[First published on 25th May, 2019]
Axone (pronounced ‘Aakhuni’) is a fermented soybean paste with a very strong pungent smell, and it is one of the most popular spices from Nagaland, in the North East of India. It is indigenous to the ‘Sumi’ Naga tribe but is widely used across all Naga dishes. While locals in Nagaland usually buy it from the market, it is also made at home. Axone made by the Sumi tribe is most favored, obviously.
Today, we have Inali Jane Ayemi, a passionate cook from Nagaland, to guide us through the entire process of making Axone at home. All we need are soybeans, a pressure cooker, and leaves to wrap them for fermentation. The complete process takes about a week. Let’s get started!
Preparing Axone (aakhuni) at home:
- Wash the soya beans and soak them for about 20-30 mins
- Cook it in a pressure cooker, then strain it dry
- Then pound the soyabean to make it into a paste (as shown in the photo)
- Wrap portions of the pounded soyabean paste in leaves (sycamore leaves) and place it over a fireplace for 2 nights. You can also sundry for about 3-4 days.
- This paste will last for months. You can keep it on top of the fireplace or in an airtight container in the fridge
Step 1: Wash the soya beans and soak them for about 20-30 mins. Cook it in a pressure cooker, then strain it dry
Step 2: Pound the cooked soyabean into a paste (as shown in the photo below)
Step 3: Wrap portions of the pounded soyabean paste in leaves (sycamore leaves) and place it over a fireplace for 2 nights. You can also sundry for about 3-4 days.
Cooked Soyabean paste wrapped in leaves placed over a fireplace in a Naga kitchen as a final step to make ‘Axone’
Your homemade ‘Axone’ paste is now ready to be used in a variety of dishes. The paste can be stored for months either by keeping it on top of the fireplace or storing it in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy adding the unique and pungent flavor of ‘Axone’ to your favorite Naga dishes!
This is what the ‘Axone’ looks like. But you should smell it to get a real sense of why this is the most popular spice in Nagaland. Here are some popular local recipes with ‘axone’
- Recipe | Learn How to Make The Famous Axone (Fermented Soyabean) From Nagaland - June 18, 2020
- A Chat With 19-Year-Old Keyicudauke Iranggau aka Keyi Zeliang, Passionate Singer From Nagaland - July 15, 2019
- Recipe of Mizoram’s Favourite Dish ‘Bai’ – Made With The Stalks Of Cauliflower | by Priya Iyer - July 13, 2019