Manipur, the northeastern part of India, has a hilly terrain and mesmerizing views. The state is home to various ethnic groups, cultures and heritage rich in coexistence and living in perfect harmony. Also called the Jewel City of India, Manipur is one of the most beautiful destinations in India, surrounded by exotic landscapes and lush green hills.
With owning a breathtaking view, the state is surely a heaven on earth. The least explored and least stroked, Manipur is a popular tourist destination for nature and adventure lovers alike. Manipur jointly gets to celebrate many occasions and events which reflect its traditions, rich culture and religious practices.
Talking about the food of Manipur, the cuisine of Manipur comprises organic and fresh ingredients with exquisite spices, herbs and minimal oil, which makes them delicious and nutritious. Common ingredients found in the traditional cuisine of Manipur include fish, rice and vegetables. People who love spicy food will love Manipuri food. Let’s take a look:
List of Manipur’s Popular Traditional Food
A famous snack of Manipur, Paaknam is a must-eat during your trip to Manipur. Look like pancakes but in Manipur style. This pancake requires a batter with better consistency, which is made with vegetables, chickpea flour, spices, herbs and fermented fish. Unlike regular pancakes that are cooked in a pan with minimal oil, Paaknam pancakes are wrapped in bananas and then steamed. You can serve it for breakfast or evening snacks with hot tea or coffee.
2. Morok Metpa
Morok Metpa is not a side or primary cuisine but a sauce that is often served with every food of Manipur. The primary ingredients of this chutney are Ngari fish and dried green chillies. This dish is made from a paste using dried green chillies along with Nagari fish and then boiled together. Then, the ingredients are mixed with a little salt and then ready to be served with a meal. When you visit Manipur, don’t forget to eat Morok Metpa.
Chamthong consists of a plethora of vegetables, which are chopped and boiled with local herbs, onions and Indian varieties like ginger and cloves. It is a simple yet healthy vegetable dish that is eaten with rice, a staple fish or a Manipur meal.
4. Alu Kangmet
Potato is a common vegetable used in every part of India and Manipur is no exception. The dish also includes a version of mashed potatoes from Manipur called Alu Kangmet. The recipe is all about boiling and mashing the potatoes and then mixing them with various spices. This is a simple yet delicious dish, made with mustard oil, salt, and lots of spices and herbs. It is truly a nutritious meal and is as easy to make as it is delicious.
5. Nga- Thongba
Naga-thongba is basically a curry-based dish, where fish is the major ingredient. Fish curry is the de facto delicacy of many states of India. Being a common component of Manipuri traditional cuisine, fishes have been used to prepare a variety of dishes. To prepare this dish, the fish is cut into small pieces and then cooked with some herbs and spices. However, the ingredients of naga-thongba may vary but the taste is always delicious.
6. Peruk kangsu
Another traditional dish, apart from fish items, peruk kangsu is purely vegetarian. The main item of this dish is peruk, a healing plant commonly found throughout Manipur. The dish also requires other ingredients, such as boiled potatoes, white peas, and fermented fish sauce. All you have to do is add all the ingredients and serve to eat. It is considered a healthy salad in Manipur.
7. Chak-hao Kheer
Apart from delicious and spicy dishes, Manipur is also popular for its sweets and desserts. One such delicious dessert is Chak-Hao Kheer, which sounds familiar to Kheer. Many states have their variations of this dish. It is usually cooked with sugar, rice, milk, jaggery and dry fruits. Chak-Hao Kheer, the special food of Manipur, is prepared from the same ingredients but is different in appearance as it comes with beautiful purple colour.
Those who are health conscious must try this salad in Manipur. The key ingredients of this Salad are Singju leaves, onion, cabbage, lotus stem, tomato, banana flower, and raw papaya. All to do is to chop these vegetables and then blended them with lightly toasted chickpea flour, powder of perilia seeds, chillies, sesame seeds, and local herbs. That’s it, and Singju is ready to serve. It is so simple to make this dish.
9. Chagem Pomba
Another curry recipe on the list of traditional Manipur food, but it requires fermented soybeans instead of fish. The local people of Manipur call Soyabean, Chagem and Hawajar. This dish is cooked in a large pot with rice and some strong spices until they turn into a liquid.
Manipur is famous for its unique cooking style and local herbs used in its signature recipes.