India’s diverse culinary landscape has always been a treasure trove for food enthusiasts, with each state offering its unique gastronomic delights.
In recent times, cuisine from the North-Eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh has been gaining prominence across the country, with an increasing number of restaurants and food festivals showcasing the region’s traditional dishes. Arunachal Pradesh is home to a rich culinary heritage. At the heart of its cuisine lies an emphasis on simple, fresh ingredients, with minimal use of spices. Staples like rice, bamboo shoots, and a variety of local greens are combined with meat and fish to create an array of delectable dishes. Among these, dishes like Ngatok, a fish curry prepared with minimal spices, and Lukter, a fiery combination of dry meat and chillies, have begun to make their mark on India’s gastronomic map.
The increased mobility of the younger generation, who are exposed to diverse cuisines during their travels, has also contributed to this surge in interest. However, adapting Arunachalee dishes for a wider audience is challenging. One of the primary concerns is sourcing the unique, indigenous ingredients integral to the cuisine, making it difficult for restaurants to replicate the authentic flavours. To address these challenges, food enthusiasts are exploring innovative solutions, such as substituting hard-to-find ingredients with locally available ones, while still retaining the essence of the dish. Efforts are also being made to establish supply chains for indigenous ingredients, with local farmers and traders from Arunachal Pradesh.
The growing popularity of Arunachalee cuisine is a testament to the increasing openness of Indian palates and the desire to explore the diverse culinary riches that the country has to offer.