Sinlung /
24 February 2015

6 Mouth-Watering Recipes From Northeast India

By Soma Das

The award-winning book, The Seven Sisters — Kitchen Tales from the North East, offers ample insight into the culinary traditions of India's north east region. We have picked up some recipes from the book for our readers

Mary's Chicken Soup for the Soul
Serves 4
1 kg chicken, cut into small pieces
2 tbsp slivered ginger
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 green chilli, kept whole (optional)
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
To garnish
A few sprigs of fresh coriander (optional)
Wash the chicken and set aside.
Pour enough water into a pan to cover the chicken and bring to a boil on high heat.

Put in the chicken pieces, ginger, garlic and green chilli.
Add the turmeric powder and salt and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, till the chicken is tender and the soup is slightly thick. 

Add a few fresh coriander sprigs as garnish (optional).
> Serve hot by itself or with steamed rice.

1 large potato, cut into cubes
100 gm cabbage leaves, shredded
100 gm French beans, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces
50 gm oyster mushrooms (optional)
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp mustard oil
50 gm dried prawns or dried fish
3-4 dried red chillies
1 large onion, minced
Salt to taste
To garnish
A few fresh coriander sprigs, chopped
1 small onion, cut into rings
Put the potato, cabbage leaves, French beans and mushrooms in a pan. Pour in just enough water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil on high heat. Continue to boil, till the vegetables are cooked. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside.• Heat 1 tbsp of mustard oil in a small pan and gently fry the dried seafood. Remove from heat and set aside.
Roast the red chillies in a dry tava or griddle on low-moderate heat, till fragrant.
Grind the chillies with the salt to make a fine powder.
Heat 1 tbsp of mustard oil in another pan. Sauté the minced onion on moderate heat, till crisp and brown.
Crush the onion and add it to the chilli-salt mix with a little water. Add this to the vegetables with the fried seafood.
Mix gently and heat through.
Garnish with the coriander sprigs and onion rings.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

Hot Chicken and Mushroom Steamed with Bamboo Shoot

5-6 dried red chillies
1 kg chicken, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp bamboo shoot (fresh or dried)
½ tsp North Eastern or Szechuan pepper, crushed
1 tsp red chilli powder
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp ajinomoto (optional)
250 gm green beans, trimmed (optional), cut into 2” pieces
200 gm mushrooms, sliced
2 bunches bok choy, washed, leaves separated (optional)
Salt to taste
> Boil the red chillies in 1 cup of water in a small pan on high heat, till they are soft. Drain the excess water and crush the boiled chillies in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
> Put the chicken in another pan and pour in just enough water to cover. Boil the chicken on high heat, till tender.
> Add the bamboo shoot, pepper, chilli powder, garlic and the reserved red chilli paste and cook on low heat, till all the Ingredients are well mixed.
> Stir in the salt and add ajinomoto for that extra dash of flavour.
> Next, add the beans, mushrooms and bok choy and cook, till the vegetables are tender, but crisp. Keep adding a little water intermittently so that the mixture is not completely dry.
> The chicken should have a fiery red colour. Serve hot.

Spicy Ginger Chicken

Serves 4-5
1 kg chicken, boned, roughly shredded
1½” piece ginger, roughly chopped
8 green chillies, roughly chopped
Salt to taste
To garnish
1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped (optional)
> Put the shredded chicken in a large wok on low heat. Let the chicken cook in its natural juices. Cover the wok periodically to let enough steam generate so that the chicken is cooked evenly. Stir occasionally.
> Add salt and let the excess water dry out.
> Meanwhile, pound the ginger and green chillies in a mortar and pestle till the ginger fibres separate. The mixture should be somewhat coarse.
> Add the ginger-chilli mix to the chicken and cook for 5 minutes or so.
> Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves (optional).
> Serve hot or cold.

Brenga Chicken steamed in Bamboo

Serves 4-5
1 kg chicken (or 4 small chicks)
2 large onions, finely minced
2” piece ginger, finely shredded
5-6 green chillies (preferably aaba chillies from Meghalaya), minced
1 tbsp mustard oil
1 fresh bamboo tube, about 10” long, 3” in diameter
Wholewheat dough, for sealing
Salt to taste
> Clean the chicken and remove the bones. Cut the flesh into very small pieces and smash with a fork to make a coarse mince.
> Add the onions, ginger and green chillies to the chicken. Mix in the salt.
> Pour the mustard oil all over the mix and knead thoroughly with your hand.
> Stuff the chicken mix into the bamboo tube and seal the opening with the dough. Put the bamboo tube on a gentle wood or coal fire and roast for about 30 minutes.
> Serve hot.

Arsa Beipenek Spicy Chicken Stew from the Hmar Tribe

Serves 4-5
1” piece ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
4 medium-sized onions, finely minced
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 kg chicken, cut into small pieces
10 dried red chillies, kept whole (bird’s eye chilli is used in Mizoram)
4 tbsp mustard oil
3 heaped tbsp wholewheat flour
A few leaves of bahkhawr (wild cilantro/fit-weed), optional
Salt to taste
Mix the ginger, garlic, onions, turmeric powder and salt in a bowl and rub it into the chicken. Mix in the red chillies.
Heat the mustard oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, put in the marinated chicken and fry on moderate heat till brown.
Pour in enough water to cover the chicken and cook, till the chicken is tender.
Next, make a thick paste of wholewheat flour and a little water and stir it into the chicken, ensuring that no lumps are formed.
Add the bakhor leaves (optional) or fresh coriander and cook for a few minutes. 
Serve hot with steamed rice or toasted garlic bread.

Note: You can add a fistful of shredded mustard leaves/ string beans when the stew starts to boilMizoramBakhorBakhor or fit-weed, also known as spirit weed, as the name suggests is used to calm a person’s spirit. Its regular usage is said to counter epileptic fits.


Unknown said...

very useful article, thank you very much and pardon me permission to share the article here admin :


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