The state of Nagaland is a land of myths and legends that have passed down generations.
This picturesque hilly state is inhabited by 16 principal tribes and sub-tribes who can be distinguished by the vibrant costumes and jewelry that they wear. Often referred to as the Switzerland of the East, Nagaland is blessed with a wonderful climate throughout the year, beckoning umpteen tourists to seek solace in this tranquil hideout away from the madding crowds.
It goes without saying that a place that is so beautiful and colorful is ought to have a hugely interesting variety in terms of its food and local cuisines.
The staple food of the Naga tribes is rice.
Not many people know much about Nagaland, a beautiful mountainous state in North East India that is definitely worth exploring, especially when it comes to its local cuisine.
Have a look at some of the most special dishes of Nagaland that you need to try at least once in your life.
Akhuni, which is also termed as Dzacie aakhone or axone is the most commonly used fermented edible item of Nagaland. Akhuni is prepared throughout the year from soya beans. Although all the tribes of Nagaland prepare Akhuni, but the Sema tribe of southern Nagaland mostly prepares it. After being picked and cleaned, soya beans are boiled. After draining the excess water, the soyabeans are made to ferment for three to four days in summer and a week in winter. Akhuni is used in a large variety of Naga dishes.
2. Naga Ghost Chilli Sauce
The hottest chili in the world, the Naga ghost chilli is the chief ingredient of this preparation. The dish is so hot that it might inflict a sharp pain inside the mouth of some who taste it for the first time. However, the flavor of the dish is superb. Along with chillies, lots of garlic, onions and herbs are used.
Related: The Enthralling Cuisine of Nagaland
3. Fish in Bamboo
Bamboo is also a commonly used ingredient. One of most interesting ways to prepare fish in Nagaland, in this dish the fish is filled inside a bamboo tube with few spices and left to be smoked over fire.
Related: 3 Sumptuous Naga Recipes Without Oil
This allows the flavours to permeate and offers an aromatic dish. In another simple dish loved by the Ao community for its flavours, bamboo shoot is prepared with herbs and is known as Istuk.
This is the famous rice beer from Nagaland. The technique of fermentation is used quite often to prepare pickles and drinks in Nagaland. Zutho is one such fermented drink made with rice. This whitish and porridge-like drink is popular among the Angami Nagas.
Galho is a soupy concoction of rice and vegetables or meat. It is somewhat similar to a North Indian khichdi. It mostly used an assortment of seasonal greens and is flavoured with smoked pork or chunks of pork fat.
A vegetarian galho is a very simple dish often garnished with just ginger-garlic or nothing at all.