Fondly called the ‘ Scotland of East’, Meghalaya is one of the Seven Sister States of Northeast India, and among the most stunning tourist places in India. This northeast Indian state is well-known for its vibrant local festivals, enchanting monsoons, varied biodiversity, and delicious cuisine. The Meghalayan cuisine is divided into three different styles as it still holds the tribal culture of three major tribes – Garo, Khasi, and Jaintia. The staple food of these tribal people is rice with vegetables and spicy meat that includes goats, pigs, fowl, ducks, fish, and cows. So, here are 10 famous foods of Meghalaya that you must try as part of Meghalaya tour packages.
Pumaloi is a special kind of rice dish that is majorly prepared by the Khasi people of Meghalaya during festivals and family gatherings. One of the must-try dishes in Meghalaya, the recipe includes special powdered rice called Pumaloi that is cooked on medium heat in a unique black terracotta pot called Khiew Ranei and is eaten any time in a day as breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Since the dish does not have any spice, locals like to team it with a wholesome gravy that includes pork, chicken, or vegetables.
Jadoh is another popular rice dish of the Khasi tribe community of Meghalaya. This dish is prepared with red rice that is cooked with a generous amount of pork meat, chopped vegetables, and some aromatic spices which gives the dish a rich color and taste. Sometimes, it is also cooked with chicken or fish. It is mainly a non-vegetarian dish that is garnished with eggs or fried fish. The dish can seem a little daunting to those who are scared of spice but in reality, this red rice and pork preparation is mouthwatering. So, if you are a biryani lover, and want to try biryani in North India, then this toothsome dish is the suitable one. One must try this dish at Jadoh Restaurant in Shillong, among the must-include places in India tour packages.
Originating from the Garo Community of Meghalaya, Nakham Bitchi is a delicious soup dish that is consumed as a starter before the main meal. It is highly nutritious and tasty which is a perfect option for those who have a soft spot for spices. The authentic soup or Bitchi is made with Nakham, a unique kind of fish of Meghalaya that is sun-dried or fire dried. The dried fish is boiled along with some vegetables in water to make thick, and rich soup which is then flavored with chilies and pepper to make it even tastier. Don’t go to commercial places for this particular as the one prepared at small shacks would taste much better.
Hailing from the Khasi community of Meghalaya, Doh-Khlieh is a healthy salad dish prepared by using minced pork, onions, spices, salt, and chilies. Pork plays an important role in Meghalayan cuisine whether it is steamed, boiled, fried, or grilled. Some restaurants dish up this salad with a Mexican touch by adding beans, tomatoes, carrots, and lemons. Very rich in nutrition, it is also sometimes cooked as a curry of pig brains and eaten with bread. If you are in Shillong and exploring the Police Bazar, then don’t miss tasting this salad at Trattoria, a food joint that makes delicious Khasi dishes.
Momos is one of the popular dishes that is found in almost all parts of India, but the best ones are made in Meghalaya. These are small white flour steamed dumplings having vegetable fillings or ground meat fillings. Be it a steamed or fried, you will get it almost at any food stall in the state that too in same big round shape, texture and size. Non-vegetarians can enjoy momos with chicken or pork fillings. Served with spicy chutney, it is one of the must try dishes as part of Meghalaya Tour Packages.
Tungrymbai is a humble everyday delicacy of the Khasi community of Meghalaya. Tungrymbai is a sauteed fermented soybean dish prepared with pork chunks, ginger, garlic, onions, black sesame seeds, spices, and some local herbs. After adding all these ingredients, the mixture is sauteed together until a rich flavor comes out. If you are a vegetarian, you can skip the pork and can add a large amount of soybeans. One can enjoy this dish with a bowl of hot rice.
One of the best vegetarian foods in Meghalaya, Pukhlein is a deep-fried snack made with only two ingredients – powdered rice and jaggery. The mixture of powdered rice and jaggery is deep-fried in the pan until it gets thick golden brown crispy bread. This flavorsome sweet dish is specially made during Wangala Festival. One can enjoy this dish as a perfect evening or post-meal snack with a hot pipping cup of tea or coffee.
Kyat is a unique alcoholic beverage that people from all walks of life enjoy in Meghalaya. This dish is prepared with fermented rice which is boiled along with water and garnished with some local ingredients. Available in almost all the bars and restaurants throughout the state, it has a reputation for livening up even the dullest of parties! Though it is available in almost all parts of the state, Shillong is one of the best places to try this beverage.
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. This sweet dish will make you happy the moment you put it inside your mouth. This nutritious delicacy looks rich and delicious that can be found in almost all local sweet shops in Meghalaya.
Bamboo shoots are young sprouts of the Bamboo plant. They are a popular cooking ingredient in Meghalaya due to their tastiness as well as rich health benefits. Bamboo Shoots recipe is one of the favorite dishes of the people of Meghalaya and you can have it in many styles, but Khasi people love to have it with thin chunks of pork. Firstly, marinate the pork with soy sauce, then fry until it gets a little brown, and add veggies. After some time add bamboo shoots, some sliced onions and spices, and some salt. Cook till the pork and all vegetables are done and release a nice aroma.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.