-By Kupatia Keishing
Any dish made out of pork is a favourite of many in the Northeast region. It is easy to cook and goes well with all kinds of flavours and ingredients. Every state in Northeast India has its special and unique ways of cooking pork. For those who consume pork, whichever way you cook it, it is always delicious. The rich and authentic cuisines from the seven states in Northeast India comes with varieties of delightful pork dishes and snacks. Here are some amazing pork dishes from different NE states:
Manipur has its special flavorful preparation of pork in various forms, including the red and spicy “Raphei style” or “Hao style” in which the pork is cooked simply with organic chilly powder from Sirarakhong village, ginger and garlic. This mouthwatering dish is one of the most popular pork dishes in the state. The Hao Pork taste even better when it is cooked in a locally made black earthen pot on firewood, the indigenous way. It gives a distinct taste.
Nagaland is famous worldwide for its unique way of cooking pork with bamboo shoots and fermented soya beans and other traditional ingredients, similar to the style of cooking pork in Manipur – “Oaksha and Shoibum” and “Oaksha and Hawaijar”. The preparation is simple, yet the dishes are delicious and delightful.
Arunachal has a different and ethnic style of cooking pork where the meat is smoked and cooked with fresh green veggies which give a very healthy taste and texture. This healthy dish is known as “Arik Soding”.
Mizoram’s most popular authentic pork curry is known as “Bhuchiar” also known as “Sawhchiar”, which is a meat rice porridge. It is often cooked with smoked pork. They also have healthy stew in which the pork is cooked with seasonal leaves, like mustard leaves/squash leaves (Chayote).
‘Wak Kappa’ is a popular dish of the Garo tribes of Meghalaya. Pork is cooked with “Sodium bi-Carbonate”(Soda) and green vegetables specially beans, mustard leaves, green chilies and pounded rice. The Khasis and the Jaintias also have their special and unique style of preparing pork dishes.
Coming down to Assam, the Assamese people are well known for their spicy and delectable taste, which includes ‘Lai Xaak’ (Pork cooked with mustard leaves). Which is very common in most of the states of Northeast. “Sinpho pork” curry cooked with dried organic herbs and basil leaves, is mostly cooked in weddings, big ceremonies, etc. And a very special Karbi pork cooking style, which the pork is cooked with til or perilla seeds (Thoiding).
Tripura also has its distinct pork dish called “Pork Bharta” which is like pork chatni, in which the pork is boiled till it is tender, with salt. And it is then chopped into thin perfect slices and is cooked in thin slices of onions, chilies, pounded garlic, grated ginger and is finally mixed well with salt. The Tripuris mostly serve the dish to special guest.
Most of the traditional pork curries of Northeast is simple and it taste the best and some favorite includes pork with Kolar beans, pork with mustard leaves.
Pig farming in Northeast It may be noted that pigs in Northeast India are well looked after in farms and their food are taken good care of. It is a common practice among the locals that cooked foods are fed to the pigs for its fast and healthy growth. The food fed to the pigs includes rice husk, cooked straws, seasonal fruits and clean food waste. Also in some areas, pigs are fed with the rice remains of local rice beer. Proper medication and maintenance of Pig cote are maintained to prevent from diseases and other circumstances, unlike other states. They are also bathe regularly for their healthy growth. Many households in NE states are dependent on pig farming for their livelihood.