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Recipe | Learn How to Make The Famous Axone (Fermented Soyabean) From Nagaland

[Originally published on 25th May, 2019]

Axone (pronounced ‘Aakhuni’) is fermented soyabean paste with a very strong pungent smell, and is one of the most popular spices from Nagaland, in the North East of India. It is indigenous of the ‘Sumi’ Naga tribe but is widely used across all Naga dishes. Locals in Nagaland usually buy them from the market, and rarely make them at home. Axone made by the Sumi tribe is most favored obviously. 

Today, we have Inali Jane Ayemi, a passionate cook from Nagaland, to show us the entire process of making Axone at home. The only ingredients we need here are the soyabeans, a pressure cooker, and leaves to wrap them for fermentation. The complete process takes about a week. Let us get started!

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Famous ‘Axone’ from Nagaland – Smoked fermented soyabean paste

Preparing Axone (aakhuni) at home:

  • Wash the soya beans and soak it 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 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 an airtight container in the fridge

Step 1: Wash the soya beans and soak it for about 20-30 mins.Cook it in a pressure cooker, then strain it dry

rootsandleisure_axone_fermentedsoyabean

Making ‘Axone’ at home | TOP – Bottom (Left to Right): Raw Soyabeans, washed, soaked, pressurized and pounded

Step 2: Pound the cooked soyabean into a paste (as shown in photo below)

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Making ‘Axone’ at home | Pound the soyabean until it turns into a paste

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.

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Making ‘Axone’ at home | Wrap the cooked soyabean paste  in a sycamore leaves

Cooked Soyabean paste wrapped in leaves placed over a fireplace in a Naga kitchen as a final step to make ‘Axone’

‘Axone’ is ready to be used! This paste will last for months. You can keep it on top of the fireplace or an airtight container in the fridge.

rootsandleisure_axone_fermentedsoyabean

Making ‘Axone’ at home

This is how 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’

Rootsandleisure_axone

Fermented Soyabean paste | “Axone’ from Nagaland