Meghalaya Cuisine

When one has to mention or discuss the various delectable cuisines of India, one would get exhausted by the exhaustive never-ending list. Indians are known for their spicy food and Meghalaya state is no exception to this rule when it comes to spicy food and its simple delicacies alike. One cannot get enough of the of various traditional cuisines and relishes that have been savoured when one visits this abode of clouds.

Each state has its own distinct spread of dishes, which people enjoy having on a daily basis. Adding to the cuisines of Meghalaya, amidst the peace and tranquility that envelopes this region, and folklore and ancient stories replete with the historic nuances of Meghalaya narrated by the locals will make you fall in love with his place even more.

Meghalaya also doesn’t fail to boast and impress its tourists with the culinary tradition which is an adventure in itself. While visiting the various tourist and off-beat destinations in Meghalaya, one cannot miss the variety of delicacies that the state offers, which will make you want to savour them all, even more.

The people there don't shy away from cooking daring dishes that once tasted, you will ask for more. Since rice and meat are considered as the staple food of the region, every dish seems to be incomplete with either of their traditional ingredients missing. Most of the locals of Meghalaya like to relish their rice with fish, mutton, duck meat, pork and buff cooked using their own mix of spices. There is no overthinking that one has to be subjected to. Hence, trying out the delicacies and cuisines of Meghalaya is an adventure and you might end up either liking them or not. Even so, a foodie won’t have to think twice while trying out the region’s unique cuisines and won’t ever regret it either.

One of those simple yet delectable dishes in Meghalaya is called ‘Jadoh’ which is rich and unique in its colour. This rice is one of the most popular dishes amongst the Khasi people and is considered to be a gourmet dish cooked only during occasions. It is basically a bowl of rice cooked with a generous amount of either pork, chicken, or fish as per the individual choice of the person. It is a perfect dish for meat lovers. People who love to try different and adventurous food can substitute pork meat with pork blood and give it a try. It is one of the most popular dishes of Khasis and Jaintia and a must-have with Ki Kpu, Tungrymbai, and pickled bamboo shoot.

The pickled bamboo shoots have a perfect fusion of sweetness and sourness. It is one of the special side dishes in Meghalaya cuisine and is prepared by using soya sauce, mustard seeds, garlic, and thick chunks of dried bamboo shoot. It can be styled in many ways and the people there don’t hesitate until they are satisfied with their creation.

A trip to Meghalaya is no less than an adventure in itself and mixing the journey with its cuisine is the perfect combination. ‘Doh-Khlieh’ is a wholesome dish that is tasty and healthy at the same time. It is a delicious salad made of minced pork, ginger, onions, and chillies. One can also give it a Mexican touch by adding beans, tomatoes, carrots, and lemons. If one is on the daring mood for a food-eating fest, they can also try this dish with pork brain curry.

Every single person in this planet is somewhat a food lover unless the person does not have an appetite for anything whatsoever. And to be able to savour the mouth-watering dishes, and relish every single drop of flavor, it is always good to use to palate cleanser to enhance the experience of taste of the dish. ‘Nakham Bitchi’ is perfect food cooked in the beautiful state of Meghalaya. It is a thick soup that is made with a lot of chillies, making it super spicy and tangy. The broth of this dish is made of special dry fish, which are first fried and then boiled in water. It is usually served before meals. Imagine one having a hot bowl of this soup in the cold winters while enjoying the peaceful view and scenic beauty of this place from your window. Amazing, right!

One another famous dish is 'Pumaloi' which means powdered rice. It is one of the favorite dishes of the people of Meghalaya and can be said to be similar to idli. This powdered rice is steamed and cooked in a unique pot called ‘Khiew Ranei’. This platter is usually served during the festive seasons and public celebrations, making it a perfect dish to enjoy along with the festivities. In fact, most people also enjoy this dish with a hot cup of tea during cold winter evenings.

Every place has its very own unique dish that is rich in every aspect. ‘Doh-Neiong’ is considered being one of the richest dishes in Meghalaya. It is a pork curry that is made of thick black sesame seed gravy. When eaten, there is a blast of flavors in your mouth. The gravy has the taste of green chilies, pepper, red onions, and local spices. The show-stopper in this item is the black sesame, which gives it a distinct flavor.

These days, momos have become one of the trendiest dishes to exist - it’s almost like a universal dish that can be found in every corner of the globe. It is considered to be a delicacy of the Tibetans which was further embraced by the Nepalese. Since lots of people in Meghalaya have migrated from that region, they have also adapted a few of their inherent delicacies; momos being one of them. While trying different cuisines, one always craves to savour some authentic food. So, Meghalaya is one of those places in India where you will get to taste the best dumplings which is pretty close in taste and texture to the original Tibetan dumplings.

Even though the people of Meghalaya enjoy their spices; however, they also love the sweetness in their food. One of those dishes is ‘Sakin Gata’ which is a sticky white rice cake with a generous amount of sugar added in it. It is considered to be one of the simplest, home-made, wholesome delicacies that people enjoy having from time to time.

No dish is complete without the sweets. Shir Sewain is known to a very heavy sweet dish in the state of Meghalaya. It is made from milk and khoya and one cannot help but love the soft texture it releases in the mouth.

Drinks are also considered to be the lifeline of any party, occasion or celebration in Megahlaya. If not there, then avoidance can be sensitive. The people of Meghalaya enjoy having ‘Kyat’ which is nothing, but a fermented rice beer. There is no bar or restaurants or houses in Meghalaya that won’t have Kyat stored. This drink symbolizes the hospitality of this state and when offered a drink of it, one can take a sip of it as courtesy.

It is very interesting that, once you taste the rich delicacies of Meghalaya, it is will surpass all your expectations. The traditional nuances in their food makes every dish authentic. It grounds you closer to your roots. It makes you appreciate smaller things in life. Even though you might visit this mountainous region for vacation, the food mixed with warmth and hospitality of the locals and their beautiful environment will make you feel at home, almost instantly. It is also said that most who visit Meghalaya never want to leave ever. There are evident examples of people who have visited Meghalaya and settled there for good.