Month: March 2021


Recipe | Smoked Pork with Banana Blossom and Bitter Eggplant (Likok)

“Are banana blossoms edible?” Absolutely yes – and they have some noteworthy benefits for your health too. Just look it up. Not only that, they are just as delectable, and a popular ingredient used in various North East Indian recipes. Today, we are making a banana blossom dish with another star ingredient: Smoked pork. An interesting add-on would be the ‘Likok’ aka Bitter Eggplant, which lends a balancing taste note to the overall dish. This non-fussy dish is simple to make but has a unique memorable taste. So let’s start cooking! Smoked Pork with Banana Blossom and Likok Eggplants Ingredients: 1 Kg Smoked pork (chopped into cubes) 1 banana blossom 3-4 potatoes Around 100 gms of whole Eggplant bitter (Likok) 2 medium-sized tomatoes 8-10 Green chilies  Salt to taste Main Ingredient 1: Smoked Pork Main Ingredient 2: Banana Blossoms Getting the Ingredients Ready: Banana blossoms: Remove the outer covers until you get the inner softer white portion. Now holding it vertically with the stalk on top, start slicing into small thin pieces with a sharp …


They Met in Nursing College and Now They Run One of The Cutest Hobby Venture ‘Oi Oi Patio’ – Meet the Founders Oyinang and Chubamenla

One day as I was scrolling through Instagram, I came across these gorgeous macramé handbags from an account called ‘Oi Oi Patio’. Still in awe, I was even more amazed to find out that the creators are based out of Arunachal. Lucky for me, one of my friends knew of them, and I was able to get in touch with them. ‘Oi Oi Patio’ is the brainchild of two friends from North East India – Oyinang Taggu from Arunachal and Chubamenla Aier from Nagaland. The two friends met in nursing college, and are now working full time – and also runs this hobby project together. “With our current 9-4 working schedule, we usually spend 4-5 hours on working days and 7-8 hours on weekends on ‘Oi Oi Patio.’ Phew! I am now even more intrigued to know how they manage it all – and what is the force behind their motivation. Read on to know all the details. Founders of ‘Oi Oi Patio’ (L-R) Oyinang Taggu from Arunachal and Chubamenla Aier from Nagaland Menule: Hi, …

Rootsandleisure_North east India musicians

A Song for Every Mood – Music and Musicians from North East India

  Over the weekend, we had a fun leisure chat with our readers, where we shared our current moods – in exchange for a song. By the end of the session, we had compiled a pretty good playlist of songs performed/written/composed by talented musicians from North East India. Scroll below to check out the list.  p.s: We have our weekly community chats on Instagram. Do visit for some fun. Also, remember to regularly check in on your friends – and ask how they are doing. “Very bad mood due to cramps” ~ @journalofhisdaughter Dedicating this song “Warrior’s Call” by Colored Keys Nagaland. Composed in two Naga dialects (Chakhesang and Angami) with a blend of tribal folk and contemporary western melody, this song is guaranteed to help you relax, and meditate. Breathe.    “Hopeful” ~ @ruchielal Play ‘Korou’ (meaning ‘Sunlight’ in Manipuri) by June Neelu Ft B.Maisnam from Manipur. A song about the beauty of nature… the sunrise, dews, birds, wind, and the mountains, this has been our go-to video for afternoon daydreaming and endless optimism. …

Rootsandleisure-Poets from North East India

World Poetry Day | Poets and Poetry from North East India

On World Poetry Day, we compile our list of local authors from North East India, who have penned their deepest, most personal thoughts through poetry. Showcasing the variety of writers from the region especially seems apt on an international day like this – a day, that is intended to promote linguistic diversity. Vancouver Shullai from Shillong – author of ‘How To Love A Broken Man’ “My poetry is, more often than not, a protest. There are poems that bring in a feel of the Romantics; they’re a lot like tea breaks from resentment. I hold every poem in equal regard because each of them comes from a place of extremely pure inspiration. To put it simply, I don’t force my poetry. If I feel it, I write it. If I don’t, I don’t.” ~ Vancouver Shullai Michelle Rungsung from Manipur – author of ‘Garden in a Graveyard’ “My readers are aware that most of my work revolves around my childhood memories and my home because it was where I began in the first place. I …

rootsandleisure_golden Punjab

Faces | “Capturing This Sunrise in the Wheat Fields of Ludhiana Made Me Believe That India is Still a Golden Bird”

