Northeast Fare- Much more than just Momos
Whenever anyone serves hot momos we all undoubtedly think about Northeast. It’s true that unlike any other states in India, Northeast can offer you the best momos you can ever have. However, this part of India is much more varied than just momos and noodles. As Northeast comprises of 8 independent states, viz, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim, one should taste their signature dishes to understand their culture and food habits.The Northeast cuisines are not restricted to only these mentioned below but one must try these savouries whenever you are in Northeast or in a north eastern restaurant.
- Amitar Khaar: An opener of an Assamese meal which is believed to be a good stomach cleanser. “Khaar” is generally made of burning the layers of banana skin (a specific type of Banana, Musa balbisiana (Rety) Rose-scientific name) and water is filtered through the ashes. This water is known as “Kola” or “Kol Khaar” and it can be added to raw papaya curry or bottle gourd or even added to fishes.
- Maasor Tenga: This home cooked fish curry is one of my favorites. Less spicy, tangy fish curry perfectly goes with steamed rice. This is a very important fish curry which finds its way into most Assamese homes.
- Chura Sabzi: If you love cheese then you are going to love this. This dish comes flooded with fermented cheese made of either yak milk or cow’s milk with an addition of chilly flakes to make it delicious and spicy.
- Dokhleikh: When I had this dish for the first time I loved this dish so much that I forgot to share my bowl with my companion. Coming back home I started preparing all by myself as it’s simple and easy to cook. It is basically a pork salad. You need to pressurize the pork pieces and mix it with ingredients like chopped onions, ginger, salt, and chilies. I preferably squeeze lemon juice over it.
- Jadoh: How can I forget to mention about this dish when I am describing the Khasi delicacies? A simple meal can be taken in breakfast, lunch or dinner. The dish is simple where rice is cooked with pork pieces and is served with fermented soya bean sauce or paste.
- Iromba: If any of the states can come up with a delicious dish made of fermented stuff, it’s definitely going to be Manipur. Introduced by one of my colleague from Manipur, this dish can be served either with dry fish or prawns. I live the dry fish version, In simple terms, I can introduce this dish as a perfect blend of vegetables, mash potatoes, and dry fish/prawns.
- Bai: A very simple yet healthy dish from Mizoram known as Bai. It can be vegetarian or Non-vegetarian as preferred.
- Smoked Pork with Anishi: One must try this Naga cuisine whenever you are in Nagaland. Nagas are fond of meat and fermented food products but they use no or less oil. They either boil or eat smoked meat. Anishi (fermented yam leaves) serves with smoked pork, beef or eel.
- Kothalor Chakoi: The Tripuris know how to make a delicious dish with the jackfruit seeds where people mostly discard the seeds. The main ingredient is the Jackfruit seeds which can be paired with vegetables or meat too.
- Gundruk: One of the famous side dish which can be found in most Ghorkkhali or Nepali homes. Prepared by shredding and smashing the mustard, radish and cauliflower leaves followed by fermentation, this dish can act as a side-dish or a perfect appetizer.
Hence next time when you visit Northeast, do taste these delicacies and don’t forget to share your experiences with us!