Discover the taste of India: North East Indian Food
The north eastern part of India is perhaps the most under estimated region when it comes to food. In reality, the seven sisters, Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur, along with Sikkim, have a wide assortment of culinary styles influenced greatly by topography, climate, geographic location, and neighbouring regions.
The items are comparatively less spicy than the other parts of the country, but no less tasty. Food is prepared with minimum oil or ghee. Smoked and boiled preparations are also in vogue. Dishes prepared with duck meat, bamboo shoots etc are very much popular in North-East Zone. Smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages are common in both men and women in the hilly states.
Tripura is a state that enjoys close proximity to the Bay of Bengal and shares boundaries with Bangladesh. The resident community is mostly Bengali and panache of cooking styles from East India and Bangladesh as well as their love for fish can be found in Tripura, especially Agartala. The dialect of Tripura and Assam is also Bengali, with some minor variations. Rice is the staple food in the North East, and is almost part of every meal. The home made sweets made out of rice are a specialty of Assam. The Assamese also consume a huge variety of rice-based breakfast cereals with milk or yoghurt or thick cream. Normally jaggery or sugar is added used. Quite contrary to the preference for non vegetarian food in the North East, vegetarian delicacies are found abundantly in Assam.
People from Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland are hard core non vegetarians, and love fish and meat. The people love tea, called “Zu”. Iromba, an eclectic combination of fish, vegetables and fermented bamboo shoots is popular. Also famous is Kabok, a traditional speciality from Manipur, made of fried rice with a world of vegetables added in.
Chinese influence can be seen in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. In fact, Shillong is often referred to as the “Mecca of Chinese Food”. The meat preference is tilted in favour of pork. Jadoh – a spicy dish of rice and pork is eaten almost any time. Besides, the local pork delicacies cooked Khasi-style. Some popular drinks made out of either rice or millet are Kyat, Apong, and Tchang. Sikkim also encases Tibetan food preferences. Momos, Thukpas, Ningro with Churpi, Gundruk, Phagshapa, Sael Roti are popular in Sikkim. Beef consumption is also common among the local people.