If you are anywhere close to a foodie, you are always in the search for some tasty street food. The comforting taste of the street food is almost always better than a restaurant. Northeast India has an array of options of street food. It is as vibrant as its culture and its people. From lanes packed with carts serving specialty dishes, to rows of eateries, the street foods of Northeast India are a gastronomic treasure.
Manipur is known for its authentic seasonal stews while Meghalaya is more famous for its spicy meat and fish victuals. Nagaland is known for its bamboo and pork fare and Mizoram prefers lightly flavored boiled food rather than the strongly flavored fried kind. The influence of the cuisines like Chinese, Burmese and Thai can commonly be seen in the cuisines of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, while Tripura is famously known for its masalas, a trait it shares with the rest of India. Assamese food has wide range from very spicy to subtly flavored, with rice being the staple food of this cuisine.
Here are some street foods during your North-east India trip:
- Laksa, Assam:
Laksa is a spicy noodle soup originating from Malaysia. This soup is going to stimulate your taste buds. The unique taste of this delicious dish comes from a blend of coconut milk, tamarind, flavored fish paste, and spices. Rice vermicelli is drenched in a steaming bowl, resulting in a hearty meal. There are many versions of this tasty dish sold on the streets of Assamese cities.
- Alu Muri, Meghalaya:
Alu Muri is an undeniably mouth-watering mix of flavors. It is boiled potatoes, puffed rice, papaya skin, oil, roasted spices, and tamarind sauce. This Meghalayan street food variant is the perfect blend for the Indian taste palate. It is somewhat like Kurmura Bhel. A favorite of the locals, one can find this irresistible snack at many alu muri stalls located at every food corner of Shillong.
- Smoked Pork Stir Fry, Nagaland:
This smoked pork stir fry is one of the exotic dishes on this list but Nagaland’s smoked pork stir fry is too delicious to miss out on. Nagaland state has many versions of this smoked pork stir fry but the key ingredient here is the hottest chili in the world, Bhut Jolokia (ghost chili). Fermented yam leaves (anishi) or bamboo shoot act as the enhancers of the taste and bringing out the smokiness that is unique and delicious.
- Kelli Chana, Manipur:
Kelli Chana is a chickpea snack with flavors of different herbs from Manipur. Kelli Chana is served on a lotus leaf with the aroma of the leaf adding to the taste of this delicious dish. Kelli chana is named after an old lady Kelli who used to sell this dish under a tree. This recipe is very popular in the cities of Manipur.
- Thenthuk, Arunachal Pradesh:
Thenthuk is a noodle soup made from meat stock, locally grown vegetables and freshly cooked noodles. It tastes similar and is textured like thukpa (Tibetan noodle soup). While thukpa is made from flat noodles, thenthuk is made from bite-sized pieces of flat noodles. It will keep you warm during the chilly winters of Arunachal Pradesh.
- Sanpiau, Mizoram:
Sanpiau is a very popular Mizo street snack. It is a type of rice porridge that is blended with coriander paste, crushed black pepper, fish sauce, and finely powdered rice, topped sizzled spring onions. It is a freshly spiced dish that has an amazing aroma. For those who have a spicy taste, this Mizo classic is made for you.
- Shapale, Sikkim:
Shapale is similar to a large deep-fried momo. This Tibetan-origin dish is almost like a meat pie with a crunchy exterior and a creamy interior filled with minced chicken/meat, onions, and spices. Shapale is a go-to street food in Sikkim. Give an additional touch of the hot chili sauce to this pie for a truly delicious street food experience.
These were our top North Eastern street food picks for you to try. Give us your suggestions after trying some more during your North-east tour with Tripcultr.