“I took this picture during one of my photo-walks in the outskirts of Ludhiana, Punjab. Just like people wake up in the early hours to do yoga or exercise, my morning ritual often comprises of long walks by myself – and my camera.  This was on my way towards Flahi Sahib, one of the popular Gurdwaras in the area. The sunrise this particular morning had a magical golden view as it rose above the expansive wheat fields. That moment I took this picture, I immediately thought of how India is a Golden Bird even today, to me; and anyone who disagrees might change their mind after seeing this photo. I still remember the hope and pride I felt in my heart as I admired this view that morning…” ~ Harsh Jain, Ludhiana “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.” ~ Frederick Douglass

RootsandLeisure_photographer Ved-Assam

“I May End up Hating Photography If It Becomes My Bread & Butter; I Just Want to Click Photos and Make People Stop, Wonder, and Think.” – Photographer Ved from Assam

I’d like to introduce Ved – a talented photographer and videographer friend of mine from Assam, whose work I’ve been following ever since I’ve met him (and worked with) at a university event in Jorhat back in 2019. A fellow traveler, he is always up for an adventure and a great conversationalist. For anyone meeting him for the first time, it is easy to spot his natural passion and love for his work – and life in general. With his go-getter attitude and an infectious positivity, I really enjoyed this chat with him.  Deno: Hi Ved, welcome to R&L! Please introduce yourself. Ved: I’m Ved, a photographer and videographer based in the quaint little town of Jorhat, Assam. I like to believe that photography runs in my blood because both my grandfathers were very talented photographers and I’ve grown up looking at framed black and white prints of their work. I started dabbling in photography from a young age but I developed the technical know-how much later. I got my first client when I was …

Rootsandleisure_Miss Nagaland_Vikuonuo Sachü

“I Let my Head Work Instead of Letting My Heart Be Troubled” – Tête-à-Tête with Vikuonuo Sachü, Reigning Miss Nagaland

I sat down with reigning Miss Nagaland Vikuonuo Sachü over coffee to talk about the crown and the responsibilities that came along with it, her personal journey from aspiring to become Miss Nagaland to fulfilling her dreams to how she’s shaped it as a platform for empowering the youth.  For someone still in college and so young, she has already accomplished more than most can even begin to imagine. Looking at all the work she has done so far, I am confident that this young friend and role model is on her path to achieve much more.  Deno: Hi Vikuonuo, welcome to R&L! Please introduce yourself. Vikuonuo: Hi everyone, a pleasure to be having this chat. I am Vikuonuo Sachü, reigning Miss Nagaland 2019. I am from Kohima, and currently pursuing a degree along with various social activities. Personally, I would describe myself as both an introvert and an extrovert. I can be very shy at times, but also equally enjoy traveling and meeting new people, and having conversations with them about their lives and perspectives …

Rootsandleisure_river fish with bastenga

Naga Recipe | River Fish with Bastenga (Bamboo Shoot Juice)

Fresh river fish cooked in bastenga (bamboo shoot juice) is a delicacy in Nagaland. Made with minimal ingredients and easy to prepare, it is one of the many popular items often made during picnics and family outings by the riverside. Today’s recipe is made using three ingredients: river fish, bastenga, and lots of green chilies. This can stay in your fridge for days and can be relished as a side dish across many meals. Enjoy! River Fish with Green Chilies and Bastenga Ingredients: 2 Kgs of fresh river fish 10-15 fresh green chilies 1/2 cup bastenga (bamboo shoot juice) 1″ grated local ginger Salt to taste Directions to cook: Wash the fish properly, changing the water multiple times – until it runs clean Chop the green chilies and add them to the fish Pour the bastenga (bamboo shoot juice) Add salt Mix the above ingredients carefully. Now add water such that it covers the whole mix Cover with a lid, and cook for about 25-30 mins (or until the fish is cooked) Remove the lid, …

Rootsandleisure_Nongwarngam Chinir

“Some Poems are as Bright as the Glaring Sun, While Some are as Dark as Our Struggles” – Nongwarngam Chinir from Manipur Talks About his Newly Launched Book “Labyrinth”

“Some poems reflect dreams that are as ambitious as the glaring sun, some will depict the darkness we all struggle to keep at bay; may you find yourself in this Labyrinth” – Nongwarngam Chinir I had the pleasure to share a little warm conversation with this soulful writer Nongwarngam Chinir who recently published his debut book entitled “Labyrinth” – a collection of poems about stories from the eyes of strangers, of love, of courage, of finding the deeper meaning of life, about finding one’s way through this labyrinth called life.  Our young aspiring author introduces himself as an activist, a humanitarian, an old soul but above all just a normal guy who is trying to achieve his dreams in a world filled with chaos. Join me as I take a journey down memory lane with Nong of how this wonderful book was born.  Nongwarngam Chinir – Author of the newly launched book “Labyrinth” Arep: First, congratulations on getting your book published! Please introduce yourself to our readers. N. Chinir: My name is Nongwarngam Chinir, I …