the venue, the intoxicating smells of chilli pork, hot chicken and pork momos greeted me. There was hardly enough space to place my feet comfortably amidst the huge crowd that had gathered at the Holy Ghost Church in Richard’s town, Bangalore. The charisma of the venue aroused my senses. You may be questioning as to what the crowd was all about. I think it’s right to quench your curiosity at least now. Yes, I was at the bash called the Northeast Christmas Food Festival.
How could I have not jumped into this food festival? The word food, in itself, was welcoming. Adding to it was the geographical tag of the Northeast, the land I belong to. I just had to go and I did, wrapped in a light green, yellow-bordered Naga Cotton Saree from Heeya adorned with Assamese traditional jewellery. And I went in, all set to celebrate.
The fest was not just a celebration of the food of the Northeast bur also the culture and the brotherhood between the states. Northeast comprises of seven sisters viz, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram with each state having its own culture and cuisine. This was a perfect forum where every state presented their authenticate flavours.
Hovering around the mouth watering dishes in the stalls were people from various parts of the country, and also foreigners. The stalls offered both vegetarian as well as non- vegetarian dishes. The dishes sold were priced between 50 and 250 rupees and it was absolutely filling to say the least. Veg momos, Rice thali, Sel roti with Radish pickle and Khimchi were few of the vegetarian choices. This was the perfect place for the Non-vegetarians, I must say. Chilli chicken and Chilli pork were so tender and juicy that it was hard for me to stop. The chilli flakes and the onion garnishing brought an additive taste to the palate.
The rice and dry fish dish right from Tripura kitchen rang all the bells in my heart and soul. The big fat pork momos and the smooth noodles just slipped into my tongue as a frog slips its prey to its sticky tongue.
To satisfy our urge of something spicy and tangy, there was also home-made beef, pork and prawn pickles. I didn’t lose this opportunity to pack a bunch of pickle bottles and sachets.
The festival also entertained people with choirs, dances and folk songs from different parts of Northeast. Robert Naorem a promising Fashion Designer from Manipur and author-journalist Gita Aravamudan were invited as chief guests that evening and brought life to the show.
Desserts are omnipresent, be it any occasion. I couldn’t have left not having treated myself to some delicious red velvet, lemon cupcakes, mango pastries and Tiramisu.
North-eastern folks are not only famous for their juicy lip smacking dishes but also for their dressing style. The handlooms, jewellery were all laid out in the stalls to present to the lively cheerful crowd. Nowadays, women are crazy for tribal jewellery as they go well with ethnic and western wear. “Heeya” is one of the clothing stores that promote sarees, tunics, tops, dupattas, home decors and even Tribal jewellery. Jonali Saikia Khasnabish was personally displaying a wide range of items primarily from Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram. Get into the store to check out more.
I wanted to stay a little longer, but time didn’t allow me to do so. However, I was overwhelmed to have my Northeast in Bengaluru. I extended my heartiest thanks to all the initiators and the organisers who made the event a memorable one.