The cultural and traditional dexterity and variance of Northeast India can never be downplayed. This beautiful variety plays out exuberantly in its cuisines and menus. From Arunachal Pradesh to Assam, Meghalaya to Manipur, Tripura to Nagaland and Sikkim, the dishes are a true reflection of the colours, splendour and flavours, that the people are known for.
As the most important meal, breakfast is a big deal in this region. This post, therefore, delves into the tasty world of Northeast India’s famous breakfasts. Let’s take them according to the states.
- Manipur’s Tan and Aloo Kangmet
A typical Manipur breakfast will include Tan, a type of flatbread that has similarities with the Puri. Some people serve Tan with Aloo Kangmet, which is basically Potato Curry. You’ll also find people take Tan with Black Tea, or what you might come to know as Changang. There are several ways to make Tan. While some people deep fry it, others would rather have it as a a sort of savoury crepe on traditional iron skillet made with flour, salt and water.
- Assam’s Jolpaan and Paani Pitha
In Assam, the tasty and healthy no-cook Jolpaan is more like a staple. Assamese simply love it as breakfast. They know that starting the day on a healthy note is one way to make the day productive. Jolpaan will typically consist of flattened, soaked and puffed rice mixed with curd and jaggery. Paani Pitha is another popular breakfast meal in the state. It is a simple mix of wheat, onion or sugar and salt. Either of these two will jumpstart your day and give you the kick you need to perform.
- Meghalaya’s Putharo and Pukhlein
Putharo is a pancake-like breakfast dish that is popular among the people of Meghalaya. If you do find yourself in the city, this can be a good breakfast option. Rice flour, coconut and jaggery are mixed together and baked in a some sort of earthen pot. It is often served with Pork curry and Black Sesame Seed. Then there is Pukhlein, which can be either sweet bread or rice flour served with jaggery. These two breakfast meals are not just popular for their cultural affiliation to the people, but also for their simplicity, taste and nourishing benefits.
- Nagaland’s Egg Shoap
There are a good number of sumptuous breakfast dishes that Nagaland is known for. But for its nutritional value and tastefulness, we’ll stick to Egg Shoap. Egg Shoap is a fried cutlet, made up of eggs and potatoes with some spices sprinkled on. It is all mixed together and rolled into a cutlet. The coating is achieved with bread crumbs, before it is fried. On the outside, it has the look of Scotch Egg, but one bite will convince you otherwise; simply bliss.
Smoked Pork is another great breakfast dish among the people of Nagaland. This is popular among the Sema tribe, and is served with fermented chutney from soybean, yam leaves and steamed vegetables. But this also varies from one tribe to another.
- Mizoram’s Rice and Bai
The simplicity of Mizoram’s cuisine doesn’t take anything away from its delightful taste. Take Rice and Bai for instance, it is much like having rice with rich vegetable sauce. But let’s take a dive into what makes up Bai. Vegetables like cabbage, mustard leaf, brinjal and potatoes, cooked with fermented pork, green chillies and a bit of baking soda. Bai does not require any salt or extra spices.
- Arunachal Pradesh’s Khura
Breakfast options in Arunachal Pradesh are as many as the towns, peoples and traditions. There is a widespread breakfast culture that includes tea, rice, smoked pork, potato fry and steamed vegetables. However, there are those who treat themselves to a special breakfast delicacy known as Khura. It is a kind of pancake from buckwheat flour served with butter tea from yak milk.
- Tripura’s Sweet Poha
The typical breakfast from Tripura will include a different kind of Sweet Poha, which is nutritious and soothing, relished in West Bengal too. This special kind of poha is prepared by cooking flattened rice like a porridge with yoghurt, nuts, and mango. This dish is also served with a special type of cheese made of Chire Doi Aam (flattened rice, curd and mango).
- Sikkim’s Phale and Cheese
This is a local breakfast meal you’ll likely find in every Sikkim household. Phale refers to whole wheat breads which are often served with Cheese made with Aloo Dum and cow’s milk. You can already see how nutritionally rich the meal is. There are also some households that would rather go with something heavier, much like rice, lentils, local vegetables and homemade pickles.
If a vacation to Northeast India is on your bucket list, then there is certainly a long list of options for your local Indian breakfast menu. Be sure to check with the restaurant or hotel for any ingredient you may be allergic to. There are also several other breakfast options you can explore in Northeast India that are not on this list.
Whatever you decide, you’re sure to have an amazing time munching on the deliciousness of the area.
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