Did you know that Northeast Indian and Southwest Asian (Tibetan, Nepali) cuisines are extremely similar? This might sound simple, but the history behind this is pretty interesting. Plus, we got some great food out of the deal! (hint: momos. Oh yeah.)
A long time ago—we’re talking whole civilizations ago—the barriers separating Nepal, Tibet, and India were all minimal. People in these regions travelled freely across borders, and also migrated through them. The best part: their cuisines traveled with them.
Today, the people in northeast India form a bridge between India and the rest of Asia, with their food.
How cool is that, right?
What Do The Northeast Indians Eat That’s Common To Other Asian Countries?
India’s northeast region is known for its magnificent mountain ranges: think snow-capped peaks and gorgeous hilly landscapes. However, the cold and rather harsh climate makes it difficult to grow all the different types of vegetables we have in the other Indian states. The people there are now used to meat being a bigger part of their diet than the rest of us. Fish, chicken, mutton, pork, duck, beef: you name it.
The sticky rice you find in fancy Japanese sushi restaurants is a mainstay right here in Northeast India too. This type of rice is more common among the tribal regions.
Steaming Hot, Low On Spices
The Asian countries outside India don’t believe in elaborating their food too much. The lesser the oil and masala, the healthier it is to them. So it is with our brothers in the North Eastern states.
Asian Dishes Transformed
Most of us are aware of how Chinese food in India is not exactly Chinese. When Southwest Asians traveled to India, they had to make do with the spices they had here. So they tweaked their dishes. The rest is history: these tweaks caused a culinary revolution in Indian cuisine.
Gyathuk vs Thukpa
This is a popular dish in Sikkim, which has been adapted from a Tibetan dish called Thukpa. Similar to Thukpa, Gyathuk is a noodle soup dish with a lot of vegetables, and (oh yes) meat.
Momos are the answer. We forget the question, because we’re in happy momoland. So good, aren’t they?
These days, almost everyone in India is a fan of momos. Meat (or veggies) stuffed in a thin dough that’s steamed to goodness. Delicious food that’s also healthy?! Bring it on, bhai! This divine dish is a part of Tibetan cuisine. And since Tibet is so close to Nepal and India, the dish literally crossed countries to reach us.
If you head to Ladakh, you can even find momo soups; these are pretty common fare there.
This is another Tibetan dish, popularly prepared during the winters. You will also find it in the streets of Northeast India. Similar to the Thukpa, this is also soup and vegetables and meat, but with a twist: the noodles aren’t really noodles as you know them.
The dough for the noodles is plucked and flattened with the hand, and dropped right into the broth. These unique ‘noodles’ take Thenthuk into the annals of great Indian food you must try.
Get this: the most amazing thing about all of these dishes is that they aren’t too far away from you. With Swiggy, your personal Hunger Savior, you can bring the flavours of Asia right to your own dining table today!
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