The Northeastern states of India like Meghalaya, Nagaland and Assam are eminent for their rich wildlife, natural splendor and variety of culture. The cuisine of these states are also fascinating, to say the least. While people in these states gorge on various animal and vegetable sources they use some typical ingredients for cooking, not used elsewhere in the country much. They make extensive use of herbs and vegetables to enrich taste of such dishes. One such instance is bamboo shoot.
Bamboo shoot in North eastern cuisine
Over the centuries, bamboo shoot has become a quintessential pat of cooking in the North eastern states. For people visiting the region, the flavor may seem a little unusual and overpowering initially but they fall for it! The shoots surface on soil from a grown up bamboo. The shoots are mostly conical with tender inner core which is coated by hard exterior. Bamboo shoots are replete with nutrients and low in fat. They are used to make a wide range of dishes including pickles, curries, broth etc.
Edible bamboo shoot
Bamboo shoots have husk but peeling them is simple. The peeled shoots should be moist and soft to touch. After the shoots are peeled and washed they are cut vertically into halves and chopped into small pieces for cooking. They are generally boiled in salty water to reduce the bitter taste. After that they are used to make various dishes. However, these are also used in dried and fermented forms.
Top Bamboo shoot dishes from the North East
The people in North Eastern states prepare numerous dishes with Bamboo shoots. Over the years, several variations of such dishes have also cropped up. Below listed are a few such popular dishes made with bamboo shoot:
- Bamboo Shoot Eromba (Manipur)
The Eromba is a Manipuri dish with origin dating to several centuries back. This is spicy chutney comprised of bamboo shoots and fermented dried fish, King Chili. It is served mostly with Pork curry or other meat based dishes. The quality of fermented fish should be good and other chili variants can be used as well.
- Fish Curry with bamboo shoot (Nagaland)
When you visit a Naga household for lunch or dinner, this is one dish you are likely to savor! Mustard oil and shredded bamboo shoot lend this dish a unique flavor. Rohu fish is most used but other similar fish variants can also be used. The fish is marinated in turmeric, red chili and garlic before cooking. It goes very well with steaming rice and some salad.
- Pork with Bamboo Shoots ( Nagaland)
Another popular dish in Nagaland, Pork with Bamboo shoots is cooked in various styles. It is cooked with mustard oil and spices like cumin powder, ginger and garlic. Both king chili and green chilies are used which make it rather spicy. The pork needs to be marinated in the spice mixture before cooking.
- Khorisa Maas/ Fish with Bamboo Shoot (Assam)
People in Assam use Khorisa a lot in cooking. This is the grated bamboo shoots preserved in pickled or fermented form. You may use rohu or other fish. Grated bamboo shoots, either raw or pickled can be used to make this yummy dish. This is not very spicy since a few green chilies are used.
- Khorisar Logot Gahori Mangxho/ Pork with Bamboo Shoot (Assam)
Assamese cuisine is as rich in fish as it is in Pork! Khorisar Logot Gahori Mangxho is a dish served in Assamese households often. To cook this dish, the fiery hot chili- bhoot jholokia is used. You may also use dried red chilies. Sour bamboo shoots are mostly used to prepare this. The pork should be boiled earlier separately.
- Tama Curry (Sikkim)
Sikkim has absorbed a lot from Nepalese culture and this is also evident in its cuisine. The Tama Curry made with non-fermented bamboo shoots is a popular dish in Sikkim. Bamboo shoot variants like ‘karati bans’ and ‘bhalu bans’ are used to make it. Other ingredients include Methi seeds, Turmeric powder, and red chili.