what to eat in nagaland
. Fish is the dominant kind of protein in Bengali cuisine and is cultivated in ponds and fished with nets in the freshwater rivers of the Ganges Delta. Almost every part of the fish (except scales, fins, and innards) is eaten, unlike other regions, the head is particularly preferred. Other spare bits of the fish are usually used to flavour curries and dals.More than forty types of mostly freshwater fish are common, including carp varieties like rui
. The most preferred form of meat in Bengal is mutton or goat meat. Khashi (castrated goat) or kochi pantha (kid goat), is also common. Some delicate dishes are cooked with rewaji khashi, a goat that has been specifically raised on a singular kind of diet, to encourage the growth of intramuscular fat, commonly known as pardah. Pork is commonly eaten among the Santal tribes, and is quite common on the menus of Chinese restaurants everywhere in Benga
. The Nawabs of Dhaka were not the original Nawabs of Bengal. Their ancestors came from Kashmir as merchants who made their fortunes in Eastern Bengal in the 17th century. They finally settled in Dhaka, and, having bought large landed estates, they became the largest landowners in these parts. They were given the title of Nawab by the British. The Nawabs brought many famous baburchis (cooks) from many parts of India who introduced
. Many kinds of Kebabs, mostly cooked over open grill. Some of the Dhakas specialty of this genre are: Sutli Kebab, Bihari Kebab, Boti Kebab, etc., made from marinaded (by secret spice mix by each chef) mutton and beef. Kebabs are eaten as snacks or as starters for a big feast. Special kinds of breads: There are many kinds of breads made with cheese mix, with minced meat, with special spices, etc., all are delicacies enjoyed by the affluent classes
The Kachchi Biriani
. This famous dish is now the mainstay of a wedding in a wealthy family in Dhaka. It is cooked with parboiled rice cooked with layers of raw kacchi mutton pieces, quite distinct from the West Bengal variety, which uses basmati rice and pakki (precooked) mutton pieces . When on dum, i.e., steamed in a sealed pot over slow wood fire [gas fire, or electric cooker will not do] both rice and mutton will cook perfectly. Special spices including very expe
. Pickles. Generally flavoured with mustard oil, mustard seeds, aniseed, caraway seed and asafoetida, or hing.
. Anything fried, either just after it has been salted or dipped in any kind of waterbased batter. Does not include croquettes, or crumbcoated items.
. Fish or vegetables steamed with spices.
. Any vegetable, such as potatoes, beans, sour mangoes, papaya, pumpkins or even dal, first boiled whole and then mashed and seasoned with red shallot, fresh chile, mustard oil/ghee and spices.
. Usually a vegetable dish with one or more varieties of vegetables cut into longish strips, sometimes with the stalks of leafy greens added, all lightly seasoned with spices like mustard or poppy seeds and flavoured with a pouron. Sometimes a chochchori may have small shrimp. The skin and bones of large fish like bhetki or chitol can be made into a chochchori called katachochchori (kata meaning fishbone). The stir frying process and the lightness
. Croquettes, usually coated with crushed biscuit or breadcrumbs.
. Very different from the cutlets of the Brits, this is referred typically to a crumbcoated, thinly spread out dough, made generally of chicken/mutton minced, mixed together with onion, bread crumbs and chillies. Generally it is then dipped in egg and coated in breadcrumb, fried and served with thin julienne of cucumber, carrots, radish and onions. Often an egg mixed with a teaspoon or two water and a pinch of salt is dropped on top of the frying c
. Tiny pieces of one or more vegetable, generally a dice of vegetables along with general odds and ends, often even the peels (of potatoes, squash, gourd, pumpkin, bitter gourd, or potol for example) usually flavoured with pachpouron, whole mustard seeds or kalo jira. Chopped shallot and garlic can also be used, but hardly any ground spices.
. The first course is then followed by saag (leafy vegetables) such as spinach, palong chard, methi fenugreek, or amaranth. The saag can be steamed or cooked in oil with other vegetables such as begun (aubergine). Steamed saag is sometimes accompanied by a sharp paste of mustard and raw mango pulp called Kashundi.
. The ?al course is usually the most substantial course, especially in West Bengal. It is eaten with a generous portion of rice and a number of accompaniments. Common accompaniments to ?al are aaloo bhaate (potatoes mashed with rice), and bhaja (fritters). Bhaja literally means deepfried, most vegetables are good candidates but begun (aubergines), kumro (pumpkins), or alu (potatoes) like French fries, or shredded and fried, uchhe, potol pointed gou
. Next comes the chutney course, which is typically tangy and sweet, the chutney is usually made of am mangoes, tomatoes, anarsh pineapple, tetul tamarind, pepe papaya, or just a combination of fruits and dry fruits called mixed fruit chutney served in biye badi (marriage). The chutney is also the move towards the sweeter part of the meal and acts also as a palate cleanser, similar to the practice of serving sorbet in some Western cuisines.
