North East India or the land of the Seven Sisters includes Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. The states are renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and fascinating culture yet it still remains to be the less explored parts of India. Apart from amazing tourism, what is often not publicized about this parts of the country is its spectacular cuisine which they offer. Each states in the North East has an array of interesting dishes with great flavors to offer, each emulating the north east culture and taste which is bound to tickle your taste buds. Here are the top 10 most delectable dishes that you must try from the North East India!
Related Photo: Top Northeastern Dishes That You've Got To Try NOW!
Jadoh from Meghalaya
It is a popular rice-based Khasi dish from the state of Meghalaya. It is usually made from a special kind of long grained, pale red colored, low gluten rice with a distinct frangrant which is found in Meghalaya. It is similar to Pulao which is commonly consumed in the other parts of India. But, Jadoh is prepared in a very small quantity of oil which makes it much healthier. The dish is usually cooked with pork, onions, ginger paste, turmeric and black pepper mixed with the rice. The vegetarian version is flavored with potatoes, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Smoked Pork from Nagaland
In Nagaland, Pork is considered to be their staple meat. This state is popular for its pork dishes and if you like spicy pork then you’re in luck! Smoked Pork is a favorite among the locals. It is crispy on the outside and tender and succulent on the inside. The distinct smokey flavor of this dish also comes from the addition of bamboo shoot. The pork is cut into small pieces which is then cooked in curry or is served in a dry form. There are other local ingredients that are sometimes added to this lip smacking dish to bring out a different flavor such as fermented soya beans or Akhuni and fermented leaves of yam also known as Anishi. The dish is made spicy by the infusion of Bhut Jolokia or Ghost pepper which is known to be the spiciest chilli in the world. The dish is then served with a bowl of steamed plain rice.
Tenga Fish from Assam
This is a fish based dish from the state of Assam. It has a sour and a fragrant taste. This dish is prepared with local fish that are caught from the rivers of Assam. The fish are fried in mustard oil and then cooked in a curry made of spinach and bottle gourd. The dish gets its distinct sour taste from the addition of a good amount of sun dried tomatoes and lemon rind along with green chilies to enhance its spiciness. The dish tastes heavenly and is usually served with plain rice.
Related: Bottle Gourd in Assamese Recipes
Iromba from Manipur
Iromba is a Manipuri dish with roasted fish and veggies and should be tried by anyone who is ready to experiment a little with the Manipuri cuisine. It is very healthy and wholesome dish that is prepared with an assortments of fresh vegetables of the season. The veggies are are boiled or even steamed in water infused with the Bhut Jolokia or Ghost pepper. After the veggie have soaked in all the smokey and spicy flavors of the chilies the roasted fish is added and then all the ingredients are mashed together. the dish is very nutritious and is usually served with either rice or the Millet bread from Manipur.
Bai from Mizoram
Pork is one of the most commonly used meat in Mizoram. Bai is a spicy dish which is cooked in a base made of pork and spinach. The aroma of this dish comes from the addition of young and tender bamboo shoots. It is paired with Mizoram rice which has a chewy texture and sweet to taste. So go ahead and try out some Bai and you can be rest assure it will be one of your favorite North Eastern dishes.
Thupka from Arunachal Pradesh & Sikkim
Thupka is one of the most popular North Eastern dishes in the whole country. The dish is a perfect comfort food for winter. It is very warm and nutritious. The dish is made of egg noodles with a dash of salt and pepper . Thupka can be vegetarian as well as non vegetarian. The non vegetarian version is usually cooked in a chicken or other kinds of meat base, and the flavor is achieved by adding chopped onions, garlic, finely shredded ginger and spring onions.
Related: Things To Do When In Sikkim
Awan Bangwi from Tripura
This is a delicious steamed rice dessert from Tripura. This dish is made from a special kind of coarse, long grained rice known as Guria and it has a distinct shape. The dish is highly aromatic because of the ingredients that goes in making it such as garlic and ginger along with pieces of cashew nuts and sultanas. Although a dessert, the dish can be enjoyed at any time of the day. The fun bit is that the dish comes wrapped in a special type of leaf called Lairu.
Related: Top 27 Dishes of North East India
Pitha from Assam
It is a popular snack from the state of Assam. They can be sweet or salty. The sweet Pitha is mainly for breakfast and the salted ones are usually consumed with tea. A mixture of rice along with few spices and sugar or salt is molded in tube like shapes and then they are placed inside a hollow bamboo stem in which the pitha is cooked (fried or roasted) giving it a fragrant and an exotic taste. The sweet pitha is more preferred by the locals compared to the savory ones. To enhance its taste, you can enjoy pitha with some curd or molasses.
One of the Christmas time favorites, this is another mouth watering pork based dish from Meghalaya, Pieces of pork is boiled to tender and cooked in a sauce made of ground roasted black sesame. The pork is cooked in mustard oil with sliced onions, ginger garlic paste and green chilies. Potato cubes are also added to the curry and red chili powder is used to add spiciness. The curry tastes great with plain rice or Jadoh.
Naap Nang or black sticky rice pudding from Nagaland
This is one of the best desserts you can taste from the North East India. The dish has a subtle taste that it gets from sweet nuts. The black sticky rice is a good source of fiber which makes this dish highly nutritious hence it can also be consumed by diabetics. The rice is cooked in skimmed milk with a dash of pistachio and saffron to give it a spectacular flavor.