Nagaland is a landlocked state in the North Eastern part of India. Though not discussed or highlighted, the land has natural beauty, rich culture, historical sites, and culinary delights. The food of Nagaland is unique in both looks and taste from the rest of the country, which is why it fascinates everyone.
So, if you step into this great state of India, visit it completely, as you will get to taste many flavours. Among numerous food options, Nagaland pork is the most famous item. There is also Galho, Fish Tenga, Zutho, and whatnot. In short, there is plenty to explore in the food in Nagaland!
From various rice dishes to scrumptious pork snacks, Nagaland has a treasure of food items. Here we highlight some of the chief dishes of the state that you surely need to try on your voyage.
If you are fond of meat curries like butter chicken, lamb, etc., you will love the Pork Curry of Nagaland. While it is cooked similarly to other meats in the country, it is unique compared to the rest of them. The traditional cooking of pork curry is done with fermented soybean and fermented bamboo shoots. However, you can use red chillies and red chilli powder to get the spicy flavour.
Pork curry tastes excellent of it is cooked in a pressure cooker. Further, the natives of the state serve this flavoursome dish with fish paste and steamed rice.
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If you are done admiring the pork curry, let’s move on to Bamboo Shoot. Bamboo Shoot is not a dish altogether but an essential ingredient that most Nagaland non-veg dishes have. It is primarily used to provide a sour taste to the dishes like Pork, Fish, etc.
The taste of fresh Bamboo Shoots is more bitter than required. Hence, before using it in the dishes, it is sliced and soaked in water to remove its bitterness. Though the food item is sour, it does provide specific vitamins and fibres to the body. Not just in Nagaland, but Bamboo Shoot is used in almost every North Indian state.
If you have tried Khichdi of North India, Galho will be one step ahead of it. Though the overall texture of Galho is similar to khichdi, its taste varies a little with its ingredients. The dish is prominent during the Winter and has a soupy consistency. It is made with seasoned vegetables, rice and meat. The locals of Nagaland prefer to add fermented soya and bamboo shoot to it.
Ideally, the dish is served with garnished garlic and ginger. So, if you are here, treat your taste buds with it.
Nagaland is about more than just spicy and tender meat dishes. It also has a handful of desserts. Just like Galho is to Nagaland for Khichdi, Black Stick Rice Pudding is to Nagaland for Kheer. Unlike the North Indian dessert, the rice used in this dish is black, which makes the pudding the perfect conclusion to a scrumptious dinner.
Black Stick Rice Pudding is made by cooking coconut milk and rice in a pressure cooker. Further, when the dessert is ready, it is flavoured with pistachios, saffron and other warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc. In short, if you crave something sweet in Nagaland, the state has this toothsome dessert for you. Do try it!
The second meat dish that can top the Pork Curry is this one. Samathu is the chilli powder that makes this dish unique and flavourful. Counted among the best food of Nagaland, the Samathu dish is a thick curry made by combining smoked pork with axone or fermented soybean. After this, it is combined with many red chillies to make it super spicy.
The central part of the dish comes to cooking slowly until all the flavours mingle well. Though it is the signature dish of the Sumi house, it tops the food choices of other tribes of Nagaland.
The cuisine of Nagaland is not just about soul-relishing flavours. Some food items also possess medicinal properties, and Akini is one of them. Akini is a food of Nagaland that has a unique and appetising taste. It is cooked using some of the best ingredients, like perilla seeds, soya beans, and paddy field snails.
In the cooking process, the perilla seeds are roasted and ground. Further, they are cooked with paddy field snails. As per preference, other things can be added to Akini, such as pork or Nagaland chutney called axone. So, when in Nagaland, do try it!
If you are fond of street food, smoked pork is your best pick. Ranking among the top Dimapur food, smoked pork has a sweet place in the hearts of the Nagaland people. The aspect that makes smoked pork a favourable choice is its crispiness on the outside and the juicy tenderness on the inside.
The savoury Nagaland non-veg food is cooked by slicing pork into small pieces and then cooking it with an exquisite mix of dry spices. Just like Samathu, Raja Mirchi (Naga King Chili) is the ingredient that elevates the taste of smoked pork.
This one is the easiest to make among all the described food of Nagaland. This is one of the aspects people of Nagaland consume daily. The recipe for making Hinkejvu includes cooking shredded cabbage leaves, mustard leaves, french beans, and colocasia with a pinch of salt.
All of these are thoroughly boiled in a vessel until it is all the flavours of these ingredients mingle perfectly. In the end, it is served in a bowl. If you want, you can get rice with this dish for taste enhancement.
The dish is kept a little dull so that it can complement it as a side with other spicy Nagaland snacks. It comprises mustard leaf and Colocasia roots. Both of these ingredients are cooked with a pinch of salt. The water added to this dish is kept minimum to ensure a thick gravy.
The best thing about Aikibeye is its cooking time. It is supposed to be bland, so it does not require much cooking time. Not a mandatory one, but it is always good to have something on the side. It makes the best combo with steamed rice.