Northeastern Cuisine Is As Vibrant And Alluring As Its People
Camera: Athar Rather and Shiv Kumar Maurya
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
(This video from The Quint’s archives has been reposted to mark World Food Day on 16 October.)
What comes to your mind when you think of Delhi? Butter Chicken? Chhole Kulche? Chaat?
But what if I told you that Delhi has much more to offer than its butter chicken and chhole bhature?
Welcome to Humayunpur, a small village in the heart of Delhi that’s home to Haryanvis, also the hub for the region’s best northeastern cuisine. So how did these two very different communities come to live together? In the late 2000s, a lot of people from the north east came to study and work in call centres in Delhi. They started living in Mehrauli and Humayunpur since these places were centrally located. And introduced these places to their fashion, cool quotient and FOOD!
Flavours of Mizoram
Mizo Diner has graffitis on the wall done by the owner himself. It has a very nice and cozy ambience, and exudes bonhomie. The menu on offer comprises lip-smacking smoked pork, Saum bowl and bamboo shoot fry – all authentic Mizoram dishes. Northeastern cuisine is heavy on meat. For vegetarians, there’s Bai, a bowl of boiled vegetables – a traditional delicacy.
Taste Of Assam
And why not? Alu Pitika is a traditional Assamese dish made with mashed potatoes and ‘til’ (smoked sesame). It’s part of their daily diet. Rubita Brahma, along with her friend, had started Oh! Assam six months back after quitting their banking jobs. This, they say turned out to be the best decision of their lives.
The main ingredient used in their cuisine is ‘Khar’, made from burnt banana leaves. Non-vegetarian Assamese fare offers duck and pigeon meat in plenty. The Assamese thali here is a must try.
Manipur on a Plate
Ashok and Poirei started ‘The categorical eat pham’ because they missed home-cooked food and thought it would be best if they start cooking themselves! And my God, it was! Located in one of the bylanes of Humayunpur the restaurant is an upbeat, funky Manipuri joint. The Manipuri salad Singju, Eromba – the famous fermented fish chutney and Ooty – the Manipuri dal with crunchy chickpeas, are to die for!
Go witness the food culture of Northeast which is as vibrant and beautiful as its people!