. The last item before the sweets is Doi or yogurt.It is generally of two varieties, either natural flavour and taste or Mishti Doi
. Rshogolla, a traditional sweet, is one of the most widely consumed sweets in Westbengal. The basic version has many regional variations. Rshogolla is one of the three most prominent trademark of Bengali culture (along with Rabindranath Tagore and the festival of Durga Puja) and probably the face of Bengali cuisine to people outside Bengal (along with fish and stereotypical posto or poppyseed).
. Laddu is a very common sweet in West Bengal and Bangladesh, especially during celebrations and festivities.
. Ras malai is composed of white, cream, or yellow cloured balls of paneer which are dipped and soaked in sugar and malai or cottage cheese. This dessert resemble the rasgulla greatly. Though it is not a primarily Bengali sweet and originated from other places, Ras Malai is still very popular.
Tehari and Biriani
. Biriani is one of the oldest foods existing within these regions, and has its own food culture that is deeply steeped in history. The rice dish is found all over India and other parts of Asia, and is made slightly differently depending on the location. In Bangladesh, it is often made with mutton or beef, whereas in West Bengal you will find it with potatoes, egg, dal, fish or vegetables, and sometimes chicken. Tehari is a variant of biriani found
. A traditional Naga kitchen is outdoors because a fire is one of the most essential components of cooking. Hanging above any Naga kitchen fire will be pieces of meat (both pork and beef), that slowly dry out and smoke high above the flames. After weeks or sometimes much longer than that, the meat is ready to be consumed. For one meal we just ate some of the smoked pork, and another time we enjoyed a stew made from the meat. It was crispy on the ou
Smoked Pork Stew
. Just as good as the plain smoked meat, was the smoked pork stew. The dried smoky pork was chopped into bite sized pieces before being boiled in a thin soup that included potatoes, tomatoes, and chillies. It was salty, and so smoky that I could almost taste the fire
Nagaland Pork and Dry Bamboo Shoots
. One of the most famous Nagaland food dishes is dry bamboo shoots cooked with pork. This was one of the first dishes I had as soon as I arrived to Nagaland, and I was thrilled. In Nagaland, just like in Thailand or Korea, they are serious when it comes to pork. So you wont be eating thin strips of bite sized pork, they cook with huge chunks of pig. Often the pork is quite fatty, often big cubes of pork belly mixed in. If youre a pork lover, youll
. With nearly every meal I ate in Nagaland, we had a number of different boiled vegetables
Bamboo Steamed Fish
. Bamboo grows everywhere in Nagaland, and it has many different uses. One of the common ways to cook is using tubes of bamboo. Cooked by Grandfather himself, fish were stuffed into a hollow tube of bamboo with a few light spices and then placed in the ash of the fire to cook. After the fish were cooked, they were simply emptied out of the bamboo into a bowl and ready to be served. They were quite plain and boney, but I could detect a nice hint of
. Since pig is such a huge part of Naga food culture, you can be assured that nothing is wasted, and internal organs happen to be some of the most prized possessions (and rightfully so, they are some of the most flavorful). These roasted intestines were amazing, like naturally cured strips of bacon combined with sausage.
. This healthy earthy mixture included beans, tomatoes, peas, cabbage and all sort of other natural Nagaland ingredients. It was a delicious concoction that wasnt overly strong in flavor, but more of a garnish for rice and intended to be eaten with other stronger chili sauces and curries.
. Being a huge fan of bitter melon, I was happy to see a big bowl of it for one of our meals in Nagaland. They were the little Indian bitter melons. I think they were just boiled, as they were quite shriveled up with little flavor other than their bitterness, but the chili sauce again is what made them so delightful.
Chicken Glutinous Rice Soup
. We went to the market in Dimapur, chose a nice little chicken, a free range village chicken that is, and went back to the house. The chicken was cooked in a glutinous rice sauce. Just like many other Nagaland foods, it wasnt cooked overly spiced, but it was served along with some chili sauced which provided extreme flavor. I particularly loved this chicken glutinous rice soup. It was extremely soothing, similar to eating congee or Thai joke, and
. Of all the Nagaland food I was able to sample on my weeklong visit to Nagaland, it was the different assortment of chili sauces and garnishes that I enjoyed most.This eel chili sauce was excellent, dry eel pounded with lots of chilies, garlic, and salt. I was quite satisfied with just a spoonful of this eel chili sauce and rice.
Crab Chili Sauce
. Another great combination was the crab version. It was a little runnier than the dry eel chili sauce, but this was also very good. I was surprised how nonfishy it tasted.
Naga Ghost Chili Sauce
. On my last night in Nagaland, a friend cooked up a feast that contained dishes specifically from her home village in Nagaland. This blend of ingredients (Im sorry, I honestly dont know what all was in here) was miraculous. There were only 4 Naga ghost chillies (the worlds hottest chili) within this sauce, and that was enough to make it tear flowing spicy. It wasnt a long lasting hot chili spice though, it was more of an extreme sharp pain in your