For those who love traveling, Meghalaya—the “abode of clouds”—is heaven. Tourists from all over the world have been entranced by a hill station that truly has a gorgeous, mesmerizing sky. No matter where you are in this stunning state, every dish you eat in Meghalaya will leave you in awe of its unique cuisine. Starting from non-vegetarian dishes to sweets and snacks, every food you try will never disappoint you. Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is a hub that gathers all the delicious dishes of Meghalaya. Let us explore some of the delicacies of the state.
Looking for the ideal breakfast while it is still cold outside? Well, if you are in Shillong, you must try out this Garo delicacy called Sakin or Wanti, which is cooked using a special rice flour called Malabik and black sesame seeds. They are all steamed together and served hot. This is consumed with tea as a snack or for breakfast.
Do you have a soft spot for tea? I know you do because everyone has a soft spot for tea. In a cold place like Meghalaya, a cup of piping hot Chaa Khoo can make your day. Chaa Khoo translates to “rice tea.” ‘Chaa’ means ‘tea’ in the Jaintia Pnar language, and ‘Khoo’ means “rice.” Chaa Khoo is not just brewed from any rice but a special type of nutrient-rich, home-pounded, unpolished rice.
A distinctive dish of the Garo people of Meghalaya is Do’o Kappa or chicken kappa. Karitchi, a particular ingredient created from a liquid extracted from the interior of a banana plant, is used for cooking chicken in Kappa. This liquid functions like organic baking soda. Baking soda is currently substituted for the traditional ingredient, Karitchi. The Garo tribe enjoys Kappa, which is typically served with rice or bread. With its distinct flavor and texture, it is the ideal meal for any occasion and is guaranteed to impress anyone with its unique flavor and texture.
A popular treat from the Indian state of Meghalaya is called ‘Jadoh’. This traditional dish is a shining example of the region’s extensive and varied culinary heritage. The centerpiece of Jadoh is a bed of short-grain rice that has been expertly prepared with a mouthwatering combination of spices and meat, either chicken or pork, to produce a dish that is both fragrant and savory. If you love exploring new flavors, trying Jadoh will be an experience you won’t soon forget.
Nakap Nakam, usually eaten as a side dish with rice, is a mixture of flat beans, dry fish, and chilies cooked with Karitchi or baking soda. The outcome is a delicious, aromatic dish that is ideal for fans of spicy food. The dish Nakap Nakam is adaptable and can be served with rice as a main course or as a side dish. So, next time you visit Meghalaya, do not forget to try Nakap Nakam with rice for a truly authentic culinary experience.
Dohkhlieh, another traditional dish of Meghalaya, is simply a pork salad mostly made with the head and the brain of the pork. It is a mixture of boiled and diced pork made with finely chopped onions, green onions, green chilies, and seasonings. It is mainly eaten as a side dish with rice. If you are a fan of salads, this is a must-try for you all. Simple yet savory, Dohkhlieh will make you crave more.
Pukhlein is a traditional rice flour bread that has its roots in Meghalaya and is popular throughout North-East India for its delectable flavor. This traditional recipe uses healthy, readily available ingredients that may be found in every home. Cane sugar, refined oil, and rice flour are among the constituents. This delicious snack is perfect when paired with a hot cup of tea and endless conversations with your loved ones.
8.O’tepa Or We’tepa
Everyone loves different side dishes. O’tepa, or We’tepa, is another side dish among the various other side dishes. Here, the main ingredient is the Moringa flower. Slow-cooked inside bamboo along with all other ingredients, this side dish perfectly blends with rice and any curry. Have it for lunch or dinner; it’s your choice!
In the heart of Shillong, Police Bazaar is a hub for various kinds of street food. If not the dish itself, then the memories of roasted chicken or pork are sure to go home with you. Grilled on a charcoal bed, the roasted chicken or pork is then served with a salad and a spicy chutney with a drizzle of lemon juice and a sprinkle of chaat masala on top.
10.Do’o Galda Gisi Pura
Another dish from Garo Garo’s traditional cuisine is the Do’o Galda Gisi Pura. It is one of the most loved dishes among the local Garos. mostly prepared for occasions like weddings and ‘Mahari’ (relative) meetings. The ingredients include dried Roselle leaf powder, chicken, and lots of green chilies, which are fried in mustard oil, and then it is brought to a boil by adding water and rice powder.
If you haven’t tried Shillong Momos, what have you tried? Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is famous for its special Momos, available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants. Consumed with a tangy, sweet, and spicy chutney or sauce, momos are a favorite snack for everyone.
The Khasi people of Meghalaya have their origins in the traditional rice cake known as Pumaloi, which is excellent for breakfast and mid-afternoon snacks. Special rice flour is used in the dish, which is cooked in a distinctive black pot called a “Khiew Ranei” by the locals. The locals like to pair Pumaloi with a hearty gravy because this meal lacks any spices and is fairly mild.
If a spicy dish fascinates you, this side dish is just for you. Pair with a main course or just eat it like a snack. Do’o Achaar will make you fall in love with its overwhelming taste. It is a pickle made with shredded chicken deep-fried in mustard oil, bay leaf, ginger-garlic paste, and spices like dry chili, chicken masala, turmeric, coriander powder, black pepper, vinegar, and many more.
Traditionally prepared by the Khasi and Jaintia people of Meghalaya, Tungrymbai is a dish made with a paste of fermented soybeans fried in mustard oil with onions, ginger-garlic paste, black sesame seed paste, pork, and lots of love. If you are adventurous about trying out new foods, Tungrymbai might be the dish you are searching for.
Adding to the beauty of Meghalayan cuisine, Dohneiiong is a pork delicacy from Meghalaya’s Khasi tribe. The dish is a combination of pork intestine prepared along with a paste of black sesame seeds, which is the main ingredient of the dish. This is a mouth-watering dish that will make your taste buds dance with joy.
Well, if you have heard of Jhal Muri, then you must surely try out the Aloo Muri from Meghalaya. It is a famous street snack that you can find almost anywhere in Meghalaya. The distinctive taste that you get from a scoop of the mixture of boiled potatoes, Muri (puffed rice), raw papaya, cilantro, mustard oil, tamarind juice, and a perfect blend of indigenous spices is just unforgettable.
17.Rasin Chisik Wak Gran
Another dish on the non-veg list is Rasin Chisik Wak Gran. If you are visiting Meghalaya during the Chives season, this dish is a must try as this particular dish is made by frying chives with smoked pork, fermented dry fish, and chilies along with soda and by adding water and bringing it to a boil. It is a traditional Garo dish and it is served as a main course usually with rice.
For all the pork lovers out there, Meghalaya presents you with their ‘Wak Achaar’ which translates to ‘Pork Pickle’. It is somewhat similar to Do’o Achaar but in Wak Achaar the pork is fried in mustard oil together with a paste of red chilies, ginger, and garlic. It can be paired with other side dishes and served with rice. Again yet another side dish for spice lovers.
Kyat, a preferred beverage in Meghalaya, is created from fermented rice. The drink is made by boiling the ingredients in water, which further enhances its distinctive flavor. Local ingredients are used for the garnish. Everyone in Meghalaya adores the beverage Kyat. Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, has some of the best spots for serving Kyat.
Last but not least, Jakep is another Garo snack made with sticky rice flour and black sesame seeds, along with melted sugar. Made by simply toasting the mixture on a dry pan, this snack can be enjoyed alone or with your friends, with tea or coffee, or on a rainy or sunny evening. It will taste just as good.