Food from Northeast, which hardly figured in any food menu in the market before, is today gaining popularity among foodies across the country and beyond owing to its unique taste and flavours and many health benefits.
In places like Delhi, where many people from the region come to pursue their studies or in search of better jobs and livelihood, most people had different negative notion of the food. Often, young people staying in rented houses had to face the displeasure of their landlords or neighbours as they could not tolerate the pungent smell of the food being cooked.
However, owing to the growing demand for the food by those who have experienced the exotic taste and flavours, today, there are several Northeast food joints and outlets in parts of the city, including Haus Khaz, Safdarjung, Munirka and North Campus areas apart from Dilli Haat, INA.
Here are three interesting facts about food from the Northeast India which covers eight states with diverse indigenous tribes, food habits and culture.
Food from the Northeast include organic farm and garden fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs, wild herbs, wild vegetables, nuts and fruits, unpolished rice, whole grain and multigrain flours, while its preparation involves soaking, fermentation, boiling, steaming, roasting, sprouting the grains and minimal use of oil.
The thousands of varieties of food from Northeast are good for the health owing to it mostly being organic, home grown and the methods of preparation and cooking that use less oil and retain maximum nutrients required for the health of the body.
Fermentation, soaking and germination is said to reduce phytate leading to enhanced bio-availability. The fermented food can treat mineral deficiency in a person as they absorb zinc and iron well, according to experts from ICAR.
The organic herbs used in cooking, salads and chutneys have several medicinal properties and are essential ingredients for a healthy body. The herbs can treat several ailments and can even heal broken bones, local people claim.
Red and green tea and several herbal drinks and fruit juice too have antioxidant and anticancer properties and are good for the digestive system and common cold and cough.