Spotlight on North East Indian dishes

Droolworthy dishes from the Seven Sisters of India

29 Jul 2021

What’s better than the natural beauty of North East Indian states? Their food, duh! The Seven Sisters have given us much more than scenic hill stations, and they deserve their moment in the sun. The food from this region is just as rich and diverse as the people and their culture. There is more to the North East than ‘Bhoot Jolokia’ (Ghost Pepper) and Pork, which is what invariably comes to everyone’s mind. There was a societal cringe when it came to the regional food of the North East, but that is set to change according to the Godrej Food Trends Report 2021. The use of unique ingredients give them a signature taste and can be consumed as both comfort food and delicacies, depending on the occasion. So without further ado, let’s deep dive into it.


Khar is a quintessential Assamese dish made with unripe papayas or ground gourd. The ingredients include Indian spices, some garam masala and a bit of mustard oil. Unripe papayas are said to cleanse the system, and this dish is, therefore, a very important part of Assamese meals. It has a rich and layered taste of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty.


This porridge from Nagaland has a soupy consistency and a plethora of intricate textures. The crown jewel of this is the fermented soya or fermented bamboo shoots that often go into making it, with lots of green leafy veggies, rice and meat (or not). It is simple to make – all the ingredients can be tossed into your cooker, and you’ll have it ready in under 20 minutes. What’s the hold-up?

Sana Thongba

This vegetarian dish is one of the best to come out of Manipur. Made with paneer, this curry is light, juicy and delicious. All you need are your basic ingredients like nigella seeds (kalonji), cumin, turmeric, ginger, garlic, peas and chilli. Find out if this is the asana for you – try it!


This delicious delicacy from Meghalaya is made with boiled tapioca, coconut, onions, red chillies, curry leaves and spices. Kapa may or may not be your cuppa, but what better way to tell than to try it yourself?

Chak-Hao Kheer

The literal translation of this dessert from Manipur is black rice pudding. It is made with black rice and sugar. The black rice has a unique flavour and signature aroma of its own. One taste, and you’ll be sold!


This simple layered dessert from Meghalaya uses sticky white rice to make a delicious pudding with sesame seeds on every alternate layer. The rice is soaked overnight in water to soften it, mixed with sugar, sesame seeds and tossed into a special cooking pot to steam.

Have you tasted any other North East Indian recipes? Share with us in the comment section below.

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dessert soups GFTR2021 North East cuisine Assamese cuisine
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