Mizo Food

For non vegetarians visiting Mizoram, food can be a big attraction as Mizo cuisine offers mainly non-vegetarian delicacies. It is not as if the people do not eat vegetables, but they prefer to add some meat to each and every dish they prepare. Rice is the staple food of Mizos but it is of a different quality of rice as we know in the north. The main non-vegetarian item is fish and pork. Fish comes from Assam.

Dog meat is considered a delicacy and is priced accordingly.

Due to its location between Bangladesh and Burma, the locals cook with jungle produce—leaves, roots, nuts and mushrooms. This gives their cuisine a unique identity. Locals also grow edible plants in small kitchen gardens, giving a absolutely new meaning to farm-to-table concept. Spices such as cardamom, clove, pepper and cinnamon are almost not known to Mizos so their food is quite bland but their cooking with leaves and roots provides it with a unique earthy flavour. Sa-um (fermented pork fat) is frequently added to vegetable dishes. Locals dry and smoke their meats (pork, chicken, mithun) and vegetable produce (bamboo shoot, yam leaves) to ensure their easy availability regardless of season.

The most common cooking medium is mustard oil. They however do not like oily food so all dishes are cooked with very little oil. Most Mizo delicacies have ingredients like bamboo shoots.

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Chicken and cabbage salad. Very yummy.

Some very well known Mizo dishes are Bai, Vawksa Rep, Misa Mach Poora, Panch Phoron Taarkari, a grilled preparation of shrimps, dal with eggs, Poora Mach and Koat Pitha.

To be honest Mizo food is very different than any type of food in India.

Bai – is made of steamed vegetables with pork, spinach and bamboo shoot, and spiced with local herbs. Mizos prepare it with pork sauce (pork and mustard), but it can be prepared with butter too, to make a vegetarian dish.

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Smoked Beef Stew.
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A typical everyday Mizo meal was cooked by our local friend’s wife. Dal, rice, salad, non veg curries.
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Savage Beer bottled in Meghalaya.

Vawksa Rep – Every North Eastern state prepares pork in a different way but the Mizo prepare it, will blow your mind away with its chilly flavour, local herbs and fresh leafy greens that complement the pork. The pork literally falls off the bones. Smoked pork is used to prepare it.

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Smoked Pork and coriander soup.
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Usia curry.
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Mizo water bottle (made of bamboo).
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Drink made out of herbs.

Koat Pitha – are deep fried fritters with crispy outer and a soft inner made with rice flour and banana but with the addition of fish. Goes very well with Mizo chai, Zu.

Sanpiau – a local street snack made with rice porridge and served with fresh coriander paste, spring onions, crushed black pepper, fish sauce and finely powdered rice.

Misa Mach Poora – is cooked with shrimps, onions, coriander, peppercorns and lime juice.
I really enjoyed Mizo food and would heartily recommend it to all including some fabulous bakery products available in Aizawl such as Beef Burgers and Cakes.

 

If you like Beer try the Savage(German) brewed in Meghalaya.

rdmathur

rdmathur

Retired banker high on life, who loves to travel and share his travel tales.
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