Located in south of China and northern side of Myanmar, Nagaland is a state known as much for its tribes, traditions as much for its mouthwatering cuisine. There are more than a dozen tribes in Nagaland and each has its unique yet similar practices and customs. While a lot of people associate Naga cuisine with just pork based dishes, it is much more than that! In fact, in Nagaland, you will be able to savor a wide range of culinary delights covering items like rice, chicken, vegetables, pork and spicy chilli sauces.
Not many restaurants and fast food outlets
Unlike Assam, you should not opt for the restaurant and eateries in Nagaland to get the taste of its authentic dishes. It is much better if you have any friend there! In other words, to taste quintessential Naga dishes, home of a resident should be the ideal destination. Some of Naga dishes may resemble Northern Thai dishes while others are close to Burmese cuisine.
Herbs and Chilli, very few spices
The USP of Naga cuisine is its trend of avoiding usage of spices. The ghost chillies are used to make sauce and it is used to make most dishes. Apart from that, you will find just hints of garlic and ginger in most dishes. Naga cuisine focuses on retaining original taste of ingredients rather than dousing it in numerous spices. Meat is mostly smoked and dry roasted while vegetables are steamed and salted.
Close to organic farming
Naga people cook foods with ingredients produced locally. Fish is caught from local rivers while nearly every house has pigpen. As a result, you get fresh and tasty dish in Naga households. They are rice lovers as well and often cut areas in forests for rice farming. You will not find packaged meat in Nagaland much. Instead, they cook meat right after slaughtering animals and birds.
Typical Naga foods you should savor
Dried pork- A typical naga kitchen is outdoors since dry roasting meat is a part of the culinary tradition. Pork meat and beef is often dry roasted outdoors over high flames. The dried pork is crunchy outside yet juicy inside.
Smoked Pork Stew- Stew made with smoked and dry roasted pork tastes out of the world. The meat is boiled in a soup where they add chillies, tomatoes and potatoes. You can still feel the smokiness.
Boiled produce- With nearly every dish, Nagas prefer to eat plenty of boiled vegetables. Whether it is pork or chicken, they are likely to offer you boiled vegetables like cabbage, melon and long beans. These also go well with well known spicy chilli sauce.
Pork in Dry Bamboo Shoots- This is one typical Naga dish you should not miss! Pork meat, cooked with dry bamboo shoots and oodles of chilies get a unique flavor and aroma.
Bamboo Steamed Fish-Nagas make great use of bamboo for everything including cooking! Fish is placed inside hollow tubes of bamboo with few spices and it is then roasted over fire. It is served out of the bamboo tube and tastes so succulent.
Naga Ghost Chili Sauce-The hottest chilli of the world, Naga ghost chilies can be hard to swallow even when used in sauce. The flavor is amazing if you can withstand the spiciness. The sauce also contains onions, garlic.
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