arunachal pradesh cuisines
INDIGENOUS CUISINES of Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh boasts of a food culture that is more healthy and less fussy. Like most north eastern regions, the food here largely tends to be indigenous and exotic. Be it traditional spices or local ingredients, every aspect about food in Arunachal Pradesh is remarkably unique. Here are some really intriguing food delicacies from Arunachal Pradesh that you must totally not miss out on at least once in your lifetime-
Khura & Po Cha
The prime component of a typical Arunachali breakfast are a sort of unique pancake they call khura. Made with buckwheat flour and the local Tibetan beer Chang, these gluten free pancakes turn out delightfully soft to make for the perfect wholesome first meal of the day. A fermented food preparation, khuras perhaps are one of the healthiest of indulgences in the breakfast ambit. With minimal ingredients, these clay oven baked khuras are accompanied by another Arunachali speciality, the Po Cha translating literally as butter tea and hailing from the region of Tibet, Po Cha however is also a staple in India’s North Eastern land of the rising sun. Unique in being salty, po cha is one of the most flavourful of tea varieties around. Piping hot tea made with yak butter, milk, salt, and boiling water sounds like a wonderful combination and to relish this heavily loaded brew in the harsh climate of the mountainous region definitely counts among one of the blessings of life. Specially with the khuras, po chas work equally well as a tea or soup for a refreshing and filling breakfast.
Karzi Egg Dal Tadka
A combo dish of Arunachal happens to be the indigenous sounding karzi paired with the much universal lentiled eggs preparation. Basically a rice- curry meal, both the essential components stem of their distinctive methods of preparation.
Karzi or kharzi is almost like fried rice. Cooked rice spiced with red chilli paste and fermented cheese, karzi is flavoured with spring onions and garlic for a preparation that indeed is quite spicy. Perfectly complementing its hot quotient is the egg dal tadka, making for a meal quite appetising and delectable.
A delicacy in many north eastern states, bamboo shoots occupy an important place in the culinary references of Arunachal Pradesh as well. As a side dish in itself or as the ingredient in many a dishes, bamboo shoots find prominence in the cuisine of the state. One popular method of preparation is sauteing tender bamboo tender bamboo shoots with fenugreek seed and red chilli. A crispy side dish, the bamboo shoots are marinated in baking soda and ground spices before they are stir fried on low flame. Fiery and crunchy, Arunachalis relish this basic bamboo shot preparation with just about every meal.
Again a Tibetan native that which has found its delicious way into the mountains of Arunachal, thukpa is a soupy noodle dish. Particularly among the monpas of the state, this dish of boiled noodles, meat and veggies passes on essentially as lunch or dinner. But while Thukpas generally speak of locally made rice noodles delivering comfort with its steamy bowl, there also can be alternatives like the Putang Thukpa where the noodles are made from buckwheat flour. Arunachalis sure love their buckwheat as much as their bamboo shoots!
Yet another universal fast food that is an Arunachal Pradesh staple are momos. Mostly with the Monpa and Sherdukpa tribes, these stuffed and steamed dumplings are an absolute favorite. While momos can be of many types, the Arunachali specialty comes stuffed with minced pork and mustard leaves or other green vegetables, and is served with chilli paste.
Another Arunachali dish that is basically an extension of other similar recipes is wungwut ngam. This exotic preparation makes use of rice flour to cook chicken with herbs and spices for a dish that would be unlike any chicken dish you would partake of. Flavorful and texture wise unique, wungwut ngam goes particularly well with bamboo rice variety ‘kholam’.
A soup made with fish- if that sounds inviting enough to indulge your taste buds, then the Arunachali pasa is the thing for you. A thin soup, fragrantly delicious in its many encompassments like ginger, garlic, green chilli, minced meat paste and other indigenous ingredients like khumpatt leaves, phoi hom et al makes it a really outwordly slurp. Also popular as the warrior’s strength soup, this greenish tinge bowl is a delight of the winter days.
A traditional dish with a very distinctive method of preparation, ngatok is a fish based food. Fish marinated in indigenous spices is wrapped in leaves and placed between stones and then covered with charcoal. The resultant delicacy is one that has that irresistible smoky flavour to it.
One of the most simplistic of preparations but a fusion of flavours nonetheless is the rice dish bresi. Prepared especially during festivals and celebrations, bresi basically is sweet rice, Rice is first cooked and then butter is poured over it making for a really flavorful combination already. The dish finally gets a unique seasoning with raisins and almonds and some sugar for a grand delicacy that can gladden up even the most gloomy of souls. Sweet Heaven!