‘‘Tis the season of cheer, the time of the year of spreading joy, peace and some good times with food, fun and frolic….chilly winter evenings, your favourite scotch on the rocks with succulent pieces of fried, boiled and smoked pork…this could be heaven on earth…it really is that time of the year in the north eastern part of India where all the eight states of the region boasts of a signature pork dish prepared with the local ingredients and lots of love to mark the festive season of Christmas and the New year….
Pork Dohkhlieh – Meghalaya
People travel from around the world to this tiny state of Meghalaya to witness the passion that the people of this state share towards music and food…pork is an integral part of the local cuisine…Pork Dohkhlieh is a simple salad made with chunks of boiled pork…
Fresh pork – 300 gms
Onion – 1 medium chopped
Tomato- 1 medium chopped
Carrots – 1 medium chopped
Green chillies – 2 whole, charred and cut into small pieces
Ginger – minced 1/2 tsp
Garlic – more need 1/2 tsp
Coriander – a bunch coarsest chopped
Lemon juice – for taste
Salt – for taste
Boil the pork with a bit of salt till it is soft. Drain the water, cut the boiled pork into bite sized pieces. Mix it with the chopped onions, tomatoes, carrots, coarsely chopped coriander, ginger and garlic paste and the green chillies. Mix well in a bowl, squeeze some lemon juice before serving with piping hot, steamed rice.
P.S : The Pork Dohkhlieh is relished as a part of breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Pork with Bamboo Shoot- Nagaland
Pork and Nagaland is synonymous. Pork forms an integral part of the traditional cuisine of the state , be it smoked pork with fermented soya beans, vegetables cooked in pork fat, or simply dry fried with the ubiquitous “bhut jolokia” or the hottest chilli in the world….
Pork – 1 kg
Bamboo shoot – 100 gms
a bunch of coriander leaves
Garlic – 50 gms minced
Ginger – 50 gms minced
Onions – 3 chopped
Raja mircha (king chilly) – 3
Red chilli powder – 1 tblsp
Salt to taste
Pressure cook the pork and cook on medium flame for about 2 mins. Add salt to taste. Add the chopped onions and stir fry for around three minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic paste along with the Raja mirchi paste and bamboo shoot. Stir gently, cover and cook till meat is done. Sprinkle the chilli powder and garnish with coriander leaves before serving with hot rice.
P.S : The pork market in Nagaland is dependent on supply from outside as the local production level is insufficient to meet the demand.
Pork with Mustard Greens – Sikkim
“Sungur ko masu with Rayo ko saag..” is a common refrain in the state of Sikkim…a favourite pork dish amongst the locals, this pork curry cooked with the fresh mustard greens not only tastes heavenly but also smells awesome…enacting saliva dipping after effects…
Pork – 500 gms cut into medium pieces
Mustard Green/ Rayo Saag – 500 gms, cleaned and chopped
Onion – 1 large, sliced
Tomatoes – 2 large, sliced
Ginger paste – 1 tblsp
Garlic paste – 1 tblsp
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Green chillis – 3 slit
Mustard oil – 1/4 Cup
Heat oil in a large pressure cooker. Fry the onions till translucent. Add the pork & chillis and fry well, add the ginger garlic paste, salt and turmeric and fry till the water it leaves is almost dry. Sprinkle the cumin & coriander powder and the tomatoes and fry for another few minutes. Add about half cup water and cover and pressure cook to one whistle, lower heat and cook for another 10 minutes. Let it cool remove lid and now add the mustard greens, stir well and again pressure cook for up to 2-3 whistles. Serve hot with rice.
P.S : Sikkim has the third-highest per capita alcoholism rate amongst all Indian states, behind Punjab and Haryana.
Oak Thongba – Manipur
When you are in this northeastern state of Manipur which shares an international border with Myanmar be sure to experience food cooked in the south Asian style…lots of meat and fish cooked with little or no oil along with locally grown fresh, organic vegetables and a concoction of traditional herbs…
Pork belly – 500 gms
Garlic – 2 tblsp, roughly chopped
Ginger – 2 tblsp, roughly chopped and few thinly sliced ginger
Onion – 1 large, chopped
Cumin – 1 tblsp
Paprika – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Thorny coriander leaves – 3 pieces
Salt – to taste
Cut the pork belly to approximately 1.5 inches thick cube and wash thoroughly. Put the washed pork into the pressure cooker along with cumin and some salt. Cook for about 2 mins at high flames and keep stirring. Put ginger,garlic,onion and garlic slices and comtinue to cook for another 3 mins. Add cumin powder, chili powder and turmeric powder. Lower the flame and continue to cook.After few minutes, you will see a lot of liquid oozing out of the meat. Keep cooking till the liquid dries up, Pour two cups of water and cover up the lid of the pressure cooker and increase the heat to high flames.Wait for the cooker to whistle 4-5 times. Once done garnish with the thorny coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.
