North-East, the exotic land of Seven Sisters, is a beauty in itself. With the snow clad mountains of Sikkim, with the first rays of Sunshine in Arunachal, and with the playful clouds of Meghalaya, North-East becomes one of the truly, must-visit places in India. Besides the Famous Kamakkhya Temple in Assam, besides the strikingly colorful and exotic cultures of Nagaland and besides your floating experience on Lohtak Lake in Manipur, what makes North-East more special, is the absolute lip-smacking dishes it provides you with. Below listed are the 20 must-have dishes from the Seven Heavenly Lands of India.
One of the most popular starter dishes of Assam, the Khar is prepared by adding the ingredients to water filtered through ashes of burnt Banana-skins. The particular dish can, however, be of different types, depending on the main ingredient chosen. The main ingredient could range from Spinach (Paleng Xaakor Khar) to Raw Papaya (Papaya Khar), or from Pumpkin (Kumura aru Rongalour Khar) to Banana Stem (Kol Posola Khar). While all of them taste equally good, the best and most popular among them is Kol Posola. However, you can go ahead, and taste all of them, to choose your personal favorite.
2 Masor Tenga(Non-Veg/Assam)
One of the signature dishes of Assam, it is popular for the use of very strong-flavored spices. The dish, which is basically a fish curry gone tangy by the addition of lemon, tomato, or Elephant Apple (Ou Tenga), will make you crave for more and more. Best enjoyed with rice, this Assamese cuisine will delight and surprise you.
If you are a lover of Street foods, then this is one thing that is a Must on your visit to Mizoram. A simple dish of rice porridge, which is garnished with powdered black pepper, fresh coriander paste, daintily chopped spring onions, finely crushed rice, and a tangy fish sauce, will not fail to surprise you by its refreshing taste.
Another of the much-loved delicacies of Mizoram, this spicy dish is one of the many things of North-East, you would never wish to say a Good Bye to. Prepared of Pork, local Mizo herbs, Spinach and soft Bamboo shoots, the Bai is something you just have to give a try.
5 Misa Maach Poora(Non-Veg/Mizoram+Meghalaya)
Misa maach poora is made by grilling Shrimps over charcoal, after having wrapped them in Banana leaves. Generally used as a starter or side dish, the Misa maach poora has an exceptionally appetizing smell for having been grilled and will leave you wanting more.
6 Poora Haah(Non-veg/Meghalaya)
Poora haah, which literally means Roasted Duck, requires over 2 hours of cooking and roasting of a well-washed duck meat with bread, egg, potato, lemon juice, and local spices. If you are willing to try something different, put this Khasi delicacy on your bucket list right now. It is already in ours.
7 Jadoh(Veg+ Non-Veg/Meghalaya)
Yet another one of the popular Meghalayan cuisines, Jadoh is a treat for both Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians. Cooked in an extremely low amount of oil, the long-grained and light red coloured rice, (a speciality of Meghalaya) is seasoned with either tomato, potato, baby pumpkin (Vegetarian), or with juicy, tender, and mouth-watering pieces of fresh pork (Non-Vegetarian).
You do not have to ask or search for this dish differently because a regular lunch in Meghalaya will definitely include this one. A kind of chutney, Tungtap consists of partially burnt fish, smoked onions, and fresh green chillies.
9 Chi Al Meh(Veg/Manipur)
Chi Al Meh is the Manipuri special soup which will titillate your taste buds with its absolutely exotic taste.
10 Mangal Ooti with Usoi (Veg/Manipur)
Though there are different types of Ooti- Sagol Hawai Ooti, Ooti Asangba, Mangal Ooti,- the last one is the most popular and loved one. Mangal, which means dried white peas, and Usoi, which means Bamboo shoots, come together in this mouth-watering Manipuri cuisine- best enjoyed with Khichdi.
11 Iromba (Non-Veg/Manipur)
This is the same dish that Priyanka Chopra was seen preparing for the journalist, in the film Mary Kom. A very popular delicacy of Manipur, Iromba, has fermented fish, onion, red chili, and local spices as its ingredients.
12 Nga Atoiba Thongba(Non-Veg/Manipur)
It is basically a fish stew prepared with boiled potatoes, fresh bay leaves, chilies, and cumin. However, with each sip, you will be in a little more awe, with the varieties the North-East has to provide you with.
13 Smoked Pork (Non-Veg/Nagaland)
When in Nagaland, eat like the Nagas do, and the Smoked pork, in that case, is one of the dishes, you have to have when in the Land of Nagas. Crispy and succulent at the same time, the cuisine has in it Raja Mirchi- the spiciest chili in the world. So go ahead, and savor the hot pleasures of life.
14 Bamboo Steamed Fish(Non-Veg/Nagaland)
Best enjoyed with Steamed Rice, this particular delicacy from Nagaland is again a spicy one, containing Raja Mirchi.
15 Black Sticky Rice Pudding(Veg/Nagaland)
A specialty sweet dish of Nagaland, the pudding is made by brewing black rice and finely seasoning it with Kesar, Pista and the sweetest of nuts. Light weight and healthy, it is fit to be consumed by Diabetics as well. So what are you waiting for?
16 Thupka Gyaathuk (Veg+ Non-Veg/Sikkim)
A signature dish of Tibet, also happens to be a popular Sikkimese cuisine, and can be prepared either with noodles and meat or with just noodles and veggies. Flavored with garlic, green chilies, and green onions, the soupy mush is sure to warm you up with lots of love.
17 Momo (Veg+ Non-Veg/Sikkim)
Though Momo-s are available throughout the country, it is needless to mention that North-Eastern/Sikkimese momo-s have a distinct and outstandingly special taste of their own. Stuffed with either of a Vegetarian or a Non-Vegetarian pudding, the taste of the momo-s is augmented with the use of North-Eastern spices. If you miss out on this one, then you miss out on the very essence of the North-Indian food.
18 Awan Bangwi(Veg/Tripura)
A special rice cake of Tripura, it is almost always prepared without any oil. To make things even better, the healthy cake comes draped in a fragrant leaf, Lairu,- almost inviting you to take it off and indulge in a sweet love-making session with it.
19 Sungat Diya Maas (Non-Veg/Arunachal Pradesh)
Sungat Diya Maas, which basically means Bamboo Fish, is a lip-smacking Arunachali dish where local fish are stuffed in bamboo and cooked over fire or hot boiling water. You shall hold on to this cuisine not only for the pieces of juicy, spicy, tender fishes it offers you with, but also for the tantalising aroma of bamboo and Gandharaj Lebu infused in it.
20 Wine (All of the North-East)
The North-East Wine is famous for being home brewed, and happens to be among the strongest drinks you will ever come across. Among the large variety it has to provide you with, some of the worth mentioning are- Apong (Assam), Zutho (Nagaland), Xaj (Assam), Zawalaidi (Mizoram), Kiad Um (Meghalaya), Sekmai Yu (Manipur) and Chuwarak (Tripura). Go ahead, and get yourself bewildered with these heavenly drinks.