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Recipe of Machihan | Naga Chutney Made with Bitter Gourd.

Today, we have a chutney recipe straight from the kitchen of the Lotha tribe in Nagaland. Our Naga friends have already guessed it – yes, it’s the famous ‘Machihan’ chutney, famously prepared by our Lotha friends.

Machihan chutney is made with simple ingredients and is pretty straightforward to make. Its distinctive flavor, with a hint of bitterness, comes from the unique combination of bitter gourd and dried fish. This chutney has the power to transform any simple meal into an unforgettable one. So, grab your bitter gourds, brinjals, dried fish, and king chilies, and let’s get started!

Machihan, a popular chutney prepared by the Lotha tribes in Nagaland has a strong appetizing flavor through a harmonious blend of bitter gourd, brinjals, and dried fish.


Photo: Machihan Chutney, Nagaland

  • 3 big tomatoes
  • 20 green chilies
  • 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:ย 
  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, remove the innards, and wash again thoroughly
  2. Cut the tomatoes, chilies, brinjal, and bitter gourd into two parts
  3. Slice the dry fish into small stripes (1/2″) – cutting across horizontally
Directions to make:
  1. Put the tomatoes, chilies, 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. The 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 are 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.

Spicy Machihan Chutney is ready to transform your meal!


Machihan Chutney Contributed by Petesetuo from Nagaland

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