East Indian Cuisines
Following is the detail regarding East Indian Cuisine and their preparations in different north-eastern states of India.
Assamese cuisine is completely made up with local spices and ingredients. These cuisines are made with the aim of preserving the natural flavor of these ingredients, which is sometimes achieved by the method of fermentation and drying of spices.
The most commonly eaten food items of this region are rice (which is to be there in every meal) and fish. Here, most of the people have their own small ponds outside their homes where they practice pisciculture (the way of rearing fishes). Fishes are also harvested from rivers and lakes all around the state. Among the favorite fishes, Rohu, the Hilsa, Maagur, Xingi, Borali, Bhokua and the chital are some of the names. Following are some local famous fish preparations:
- Tenga: One of the most popular dishes of the Assamese, tenga is a sour dish made of several ingredients, fish being the main one. It is made by adding fish to a thick mixture of tomato. Sometimes, instead of tomato, they also use kajinemu (lemon with thick skin, which especially grows in Assam) or thekera (it is dried mangosteen, fruit from a tree believed to be originated in Indonesia).
- Paatotdia: It is a special preparation in which this fish of the same name is roasted in banana leaves.
- Hukuti: It is a dish made by using puthi maas, a species of small fish. The fish is dried up and stored in bamboo tubes after covering it with arum stem.
Although, the food here mainly consists of non-veg items, none of them taste like the non-veg food that you would have had anywhere else. The food contains low amounts of spices and oil, which is healthy.
The main food items here consist of rice, vegetables and fish. The kind of vegetables eaten here are exclusive crop of this region and is not found in other states. These are herb based vegetables like hawai, mana and chawai. Some of the dishes eaten here are as follows:
- Eromba: It is a thick dish made by adding boiled potatoes to red chillies and then adding ngari (fermented fish) and dry fish to it and mixing them up well. It is rich in spices.
- Singju: It is a kind if salad which the people of here are really fond of. It is made up of finely chopped onions, lotus stem, cabbage, beans, coriander leaves and mixed with a bit of ginger and sinju pan leaves. A lot of chopped fresh vegetables are added to it along with the pieces of fermented fish, ngari.
- Boiled kidney beans: With red chilly flakes sprinkled all over it, along with red sesame powder, this is a spicy dish for those who like their food to be hot and spicy.
- Chamthong: It is a stew made of seasonal vegetables, with grated onions, ginger, ngari pieces and salt. It is a wholesome meal and is usually taken with rice.
- Morok metpa: Green and red chillies are dried and then mixed with chopped onion and coriander to which then is added boiled and crushed ngari to make a thick gravy dish. Some pieces of fried fish could also be added to the mixture. Salt is added as per taste.
The majority of the people here like to have non-vegetarian food, However, the people belonging to the vaishnavite ethnicity are pure vegetarians. Following are some famous dishes of Tripura.
- Halud Bharta: Roasted dry fish is mixed with raw tamarind paste . Bamboo-pipes are taken and filled with this mixture along with peeled onions and green chilly. The pipes are then put over fire to heat for about fifteen minutes. After this they are taken off and the cooked mixture is taken out to be served with hot rice.
- Pork Bharta: It is prepared by boiling the pork at 120 degree centigrade and then mixing it with salt, peeled onion, chilly powder and gingers and wrapped in a flavored leaf.
- Godhak: It is a preparation of mashed boiled vegetables mixed with pieces of dried fish to which salt. Onion and green chilly are added to add rich flavor. It is considered to be very healthy.
- Chakhoi: Musur pulses are mixed with pork, inner-most part of banana tree and papaw and boiled together. Salt and green chilly are added as per taste. This is to be had with boiled rice.
The people here mostly eat fermented bamboo shoots that are made from tender bamboo shoots. They also take fish and pork with it.
These are some of the East Indian cuisines popular in the respective states.
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