P.S : In Manipur food is always organic and locally sourced though the preparation may vary from one village to the other.
Mizo Vawksa – Mizoram
Food in Mizoram is mild unlike the fiery, chilli laced counterparts of the other northeastern states. A visit to the local market or “haat” in the capital town of Aizawl will leave you wide eyed with the variety of local food stuff, be it beef, pork, dog and monkey meat or the local green vegetables, the tiny pouches of traditional herbs, silk worm larvae, fish both fresh and fermented…and the list is endless…
Smoked pork or vawksa: 2 large chunks
Fresh Oyster mushrooms: 1 cup
Baby spinach leaves: 2 cups
Garlic: 2 large cloves, crushed
Ginger: 1 tsp, julienned
Oyster sauce: 1 tsp (optional)
Green chilly: 1 no, chopped
A little water, if needed
Salt and pepper to season
Slice the cooked pork chunk into shreds. Heat some oil or sliced pork fat in a pan. Add the crushed ginger and garlic and sauté a bit. Then add the oyster mushrooms and salt to taste and keep stirring . Add the smoked pork shreds, chilly, oyster sauce and some water. Stir and cover the pan with a lid. Turn down the heat and let it simmer till the water dries up. Then stir in the baby spinach leaves and just leave it to wilt. Serve hot with sticky rice.
P.S : Zawlbuk restaurant in the national capital (Delhi) is offering authentic mizo food and has become a major hit among food lovers.
Pork with colocasia leaves (kosu xaak) – Assam
Food in Assam is an amalgamation of the eating habits from the hills and the plains so you have fresh meat, fish and vegetables along with the smoked and fermented variety as well…Pork is secondary to the fish loving asomiya but is relished with equal zeal and gusto…
Colocasia leaves with stems – a bunch
Pork – 500 gms cut into pieces
Onion – 1 chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tblsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Mustard oil – 2 tblsp
Salt to taste
Wash colocasia leaves with stems under running water. Chopped and boil them. Drain and keep aside. Wash pork pieces under running water and put in a pressure cooker with two cups of water. Cook for two whistles, drain and keep aside.
In a pan heat oil. Add ginger garlic paste. Add chopped onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add turmeric powder. Add pork pieces.
Fry until oil separates.Now add cumin powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well.Add boiled colocasia leaves with stems. Mix well.Add black pepper. Mix well.
Serve hot with steamed rice.
P.S : Contrary to popular belief, Assamese cuisine is totally different from Bengali or Oriya cooking.
Pika Pila – Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh is home to around 26 major tribes and another 100 sub tribes. Although each tribe and sub tribe have their own personalised way of cooking food, the food of the state is bound together by the use of organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables along with traditional cooking methods like steaming and roasting using aromatic leaves and bamboo hollows….
Pork – 500 gms sliced
Bamboo shoot – 250 gms fermented and roughly crushed
King chilli – 100 gms (paste)
Mustard Oil – to taste
Salt – to taste
Boil the pork till cooked. Slice it finely and mix all other ingredients including the bamboo shoot, king chilli and salt to taste. Top it all with raw mustard oil. Serve as a side dish or pickle with the main course.
You may also like: 7 amazing recipes of fried chicken
P.S : Arunachalis live their meat and the most common one is the boiled or smoked meat of the “Mithun” a species of cattle found only in the north eastern region.
Wahab Chawkbi – Tripura
The royal state of Tripura is no different from its seven counterparts in terms of food being locally produced and the abundant use of traditional herbs and methods of cooking using no or minimum oil. The original Tripuri cuisine is called ‘Mui Borok’ by the locals and has a mild yet zesty flavour…
Bamboo shoots: 500 gm
Pork: 250 gm
Jack fruit seeds: 100 gm
Green papaya: 100 gm
Backing soda: 2 tea spoons full
Green chili: 10 pieces
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon full
Fresh Lemon leaves: 12 pieces
Rice flour: 30-40 gm
Peel the bamboo shoots and cut it into small pieces. Cut the raw papaya into small pieces. Peak the skin off the jackfruit seeds aftee soaking them in water for about 15 minutes. Slice these seeds into halves. Tear the lemon leaves into halves and finely chop the ginger. Make a paste of the rice powder with some water in a bowl.
Take a big pan and fill it with water, add some baking by soda and let it boil. Then add the bamboo shoot, papaya pieces along with the chillies, lemon leaf , ginger and the turmeric powder. Let it simmer for a while before adding the pork pieces and the jackfruit seeds. Let it boil and simmer till the pork is tender and cooked. Serve with steamed rice.
P.S : The tasty ‘Hilsa’ from River Padma of Bangladesh is one of the most favorite and popular items served on the dining tables of the non-tribal inhabitants of Tripura.