Meghalaya, famously called abode of the clouds, is one northeastern state in India that has numerous tourist attractions. Apart from exploring its beautiful lakes, caves and wildlife zones, you can explore many other things as a visitor. The culture of the native tribes and their cuisine can leave you enticed. The Khasi tribe is a major tribe inhabiting in the state and their cuisine is appreciated a lot by tourists. Your Meghalaya tour will not be complete if you do not savor authentic Khasi delicacies.
Nuances of traditional Khasi cuisine
The quintessential Khasi cuisine is based mostly on rice and meat. Spices are used sparingly and indigenous herbs are used for adding flavor. They use various types of rice including one sticky variant and a red rice type. The Khasi dishes taste awesome and no additives are added. Steaming and baking is preferred over frying and this ensures the foods are healthy. Some dishes are cooked even without salt yet they taste yummy. It may take some time getting used to these delicacies though.
Related: A Close Look At Meghalaya Cuisine
In Khasi villages, the tribes stick to time tested ways to prepare yummy foods than using technological means. Preparing traditional Khasi dishes can be somewhat tedious. They clean and sort rice well before it is pounded into powder form. Then, the powder is sieved several times and afterwards it is made into batter. This is cooked, baked or steamed in special utensils- most made of burnt clay. Some dishes are cooked by covering batter with bamboo and La-met leaves, followed by steaming in utensils.
To cook meat, Khasi people resort to smoking and fermentation mostly. This brings out real flavor of any meat. They do not use too many spices with meat.
Popular Khasi dishes you should not miss
When exploring Meghalaya, you should try savoring few popular Khasi delicacies. The most commonplace is Jadoh- a preparation which involves pork and red hill rice- which is somewhat cholesterol heavy but tastes amazing. Jastem is another rice dish which has plain hill rice with pork gravy, turmeric, ginger and onions. It has a yellowish hue. Chicken lovers should go for Mylliem chicken which is a preparation of chicken with different condiments including round Khasi peppers. Pork meat lovers should taste delicacies like Dohkhlieh and Dohneiiong. A wide range of rice pancakes are used as snacks in Khasi households and you should try out Pukhlein and Putharo.
Where to taste authentic Khasi food?
To savor Khasi food prepared in authentic way with apt ingredients, you have to step out of Shillong or other big cities in Meghalaya! The villages between Cherrapunji and Shillong have several kong shops and these should be your targets. Do not be disheartened by the cheap liquor shop type exterior and rickety build. The Khasi women sell mouthwatering authentic Khasi delicacies in these street side shops.
Related: Top Eateries in Shillong
There is no fixed menu in these women run shops and you get what is available. However, on most days you will get pork and rice based dishes such as tungrymbai, dohkhlieh, Dohneiiong etc. They also serve red tea at these shops.
Image Source: scontent.fccu6-1.fna.fbcdn.net/