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Food & Beverages

Exploring the 10 Best Foods of North East India

By Aniket

Updated - May 14, 20246 min read

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The northeastern region of India, comprising eight states, is a treasure trove of diverse cultures, traditions, and cuisines. Each state brings its unique culinary delights to the table, making Northeast India a paradise for food enthusiasts. 


From the flavorful Khar of Assam to the aromatic Iromba of Manipur, each dish from Northeast India tells a story of culture, tradition, and culinary excellence. Whether you're a spice lover or prefer subtle flavors, Northeast India's gastronomic offerings are sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds. So, indulge in these 10 best foods and savor the essence of Northeast India's culinary heritage.


1. Khar (Assam)

Khar, a quintessential dish of Assam, embodies the essence of Assamese cuisine with its unique blend of flavors and cultural significance. As a symbol of Assamese identity, Khar's preparation involves banana ash, raw papaya, pulses, and mustard oil, creating a dish that is not just delicious but also deeply rooted in tradition.


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  • Price: Rs. 100 to Rs. 200
  • Specialty: Khar is not just a dish; it's a cultural identity for the Assamese people. The main ingredient, banana ash, imparts a unique flavor to this dish, which is a delightful blend of raw papaya, pulses, and mustard oil. It's often enjoyed with sticky or plain rice, offering a wholesome and healthy meal.


2. Kumurat Diya Hanhor Mangxo (Assam)

Duck meat enthusiasts in Assam rejoice over Kumurat Diya Hanhor Mangxo, a mouthwatering delicacy that combines the richness of duck meat with the subtle flavors of ash gourd. This dish is a testament to Assam's culinary creativity and love for hearty non-vegetarian fare.


Image Courtesy: Pintrest



  • Price: Rs. 100 to Rs. 150
  • Specialty: This Assamese delicacy features duck meat cooked with ash gourd (kumura), creating a burst of flavors with high mustard oil content and exotic spices like black pepper and crushed cardamom. Perfect for festive occasions, it's a must-try for non-vegetarian food lovers.


3. Pitha (Assam)

Pitha, a beloved snack in Assam, holds a special place in Assamese households, especially during festive seasons like Bihu. Whether enjoyed in its sweet or savory form, Pitha's crispy exterior and flavorful fillings showcase the culinary craftsmanship passed down through generations.



  • Price: Rs. 70 to Rs. 150
  • Specialty: Pitha, a popular snack in Assam, comes in various forms—salty or sweet, deep-fried or steamed. Made with rice powder and stuffed with ingredients like black sesame seeds or coconut and sugar, these treats are a staple during festivals like Bihu, offering a delightful culinary experience.


4. Fish Tenga (Assam)

Fish Tenga, with its tangy notes and fresh fish flavors, encapsulates Assam's love affair with seafood. The use of OuTenga (Elephant Apple) adds a unique sourness to the dish, making it a favorite among those craving a burst of authentic Assamese flavors.


Image Courtesy: herzindagi


  • Price: Rs. 200 to Rs. 300
  • Specialty: Assam's love for fish reflects in dishes like Fish Tenga, a tangy preparation featuring local fishes and OuTenga (Elephant Apple), adding a sour twist to the gravy. Cooked with traditional spices and mustard oil, it pairs perfectly with steaming white rice, showcasing the region's culinary prowess.


5. Sanpiau (Mizoram)

Sanpiau, a popular snack in Mizoram, is a delightful blend of coriander paste, tangy fish sauce, and aromatic spices. Whether relished as a vegetarian treat or with a scrambled egg twist, Sanpiau reflects Mizoram's culinary heritage and love for wholesome ingredients.


Image Courtesy: Outlook


  • Price: Pocket-friendly
  • Specialty: Sanpiau, a popular snack in Mizoram, combines coriander paste, onion, black pepper, and tangy fish sauce, creating a healthy and flavorful dish. Whether vegetarian or with scrambled egg, Sanpiau is a culinary delight that reflects the rich culture of Mizoram.


6. Vawksa Rep (Mizoram)

 Mizoram's Vawksa Rep, a succulent smoked pork dish, embodies the state's passion for flavorful meats and traditional cooking methods. Prepared with local herbs and fresh vegetables, Vawksa Rep is a culinary gem that highlights Mizoram's rich gastronomic traditions.


Image Courtesy: YOUTUBE


  • Price: Rs. 200 to Rs. 300
  • Specialty: Mizoram's Vawksa Rep is a sumptuous smoked pork dish cooked with local herbs, green veggies, and earthy flavors. Soft and flavorful, it's a favorite during festive occasions, showcasing the culinary expertise of Mizoram's households.


7. Smoked Pork (Nagaland)

Naga Smoked Pork is a culinary masterpiece that showcases Nagaland's expertise in smoked meats and indigenous spices. Infused with the fiery Bhoot Jolokia chili, this dish is a testament to Nagaland's love for bold flavors and hearty meals.


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  • Price: Moderate to High
  • Specialty: Naga Smoked Pork stands out with its unique preparation using locally sourced pork slices, fermented ingredients, and the famed Bhoot Jolokia chili. The result is a spicy and aromatic dish that tantalizes the taste buds, making it a must-have for pork enthusiasts.


8. Bamboo Steamed Fish (Nagaland)

Bamboo Steamed Fish from Nagaland offers a delightful fusion of fresh fish flavors and authentic bamboo essence. Cooked inside bamboo utensils, this dish reflects Nagaland's commitment to sustainable cooking practices and unique culinary experiences.


Image Courtesy: PIXstory


  • Price: Rs. 200 to Rs. 400
  • Specialty: This Naga delicacy features fish steamed inside bamboo utensils, infusing it with an authentic bamboo flavor. Combined with red chilies, garlic, and bamboo shoot juice, it's a healthy and flavorsome dish that showcases Nagaland's culinary finesse.


9. Nga Atoiba Thongba (Manipur)

Nga Atoiba Thongba, a traditional fish curry from Manipur, showcases the state's rich culinary heritage and love for aromatic spices. With its tender fish pieces and flavorful gravy, this dish is a must-try for anyone exploring Manipuri cuisine.



  • Price: Affordable
  • Specialty: Nga Atoiba Thongba is a traditional fish curry from Manipur, featuring small pieces of fish, potatoes, bay leaves, and local spices. It's a must-try for non-vegetarian enthusiasts looking for a taste of Manipuri cuisine's rich flavors.


10. Iromba (Manipur)

Iromba, an ethnic dish from Manipur, intrigues food enthusiasts with its pungent aroma and tantalizing flavors. Made with fermented fish, mashed potatoes, and aromatic spices, Iromba is a culinary adventure that captures the essence of Manipur's diverse cuisine.



  • Price: Budget-friendly
  • Specialty: Iromba is an ethnic dish from Manipur made with fermented fish, mashed potatoes, green leaves, and red chilies. Despite its pungent aroma, it offers a mouthwatering taste and is often enjoyed as a side dish or snack, showcasing Manipur's culinary diversity.