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Gourmet Guide to Northeast India

Rhonita Patnaik
Filed on August 18, 2020

Some may consider it fine dining, while others, a comfort food. As vibrant are the people of Northeast India, so is the colour of their cuisuine. We give you seven delicious reasons to visit the region once travelling becomes the norm again.

As unique is the culture of northeast India, more diverse is the culinary profile of the seven sisters.

It is not often that the Northeast region features in one's travel bucket list, which is often dominated by the likes of Italy, France or New Zealand. But if you love natural beauty and stunning mountains, there is perhaps no other country in the world that can outrival the pure innocence of Northeast India. Lofty mountains, gentle rivers, delicious food and a content population, all these and more make the Northeast a scenic destination that it is.

The lands of the Seven Sisters - Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura - still remain the lesser explored states of India. Apart from spectacular tourism, the regions are also renowned for their interesting cuisine, an experience in itself. From strong flavours to colourful dishes, the food of the northeast will definitely satiate a true foodie's palate.

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Khar (Assam)

The first thing you will notice on any Assamese table is khar. The beauty of khar lies in its exotic ingredient, kola khar, sun-dried peels of a banana tree trunk turned to ashes. Raw papaya, pulses or any other main ingredient is then filtered in water and these dried banana ashes for a flavour that is hard to find anywhere in the world. Khar is believed to cleanse the stomach and palate, which is why it is served at the beginning of the meal.

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Thukpa (Arunachal Pradesh) 

Thukpa is known to have actually come from Tibet. However the recipe has actually taken a trip much and also beyond and also is now a favourite among the locals of Arunachal Pradesh. It is prepared with level noodles in addition to meat or regional available hill veggies. Thenthuk is a comparable dish readily available right here as well, as it makes use of hand-pulled noodles as opposed to flat noodles. This reassuring recipe is eaten especially during cold winters of Arunachal Pradesh to stay warm and cosy.  

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Galho (Nagaland)

Galho is similar to khichdi, a dish made from rice and also lentils and also popular in the most parts of India. The only difference being that meat is, most often than not, utilised in the preparation of galho, while khichdi is a vegetarian meal. Beef is the meat of selection and the flavour of the dish is accentuated by adding axone (fermented soybean), a key active ingredient in many Northeast Indian meals. All the active ingredients are steamed together to give you a bowlful of healthy and tasty food.

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Nakham Bitchi (Meghalaya)

It is a delicious soup, which is taken mainly after a heavy spicy meal. This dish is quite popular among Garos - people of Meghalaya. They serve their guests with this delicious soup. This dish is made from dry fish with vegetables, and is prepared by boiling the ingredients together. It is really nutritious and delicious.

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Misa Mach Pora (Mizoram) 

If you are a shrimp lover, then this grilled dish is the perfect delicacy for you. It is prepared using peppercorns, mustard oil, coriander powder, pepper powder and a dash of lime juice to give it a tang. If you are open to zesty and bold flavours, this one's for you. 

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Muya Awandru (Tripura)

Muya Awandru is a bamboo shoot boiled, rice flour based gravy, cooked with fermented fish, green chilli pepper and parsley. It is one of the authentic dish of Tripura, leaving aside the rich spicy food items, this is a dish where no oil is required. 

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Kelli Chana (Manipur)

Kelli chana is a popular food on the roads of Manipur. The dish got its name; it seems, from an old lady named Kelli, who used to sell spicy chickpeas under a tree. It is prepared with flavourful herbs with chickpeas being the cornerstone in it. Traditionally, Kelli chana is served on a lotus leaf, which contributes a beautiful local and fresh touch to this mouthwatering dish.


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