LIFESTYLE

If You Care About Real Northeast Indian Food, You Must Try These 15 Fabulous Dishes

*Slurrrrrrp*

07/02/2017 1:31 PM IST | Updated 07/02/2017 7:23 PM IST
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If you walk into a village in Assam and ask the residents to feed you the supposed staple, momos, they will look at you like you have asked them to fix a part of the Mars Rover. It is highly possible that most of them have not even heard of that 'exotic' dish. But as you make your way to the city, you will find establishments from small roadside stalls to fancy restaurants offering you a delectable plate of momos, along with a bowl of piping hot soup. Although the Northeastern people love momos like anyone else in the country, it is far from being their staple.

Even if we share this common love for momos, we must acknowledge that we know very little about the Northeastern cuisine. To begin with, the seven states, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, along with Sikkim have their own traditional dishes.

Although this is not an exhaustive list, here's what one could explore the next time they go to a restaurant which serves authentic Northeastern fare.

1. Maasor Tenga

Assam

From a home-cooked lunch to a festive feast, this Assamese delicacy finds its way into every important meal. Meaning sour fish, this fish dish is prepared with lime and ridge gourd, with very little spices. It is best enjoyed with steamed rice and fresh chilli that complements its tangy taste.

Read the recipe here.

2. Smoked Pork with Anishi

Nagaland

The Nagas love their meats and fermented food products. While Akhuni - a fermented soybean chutney -- might be too radical for one's food and olfactory preferences, anishi can be enjoyed in a pork dish. Anishi is fermented yam leaves, a little pungent but complements the spicy, smoked pork. One could also cook other meat products with anishi, but smoked pork is one of the most popular Naga dishes.

Read the recipe here.

3. Dokhleikh

Meghalaya

This dish can be considered as a salad of sorts. In fact, it can be called a pork salad. All one needs to do it pressure cook the pork and then mix it with the ingredients. Here's one salad that is absolutely yummy as well as healthy.

Read the recipe here.

4. Jadoh

Meghalaya

This Khasi delicacy is a purely meaty affair. Cooked with rice and a sizeable portion of pork meat, this dish is enjoyed the best with a serving of Tungrymbai or a paste made of fermented soya bean, far less pungent than the Naga version. If you are looking for a Northeastern comfort food, your search ends with Jadoh.

Read the recipe here.

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5. Vawksa Rep

Mizoram

Vawksa Rep is our good old, much-loved smoked pork. The Mizo version is cooked with mushrooms, spinach, and pork in oyster sauce and ginger-garlic paste. If you are a fan of spicy food, you could add chopped chillies to it. Vawksa Rep is perfect for a wintry night or a rainy day.

Read a simpler recipe of the dish here.

6. Kinema Curry

Sikkim

This Nepali delicacy is a curry is made of fermented soya bean. This spicy treat is best enjoyed with a serving of steamed rice.

Read the recipe here.

7. Chhurpi

Sikkim

There are two types of chhurpis -- hard and soft. The hard chhurpi is consumed like a toffee, kept in the mouth till it softens and eventually chewing it.

The soft chhurpi is used to make savoury dishes, soups, and even pickles.

You can read the recipes for chhurpi curry, soup and pickle here.

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8. Kosoi Bwtwi

Tripura

One might take time to cultivate a taste for this Tripuri delicacy because it involves fermented and dry fish, which is very pungent. Kosoi Bwtwi is a dish that involves a sizeable amount of beans, along with dry fish and very little spices.

You can read the recipe here.

9. Amitar Khar

Assam

There are many ways to make khar, including pulses and vegetables, but one of the most popular ones is made or amita or papaya.

You can read the recipe here.

10. Gundruk and Sinki

Sikkim

This dish from Sikkim is another type of fermented dish. But unlike most of the other dishes, this is a vegetarian treat. A type of appetiser, Gundruk and Sinki is a leafy affair, with spinach, leaves of radish and cauliflower that are also made into soups and pickle.

Read the recipe here.

11. Kothalor Chakoi

Tripura

This simple dish is made of jackfruit seeds, lentils and other vegetables. It is usually served with rice. One could also add bamboo shoot and pork and make an entirely new non-vegetarian dish.

Read the recipe here.

12. Iromba

Manipur

This is another non-vegetarian dish that includes fermented dish. But if one is not a fan of the pungent dry fish, one could substitute it with prawns. The preparation of Iromba also includes a lot of vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Read the recipe here.

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13. Hahor Mangso

Assam

This is a duck curry, that is cooked in special occasions. There are many ways of cooking duck but preparing it with kumura or ash gourd is particularly loved. Like any other Assamese dishes, this too, does not include a lot of spices.

You can read the recipe here.

14. Bai

Mizoram

This is like a vegetable stew that is cooked with rice, but could be easily transformed into a non-vegetarian dish if one wishes to. It is as easy as it is yummy.

Read the recipe here.

15. Singju

Manipur

This is another type of salad and can be had as a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian dish. The salad has an assortment of unique ingredients such as lotus stem, unripe papaya, beans and banana flower.

One could read an easier recipe here.

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