North-East Indian Cuisine Takes the Spotlight

When it comes to Indian celebrity chefs, they don’t come much bigger or more successful than Vikas Khanna. Not only does this talented and award-winning, Michelin starred chef present the popular TV show Masterchef India, but he can add the strings of restaurateur, cookbook author and film-maker to his heavily decorated bow.

His latest project has been all the talk in India – he has teamed up with the National Geographic Channel for their innovative, five-part documentary recording the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes in some of India’s large-scale kitchens. Catchily named, ‘India’s Mega Kitchen’, the series premieres at the end of June and promises to take us on a culinary and personal journey through the kitchens of Shirdi, Taj Sats and Dharmasthala, to name a few.

As reported on Business-Standard.com, Khanna stated that his constant aim is to bring the delights of Indian food to more people. We can guarantee that watching the passion Khanna displays for Indian cuisine is guaranteed to cause you to reach for the phone, eager to lock down a table at one of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants.

One region of India that Khanna is especially keen to bring to the world’s attention is that of the north-eastern states. He was quoted by the news website as saying that, “nobody has explored their cuisine so much,” and appears determined to change the preconception that the north-east of India is simply famous for its steamed momos and noodles.

Intrigued by what this elusive region has to offer? Read on for some top facts about India’s north-eastern cuisine…

The tastes of the north-east

The food of India’s north-east may be difficult to classify because the culinary traditions of the region are so diverse. Known as the ‘land of the seven sisters’ due to the different tribal groups that call this region home, each separate culture maintains a firm hold on the language, art and culinary traditions that have formed part of their daily lives for centuries.

The favoured flavours of these people are as varied as the cultures that gave them life. Speciality fish dishes take centre-stage in Manipur, whilst succulent meat recipes are favoured in Nagaland, where pork is particularly popular.

Arunachal Pradesh has a deep love for noodles and takes much of its influence from Chinese cooking, whilst Mizoram shuns the fried food in favour of simple steaming and boiling methods.

An encounter with Assamese cooking presents a wide range of delicacies that appeal to those with a sweet tooth – stuffed pastries flavoured with coconut are particularly prevalent during festivals such as Bihu. However, journey to Meghalaya to experience a savoury focus with the unique tungrymbai, a fermented bean chutney spiced to perfection and used to add a kick to plain, simple meals.

However, these cultural preferences are not as different as they might initially appear. All rely heavily on the natural fruits of the land – the seasonal produce and game that are prolific in their respective landscapes.

Additionally, in much of this region, the people are non-vegetarians. Tripuri cuisine is a classic example of this with a reliance on not only beef, mutton, chicken and pork but turtles, crabs and frogs too. However, vegetables are still considered an important part of meals.

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North-East Indian Cuisine Takes the Spotlight

July 17th, 2015

When it comes to Indian celebrity chefs, they don’t come much bigger or more successful than Vikas Khanna. Not only does this talented and award-winning, Michelin starred chef present the popular TV show Masterchef India, but he can add the strings of restaurateur, cookbook author and film-maker to his heavily decorated bow.

His latest project has been all the talk in India – he has teamed up with the National Geographic Channel for their innovative, five-part documentary recording the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes in some of India’s large-scale kitchens. Catchily named, ‘India’s Mega Kitchen’, the series premieres at the end of June and promises to take us on a culinary and personal journey through the kitchens of Shirdi, Taj Sats and Dharmasthala, to name a few.

As reported on Business-Standard.com, Khanna stated that his constant aim is to bring the delights of Indian food to more people. We can guarantee that watching the passion Khanna displays for Indian cuisine is guaranteed to cause you to reach for the phone, eager to lock down a table at one of London’s best Indian fine dining restaurants.

One region of India that Khanna is especially keen to bring to the world’s attention is that of the north-eastern states. He was quoted by the news website as saying that, “nobody has explored their cuisine so much,” and appears determined to change the preconception that the north-east of India is simply famous for its steamed momos and noodles.

Intrigued by what this elusive region has to offer? Read on for some top facts about India’s north-eastern cuisine…

The tastes of the north-east

The food of India’s north-east may be difficult to classify because the culinary traditions of the region are so diverse. Known as the ‘land of the seven sisters’ due to the different tribal groups that call this region home, each separate culture maintains a firm hold on the language, art and culinary traditions that have formed part of their daily lives for centuries.

The favoured flavours of these people are as varied as the cultures that gave them life. Speciality fish dishes take centre-stage in Manipur, whilst succulent meat recipes are favoured in Nagaland, where pork is particularly popular.

Arunachal Pradesh has a deep love for noodles and takes much of its influence from Chinese cooking, whilst Mizoram shuns the fried food in favour of simple steaming and boiling methods.

An encounter with Assamese cooking presents a wide range of delicacies that appeal to those with a sweet tooth – stuffed pastries flavoured with coconut are particularly prevalent during festivals such as Bihu. However, journey to Meghalaya to experience a savoury focus with the unique tungrymbai, a fermented bean chutney spiced to perfection and used to add a kick to plain, simple meals.

However, these cultural preferences are not as different as they might initially appear. All rely heavily on the natural fruits of the land – the seasonal produce and game that are prolific in their respective landscapes.

Additionally, in much of this region, the people are non-vegetarians. Tripuri cuisine is a classic example of this with a reliance on not only beef, mutton, chicken and pork but turtles, crabs and frogs too. However, vegetables are still considered an important part of meals.

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