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Nagaland's Kitchen open to all

Those hungry for an experience should try the exotic Naga food at Nagaland's Kitchen. Raisa Daimary tells you more.

india Updated: Oct 30, 2010 16:25 IST
Raisa Daimary
Raisa Daimary
Hindustan Times

From the green hills of Nagaland to Green Park of Delhi, Nagaland’s Kitchen has made a momentous journey across the miles and opened its doors to the rest of the country. Nagaland boasts 30 tribes each speaking a different language and equally varied are their cuisine, weaves, music and war cry. Nagaland’s kitchen integrates this diversity in a tasteful Thaali.

The walls are decorated with spears, headdress and accessories made of shells and beads of the different tribes. The pictures on the walls give you a glimpse of Nagaland and the interiors done with wood let you feel right at home.

The kitchen is personally run by the managing directors Chubamanen Longkumer, and his sisters Washimenla Longkumer and Tuluyinla Longkumer ensuring authenticity of taste. They also own the Naga food stall at Dilli Haat. On being asked as to why they took a chance with opening a restaurant based on food that might require an acquired taste, Chubamanen said, “Northern Indians and even foreigners liked our food at Dilli Haat and many people urged us to open a restaurant dedicated to Naga food so it was inevitable.”

Akin to the Southeast Asian style of cooking a number of the dishes incorporate fermented ingredients and a novice might have to culture the taste buds for it and probably also the nose for it. Culinary historian and author of

NE Belly - The
Basic North East Cook Book
and authority on North East cuisine Dr. Ashish Chopra added that, “Their cuisine is very different from our Indian main cuisine. The food has a very distinct flavour and it is similar to a lot of South East Asian cuisine because it lies on that belt. The Naga eat healthy food and most of their food is very organic and basic with minimalistic spices.” His advice to the adventurous foodie, “They must try the meat because some of the roasts that they make are amongst the best in the world.”

NagalandThe cuisine comes off as a delicacy fare and vegetables and meat are usually boiled and hardly fried. The ingredients are simple, flavourful and hot. This is where the Raja Mircha – the hottest chili in the world is put to good use. Widely eaten in the North East, this chili finds a special place in the Naga kitchen. The cuisine is known for exotics meats but pork is best loved and cooked in many ways. The famous pork with bamboo shoot forms the common dish among the Naga people. Smoked, dried and fermented meat and fish are also eaten. The menu offers the Naga food enthusiast all that he could ask for… Meat cooked in the Naga Style, Even Smoked eel, with the hot chutney on the side and boiled vegetables to go.

First Published: Oct 27, 2010 17:07 IST