Arunachal Pradesh Food - A Lip Smacking Food Journey

Arunachal Pradesh is one of the states of the north eastern India and just like all the other North Eastern states, its tradition and culture is one of the main focus of Indian tourism. Food forms an essential part of the culture of North East India, and in a traveller’s urge to understand the unknown, the food of Arunachal Pradesh is a topic that draws a lot of attention! The first thing you should know about Arunachal Pradesh food is that it differs from tribe to tribe. As you move toward the eastern side of Arunachal people are dependent on bamboo and other leafy vegetables which are strictly boiled. Fried food is not very popular as people like to eat either boiled or smoked food.
 As you move toward the town of Tawang and places closer to the country of Tibet you’ll notice that dairy products are more in use. The people closer to the city are more dependent on the normal day to day products.

Now coming to the Food of Arunachal Pradesh:

1. Rice

Rice- Arunachal Pradesh Food Staple

Rice- The Staple Food of Arunachal. (Source)

Rice is a staple product in Arunachal Pradesh food, and any other food is just a side dish. The main source of food anywhere is Rice but in Arunachal it is more focused. The most important and different thing about their rice is that the Arunachalis prefer to cook their rice in the hollow bamboo over some hot coal to give it a different flavour than other types of rice. Who doesn’t want to taste that right?

2. Bamboo Shoot

Bamboo shoot, Arunachal Pradesh Food

Bamboo shoot (Source)

Bamboo shoot is widely eaten through all the North Eastern States because of its delicate flavor and is a chief component of Arunachal Pradesh food. I don’t know if you have noticed but the Arunachalis use Bamboo shoot in almost every dish they make it is the main ingredient without which their food would be left incomplete. Bamboo shoots are used in the dishes of boiled vegetables, cooked meat, pickles and chutneys. Not to forget to mention it is delicious.

3. Pika Pila

Pika Pila, Arunachal Pradesh Food

Pika pila (Source)

Pika pila is a famous type of a pickle that is mostly made by the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It is a favorite dish of Arunachal Pradesh Food and Cuisine.

Pika Pila is a type of a pickle that is made by using bamboo shoot and pork fat with a little addition of King Chilly. It is hot but not very spicy as to make you feel sick.

4. Lukter

Beef sprinkled with chilly flaked while being smoked dry

Beef sprinkled with chilly flaked while being smoked dry. (Source)

Another delicacy of the Arunachal Pradesh Food is the Lukter. Nothing complicated, Lukter is a combination of cooked dry meat and chilly flakes from the King chilly or Bhut Jolokia. Like the norm goes with Arunachal, this too is just a side dish meant to be eaten with the rice.

5. Pehak

chutney made with chilli and fermented soya beans

chutney made with chilli and fermented soya beans. (Source)

Pehak is also a side dish delicacy of Arunachal Pradesh Food. Pehak is a type of spicy chutney that is made by the use of fermented soya bean and chilli. The chilly obviously being the King chilly is the main ingredient in this dish as that’s what makes it hot and spicy. The taste of flavored rice along with this spicy tangy mash makes for an awesome dish!

6. Apong

Apong- Rice beer, Arunachal Pradesh Food

Apong- Rice beer. (Source)

Well all of you must be wondering what is apong? It is just another name for rice beer and is one of the most important traditional drink of Arunachal, and forms an important part of Arunachal Pradesh Food. This beer is home-made, free of any chemicals and is also light on the buds if you’re a light drinker and want a little light beer instead of the usual strong commercialized one.

7. Marua

Marua- An alcoholic beverage, Arunachal Pradesh Food Dish

Marua- An alcoholic beverage. (Source)

Just like the Apong, Marua is also a home-made alcohol that is very famous in Arunachal Pradesh cuisine. The only difference is that this alcoholic beverage is made of millet instead of rice. A common drink that Arunachalis enjoy drinking on occasions.

8. Chura Sabji

Chura Sabji, Arunachal Pradesh Food

Worth a shot isn’t it?

Now I personally have not developed a taste for this dish yet but all the people I know absolutely love it. It is a kind of a curry made of fermented cheese made by either yak milk or cow’s milk and not to forget most important the flakes and a few pieces of the King chilly which makes it spicy but delicious.

9. MoMo


Momos. (Source)

Everyone who has ever lived in a town in India must be familiar with this one. Momo is a dumpling stuffed with various vegetables like cabbage, potato, carrot etc in case of Veg- Momo and Chicken, mutton, beef etc in case of Non-veg Momo and is extremely delicious. If you haven’t tried it yet please do so soon!

10. Meat

Mithun- Main source of meat in Arunachal.

Mithun- Main source of meat in Arunachal. (Source)

I’ve saved the best for the last. Meat is the main delicacy of Arunachal Pradesh. Until now, I have not met a single Arunachali who doesn’t love meat be it Chicken, Mutton or pork. The Arunachalis however, prefer not to have their meat fried, and it’s either boiled or smoked and the most common meat is that of an animal called ‘Mithun’ (Bos frontalis), a member of the cattle family found only in the North East.

Thanks to my Arunachali friends for providing me with the above.


This post was published by Simran Rigzin

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