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Recipe of Machihan | Naga Chutney Made with Bitter Gourd.


Today we are sharing the recipe of a super tasty chutney called ‘Machihan’,  straight from the kitchen of the Lotha tribe in Nagaland. Out of their many contributions to the Naga cuisine, their mouthwatering chutneys are amongst the favorite. Simple ingredients and easy to prepare, Machihan chutney is unmissable with it’s strong distinct flavor (slightly bitter) – coming from a combination of bitter gourd and dried fish. 

Machihan is a Lotha Naga chutney – made with bitter gourd, brinjals and dried fish.


Photo : Machihan Chutney


  • 3 big tomatoes
  • 20 green chillies
  • 2 dried fish
  • 3 local brinjals
  • 2 big karela (bitter gourd)
  • salt to taste

Ingredients (left to right) : Dried fish, Brinjal, Tomatoes, Chillies, Bitter Gourd (karela)

Preparing the Ingredients: 

  1. Wash the dried fish thoroughly in warm water – changing the water 3-4 times. You may remove the head portion, with bones and gills. Do not forget to slit open the gut, and remove the innards, and wash again thoroughly
  2. Cut the tomatoes, chillies ,brinjal and kerala into two parts
  3. Slice the dry fishes into small stripes (1/2″) – cutting across horizontally

Directions to cook:

  1. Put the tomatoes, chillies and stripes of dried fish into a pot, pour about 3-4 cups (standard size) of water and cook these ingredients. Add salt.
  2. Once the water comes to a boil, put the bitter gourd into the pot, and let it cook till the gourd is tender.
  3. Last one to go in is the brinjal, since it will take relatively less time to cook. Now bring it to a boil, till all the ingredients are well cooked. Do not overcook, as it will make the chutney watery and slimy (which we don’t want)
  4. Now grind all the ingredients that is in the pot in a mortal and pastel set; add garlic and grind them along with the other ingredients
  5. Taste, and season with salt as required. Serve it with pork and rice.

Machihan Chutney

Contributed by Petesetuo from Nagaland

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