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Showcasing Unique Food Cultures of all Eight States of North East India and Beyond

What’s on your plate? Or What is India eating today? No celebration is complete without food, and most of the time food itself becomes a celebration. Before you sit and ponder on what to have for dinner/lunch this weekend, here is an eclectic collection of meals from all over India celebrating the very fact that food does, in fact, bring all of us together – and at the same time, highlights the uniqueness of each culture. 

Let us start with the 8 states of North East India: Arunachal PradeshAssamManipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura – and then continue exploring some handpicked states from all 4 corners of India. Let us start!

TRIPURA: Rice meal with pigeon pea salad mixed with roasted green chili and fermented fish, boiled mustard leaves, chicken with pumpkin curry, boiled eggs, and papad. [Contributed by Hrishikesh Tripura, 22, Agartala Tripura, Student of Human Physiology]

Rootsandleisure_Tripura thali

Tripuri Meal | Contributed by Hrishikesh Tripura

NAGALAND: Rice meal with Pork and bamboo shoot, mixed boiled vegetables, mashed potato & dried fish curry/stew and fresh leafy & [Contributed by Kristi Kikon, Homemaker and Food blogger]

Rootsandleisure_Nagaland thali

Typical Naga Meal | Contributed by Kristi Kikon

MEGHALAYA: Galda Gisi Do’o Pura – A chicken dish made with dried and powdered roselle leaves thickened with pounded rice (often had with rice) [Contributed by Nambie Marak from Rangsa village, West Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya]

Rootsandleisure_Meghalaya thali

Garo (tribe in Meghalaya) Chicken dish Galda Gisi Do’o Pura | Contributed by Nambie Marak

MEGHALAYA:  Nakam Bitchi – Dried fish with loads of green chilies. Side dish/chutney common in a Garo meal [Contributed by Nambie Marak from Rangsa village, West Khasi Hills district, Meghalaya]

Rootsandleisure_Meghalaya thali

Garo (a tribe in Meghalaya) Nakam Bitchi – Dry Fish chutney stew | Contributed by Nambie Marak

MANIPUR: A Manipuri rice meal will commonly have (from Left, clockwise): Eromba chutney, Arhar dal/ Pigeon peas, Stir-fried romano beans, and potatoes, papad. [Contributed by Zoe, sous chef at a Japanese restaurant in Warsaw]

Rootsandleisure_Manipur thali

Manipuri meal items  Contributed by Zoe

BODO ASSAM: Oma Jwng Mwitha (Pork with roselle leaves), an ethnic dish of Bodo tribes from Assam.[Contributed by Pari & Anjan, Guwahati Assam]

Rootsandleisure_Assam thali

Oma Jwng Mwitha (Pork with roselle leaves), an ethnic dish of Bodo tribes from Assam.[Contributed by Pari & Anjan, Guwahati Assam]

ASSAM: A bowl of poita bhat with chopped onions, drops of mustard oil, green chilies and (from the bottom, clockwise) Fried black grams, stir-fried fiddlehead grams, mashed fire-grilled climbing perch fish or Kawoi Maas mashed, Roasted jackfruit seeds mashed with “khorisa ” or fermented bamboo shoot.[Contributed by Dr. Geeta Outta, Guwahati Assam]

Rootsandleisure_Assam thali

Assamese meal thali contributed by Dr. Geeta Dutta

MIZORAM: A common meal consists of rice with (top L, clockwise) mixed vegetable stew, smoked pork flavored with roselle leaves, Chutney (Petai/yongchak, wild mushrooms and pigeon peas with fermented pork lard), One fried item (here it’s a mix of climbing wattle and black cardamom with chilies), boiled vegetables (glory bower, mezenga leaves and climbing wattle), One raw spice (here it’s fried dry birdseye chili). [Contributed by Zothanpuii, Social Investigator in Cancer Registry Dept, Aizawl]

Rootsandleisure_Mizoram thali

Common Mizo meal items contributed by Zothanpuii

ARUNACHAL PRADESH: A popular local meal consists of Ogyie (saag and broken rice), erek adin with bamboo shoot (pork), bayam (mashed eggplant with onions). [Contributed by Marie Riba, criminal lawyer, Arunachal]

Rootsandleisure_Arunachal thali

Arunachali meal contributed by Marie Riba

SIKKIM: Meals generally consist of rice, seaweed, local mushroom dish, churpi jhol (stew) and homemade lemon pickle [Contributed by Sonam Nangpa, Govt servant, Sikkim]

Rootsandleisure_Sikkim thali

Sikimise meal contributed by Sonam Nangpa, Sikkim

WEST BENGAL: Gondhoraj Moti Pulao, Til & badam bata diye Chingri makha (sesame and cashew prawns in semi-dry gravy),  cardamom curry pata chicken [Contributed by Arijit Dey, Fashion Designer, Kolkatta]


Mom’s special pulao with chicken | Bengali meal contributed by Arijit Dey

TAMIL NADU: (from bottom, clockwise) Medu Vadai, valakai podimas, Pudalangai poriyal( snake gourd stir fry), vendakai fry( Okra Fry), Buttermilk with onion, coriander ginger, Murungakai sambar(Drumstick sambar), Milagu Rasam(Pepper Rasam),semiya paal payasam(vermicelli kheer), appalam( papad), White Rice, Maavadu ( Mango pickle) [Contributed by Pavithra Dharmaraj, preschool teacher, Tamil Nadu]

Rootsandleisure_Tamil Nadu

A Tamil thali contributed by Pavithra Dharmaraj

GUJARAT: (Anti-clockwise from top) – Amrakand, Rasawala bateta nu shaak, fangevalu mag, Methi Kadhi, Bhaat, Chaas, Limbu, Achar, Patra, Sing Chutney, Bhoondi Laddoo, Puri, sing chutney [Contributed by Purvi Dave, Engineer & Food blogger]


Rootsandleisure_Gujarati thali

Gujarati Thali contributed by Purvi Dave

PUNJAB: A Punjabi meal spread consisting of samosa, chole, paratha, raita, paneer masala, jeera rice and sweets.[Contributed by Purvi Dave, Engineer & Food blogger]


Punjabi meal spread contributed by Purvi Dave

ODISHA: Rice, daal, banana flower fry, badii, potato spinegourd fry [Contributed by Pragnya Priyadarshini]

rootsandleisure_odisha thali

Odisha meal contributed by Pragnya Priyadarshini

KERALA: Rice with fish Fry, Cabbage Thoran, Cheera Thoran, Chammanthi, Dried Bitter Gourd fry, Carrot Thoran, Olan, Angamali Mango Curry. [Contributed by Chinkie Joe, business consultant]

Rootsandleisure_Kerala thali

A Kerala meal contributed by Chinkie Joe


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