Nirmala March 1, 2021

1. Saag :

The first course is then followed by saag (leafy vegetables) such as spinach, palong chard, methi fenugreek, or amaranth. The saag can be steamed or cooked in oil with other vegetables such as begun (aubergine). Steamed saag is sometimes accompanied by a sharp paste of mustard and raw mango pulp called Kashundi.

2. Tehari and Biriani :

Biriani is one of the oldest foods existing within these regions, and has its own food culture that is deeply steeped in history. The rice dish is found all over India and other parts of Asia, and is made slightly differently depending on the location. In Bangladesh, it is often made with mutton or beef, whereas in West Bengal you will find it with potatoes, egg, dal, fish or vegetables, and sometimes chicken. Tehari is a variant of biriani found most commonly in Bangladesh, and is most commonly cooked with beef, onions, cardamom, cloves and bay leaves, creating a very aromatic flavour. To taste some of the best biriani, you must travel to the city of Dhaka and take a rickshaw to Hazir Biriani, which is celebrated throughout the city for its amazing take on this age old dish. Existing for over 70 years and across two generations, you may have to queue for some time but it is well worth the wait.

3. Bhapa :

Fish or vegetables steamed with spices.

4. Bitter Melon :

Being a huge fan of bitter melon, I was happy to see a big bowl of it for one of our meals in Nagaland. They were the little Indian bitter melons. I think they were just boiled, as they were quite shriveled up with little flavor other than their bitterness, but the chili sauce again is what made them so delightful.

5. Achar :

Pickles. Generally flavoured with mustard oil, mustard seeds, aniseed, caraway seed and asafoetida, or hing.