Cuisine of Meghalaya - 11 Dishes of Meghalaya for a Gastronomic Adventure

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When we talk of Indian cuisine, we often fail to account for dishes from India’s northeast. The dishes originating from the North-east are deeply rooted in the traditions and culture of the seven states and are an important part of the rich, diverse, varied food that is Indian cuisine. 

These are our favorite foods from the Cuisine of Meghalaya:

1. Jadoh

Jadoh is a very popular dish among the Khasi community of Meghalaya. Jadoh is red rice, cooked with generous amounts of pork meat. Sometimes, it is also cooked with chicken or fish. A mix of green chilies, onions, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, and bay leaves is made. Pieces of pork are then added and fried off, after which the red rice is added and cooked off. The addition of turmeric imparts the rice its rich yellow color and an aromatic flavor. For those willing to be more adventurous, Jadoh can also be cooked in pork blood. If you love pork, this is a dish not to be missed.

2. Doh-Khlieh

A wholesome meal that is healthy at the same time – Doh Khlieh is a delicious salad made out of minced pork, onions, and chilies. If you are in the mood for some fusion food, some places dish up Doh-Khlieh with a Mexican touch by adding beans, tomatoes, carrots, and lemons. It is also sometimes cooked as a curry of pig brains and eaten with bread.

3. Nakham Bitchi

A palate cleanser, Nakhmam Bitchi is a popular soup consumed before meals and served to guests. Nakham is a special kind of dry fish, which is sun-dried or fire-dried. The fish is then fried and boiled in water, to make a thick, rich soup. It is then flavored with lots of chilies and pepper to make it tasty and tangy, suitable for the Meghalayan weather. 

4. Pumaloi

Rice is a staple food of Meghalaya and it is consumed in many different forms and varieties, and also as an accompaniment to other curry dishes. Pumaloi is one such favorite rice dish of Meghalayan cuisine.  Pumaloi essentially means powdered rice, which has been steamed. A unique pot called Khiew Ranei is used to cook the rice. It is cooked on medium heat with just the right amount of water. Pumaloi rice is commonly served during public celebrations and festivals and is a unique part of Meghalaya culture.

5. Doh-Neiiong

Doh- Neiiong is a dish comprising fried pork served with a rich, thick gravy that is flavored generously with green chilies, pepper, red onions, local spices, and black sesame. Black sesame is the hero of this dish that lends it its unique flavor. If you love pork, this is a dish not to be missed.

6. Tungrymbai

A humble everyday meal of the peasant community of Meghalaya, Tungrymbai is made from fermented soya beans, boiled and chopped pork, black sesame, ginger, and onion. All these are fried and sauted together, and the delicious mixture is left simmering for some time to deepen the flavor and taste.

7. Pudoh

Pudoh is also a dish made from boiled, powdered rice with the addition of pork pieces. The rice powder is steamed with small pieces of pork to infuse its flavor within it. A rich curry is prepared to enhance the flavor further. A rich meal served during special occasions like weddings and carnival, it is a favorite among the locals.

8. Minil Songa

A popular dish among the Garo tribe of Meghalaya, Minil Songa is a sticky rice preparation. Minil is sticky rice that has a rich nutty flavor and delicate texture. It has a high amount of starch, making it sticky. 

9. Pukhlein

Another dish made from powdered rice, Pukhlein is powdered rice sweetened with jaggery. The jaggery and rice mixture is fried together in the pan, to form a deep, thick paste. The golden brown crispy rice is best served with a wide variety of meat items and serves as a welcome respite from the spiciness of Meghalayan cuisine.

10. Sakin Gata

Sakin Gata is a sticky white rice cake, a sweet delicacy of Meghalayan cuisine. The sticky rice is soaked in water overnight and mixed with sugar. Alternate layers of the rice mixture and roasted sesame seeds are arranged in banana leaves, placed in a special cooking pot, and steamed. 

11. Kyat

A must-try party drink, Kyat (fermented rice beer) is made from fermented rice. It is boiled along with water and garnished with local ingredients. Shillong has umpteen places that serve Kyat. There is no bar or restaurant in Meghalaya that does not have Kyat, neither is there any household that will let you leave unless you have a glass of Kyat – a true symbol of Meghalayan hospitality!

Across various communities and cultures in Meghalaya, rice and pork form the staple diet of the people. The food of Meghalaya is unique and there are lots of cultural influences and traditional ingredients in the food that Meghalayan people dish out. Which of these are you most excited to eat? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was published by Mayura Dhapare

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