Must Try Traditional Food In Arunachal Pradesh

March 30, 2024

One of the hidden gems in India, Arunachal Pradesh is a North Eastern state that’s not talked about much but has plenty of exciting things to offer. From cultural heritage to picturesque views and a lot of adventurous activities to try, the state is one of the best tourist destinations in India. Fortunately, the attractions and its rich culture are not the only things that people visit the state for. 

It has some of the best traditional food recipes that draw all kinds of foodies to its wonderful cities. In Arunachal Pradesh, the food choices and specialties vary from tribe to tribe. For instance, people living near the Tibet region prefer dairy products mostly, while others rely on a plant-based diet. Although the choices differ greatly, the food preferred in Arunachal Pradesh mostly consists of rice and meat-based meals with little spices. You will also notice that people here don’t like fried foods. It’s either boiled or smoked.

Here are top traditional food in Arunachal Pradesh you can try

1. Rice


Rice is usually served as a side dish in Indian cuisine, but in Arunachal Pradesh, it’s a staple food that’s served as a standalone food. You might wonder how one can eat just rice. Well, the recipe for cooking rice is quite different here. The locals cook it in hollow bamboo to add a unique flavour to this simple recipe. 

The bamboo used for cooking rice is also found in only certain parts of North East India, making the recipe even more delicious. If you are craving a lightweight, simple, and low-calorie meal, this unique rice dish in Arunachal Pradesh is your best option. 

2. Pika Pila

The famous food accompaniment, Pika Pila is a kind of pickle made of bamboo shoots, pork fat, and King Chilly. Founded by the Apatani Tribe, this pickle recipe goes well with nearly all main dishes, including dry fish, rice, and curry. Pika Pila has delicious flavours because of the ingredients and King Chilly, but it’s still comparatively less spicy than pickles made in other parts of India. Those craving something spicy and flavourful in Arunachal Pradesh should give Pika Pila a shot. You can have it with plain rice or your favourite dish.

3. Bamboo Shoot

Bamboo Shoot

Used widely in vegetables, pickles, and other recipes, Bamboo shoot is another popular and healthy recipe you should try in Arunachal Pradesh. The best perk of this ingredient is its versatility. You can add them to just about any dish to enhance its taste or you can eat it alone, whatever works for you. Bamboo is used for serving and cooking food in Arunachal Pradesh. For this recipe, the bamboo is shredded and broken into fine pieces. Spices are then added to give it a delicious and savoury taste. 

4. Momo


The food that doesn’t need an introduction, Momos are people’s favourite street food in India. Originating from the Northeast, Momos have become a popular recipe in nearly every state. These dumplings are filled with vegetable stuffing, including carrots, potatoes, and cabbage. 

You could also have their non-vegetarian counterpart, which consists of meat and beef. There’s something special about the steamed dumplings in Arunachal Pradesh that these are everyone’s favourite. The next time you visit the state, do not forget to order a plate of momos with your favourite spicy chutneys.

5. Chura Sabji

Chura Sabji

The traditional main dish of Arunachal Pradesh, Chura Sabji is a curry made of fermented cheese and chilli flakes. The cheese could be yak or cow’s milk, depending on where in the state you are having it. 

King Chilly adds a spicy flavour to the recipe to give it a perfect taste. The Sabji is often served with a plate of plain rice. It’s a little different from Arunachal’s regular cuisines, as Chura Sabji has a dash of King Chilly, which gives it a spicy flavour. So, for those missing their spicy curries and savoury food, you should give this traditional Arunachal recipe a try. 

6. Pehak

Another spicy yet delicious chutney on this list is Pehak. Made of fermented soya bean and red chilly, Pehak is served with rice and as a side dish for the main course. King Chilly is the key ingredient in this dish and that’s what renders it a hot and spicy taste. The tangy and spicy flavours of Pehak work as a perfect combination with plain rice. You can also have it with Lukter, another Arunachal’s special delicacy. You should definitely try it once. 

7. Lukter


Another popular side dish you can have with just about any curry or rice, Lukter is made of dry cooked beef, which you should have during winter. The recipe keeps you warm and cosy throughout the day. The recipe is simple and is just a combination of red chilli flakes and dry meat. You can order Lukter at just about any local restaurant in the state. As mentioned previously, it’s a side dish that goes well with many Arunachal-special delicacies. You can have it with plain rice if you are craving something simple yet a little spicy. 

8. Koat Pitha

Koat Pitha

Arunachal Pradesh is famous for its many delicious food recipes and flavours, but it’s not just the savoury food that attracts the attention of the locals and tourists here. The state is equally popular for serving some of the best sweet dishes that you might not find elsewhere. One of the most delectable desserts that you can end your meal with is Koat Pitha

The sweet combination of jaggery, banana, flour, mustard oil, and water is used to create a batter. These are mixed until a thick consistency is achieved. These are then deep-fried until they turn golden brown. They look similar to donuts, but the mustard oil gives this recipe a unique taste. Try this if you are craving something sweet in Arunachal Pradesh.

9. Smoked Meat

Smoked Meat

Locals in Arunachal Pradesh love smoked meat. The meat could be venison, pork, and beef. The specialty of the smoked meat is that it’s wrapped in banana leaf and is prepared in a traditional style, giving it perfect flavours and an incredible taste. Pepper, ginger garlic paste, salt, and bamboo shoots are added to the meat during cooking. Smoking the meat gives it a distinct taste. It’s surely different from the usual meat recipes. 

What sets the meat in Arunachal apart from other states is the fact that it’s either smoked or boiled, instead of frying. People like it that way here. Moreover, the most common type of meat that’s widely consumed in the state is Mithun, an animal that’s found in the Northeastern region only. If you happen to be in Arunachal Pradesh, do not miss out on this delicious, spicy, and flavourful recipe. 

Bottom Line

Are you ready to indulge in the scrumptious delicacies of Arunachal Pradesh? These were the best Arunachal Pradesh traditional foods you should try right away. As you can see, most dishes here consist of bamboo shoots, king chilly, and meat. Rice is a staple food in the state. Pickles are also a great option if you want something spicy and delicious, but not intolerable. Hope you have a great time exploring this hidden gem in India and the delicious food. 

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