Food always stays at the top of the mind of travelers. It is hard to explore the traditional and culture of a place without tasting the local cuisine. The trouble is, in most countries the cost of food drains a hefty portion of the budget. That is why travelers who travel on a shoestring budget always try to cook their food themselves.
However, while planning a trip to northeast India, you don’t have to worry about any of that. The exotic dishes of these states are tasty as well as cheap. Explore the dishes that the street side shops cater to get a glimpse of the eating habit of the locals while tasting delicious dishes.
The best thing about these street-side dishes of northeast India is that they are all made with fresh and locally available ingredients, following the recipes that are treasured over generations. So, if you are traveling to the North Eastern States of India and want to eat cheap local dishes, check out our list.
Masor Tenga: An Assamese Delicacy
The word tenga literally means sour in Assamese, and the fish curry is true to its name. It is generally cooked with the souring ingredients like dried mangosteen, tomatoes, raw mango, lemon and elephant apple. While this description might scare you, masor tenga is a lightly spiced fish curry with a tangy kick that anyone can enjoy greatly with rice during dinner or lunch.
Traditionally a summer dish, masor tenga is believed to boost digestion after a heavy meal. The different tempering ingredients can give this dish very different taste and can offer a refreshing yet filling variety to the demanding food lovers across the world.
Thukpa: The Taste of Arunachal Pradesh
Thukpa is originally a Tibetan dish. However, the dish has traveled far and beyond with the Tibetan people and now has become one of the signature dishes of Arunachal Pradesh. This dish is cooked with fresh vegetables that grow in the hilly region along with meat and flat noodles.
Thenthuk is another variation of this dish that you can try while you travel in Arunachal Pradesh. The only difference between Thukpa and Thenthuk is that the latter is cooked with hand-pulled noodles instead of the fat ones. This is an amazing dish that will warm your heart even in the middle of the freezing winter.
Kelli Chana: Manipuri Spicy Peas
Kelli Chana is a popular street food that you can find in the North Eastern States of India. The dish is prepared with chickpeas and different spices and herbs. The dish is generally served on a lotus leaf which offers a fresh and unique touch to the dish.
Kappa: A Tourist Favorite of Meghalaya
You cannot miss locals as well as the travelers enjoying a fresh bowl of Kappa on the roads and alleys of Shillong. The soupy snack is perfect for the dewy weather of Meghalaya. The fresh taste of the soup generates from the fresh garden spices that are added to it.
Aloo Muri: Local Delicacy of Meghalaya
This is yet another tasty local dish that you can enjoy in Meghalaya. This dish is made with puffed rice mixed with papaya skin and boiled potatoes. A pinch of oil, tamarind chutney and roasted spices gives this dish a heavenly taste. This is an extremely cheap appetizer that is loved by the locals and travelers alike in Meghalaya.
Kinalas and Smoked Pork Stir Fry: Scrumptious Naga Dishes
Kinala is a noodle dish that is created with pork head and served with brown sauce toppings. The sauce offers the soup an excellent flavor that the locals as well as travelers love. Smoked pork stir fry is yet another dish that you can taste while traveling in Nagaland. Both these dishes are cooked with world-famous chillies Bhut Jolokia and Raja Mirchi. These dishes also contain bamboo shoots that impart an intense smoky taste.
Momos: A Famous North East Dish
It would be hard for you to explore the northeastern states of India tasting momos. Over the years, this dish has gained immense popularity across the nation and can find almost everywhere. However, the taste of the momos of northeast India is different than everything that you have tasted as of today. You can try different varieties of momos that come with cheese, meat, vegetables, and tofu fillings. You can taste all the dishes and still can’t have enough of them.
Fresh Fruit: Heavenly Natural Snacks
You will miss big time if you don’t taste the fresh fruits that locals sell by the side of the road. Along with its different culture, Northeast also comes bearing the gift of exceptional fruits. Sophie is one of such rare and great tasting fruits that indicates the arrival of spring. The travelers can enjoy this juicy and crunchy fruit during the summer months. Apart from its great taste, Sophie is also known for its medicinal values.
Sohiong is another unique fruit of Northeast India that you should try. These unique blackberries taste sweet with a slightly acidic touch. Black mulberry is an extremely rare fruit that you can find in abundance only in Northeast India.
You must taste Soh-Shang or wild olive if you are traveling to the northeastern states of India around spring. The wildly tasty fruit is rich in magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin C. This fruit is good for your health as well as your taste buds.
Indulge in heavenly tastes of the Khasi mandarins, litchi, pineapples, or apricots while traveling, or take a bite or two of the fresh apples that grow locally. If you are exploring the states during the season of these fruits, you can buy them at a throwaway price and take your fill.
With content belly, your journey to the nooks and corners of northeast India will be more fulfilling. Satiate your hunger and satisfy your tastebuds with these cheap yet traditional dishes and fruits of Northeast India and forget your worries over your food budget.