Thursday, April 13, 2017

NAGALAND CUISINE

 Nagaland is a state in Northeast India. Nagaland became the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963It borders the state of Assam to the west, Arunachal Pradesh and part of Assam to the north, Burma to the east and Manipur to the south.The state capital is Kohima, and the largest city is Dimapur.

It has an area of 16,579 square kilometres (6,401 sq mi) with a population of 1,980,602 per the 2011 Census of India, making it one of the smallest states of India. Agriculture is the most important economic activity and the principal crops include rice, corn, millets, pulses, tobacco, oilseeds, sugarcane, potatoes, and fibers. Other significant economic activity includes forestry, tourism, insurance, real estate, and miscellaneous cottage industries.

MAP OF NAGALAND


CLIMATIC CONDITIONS

Nagaland has a largely monsoon climate with high humidity levels.The state enjoys a salubrious climate.Summer is the shortest season in the state that lasts for only a few months.The maximum average temperature recorded in the winter season is 24 °C (75 °F). Strong north-west winds blow across the state during the months of February and March .

CULTURE                                                                                          
The people of Nagaland, the Nagas, are of Tibeto-Burmese origin and are basically tribal people with a rich tradition of self-governance at the village level. They have high cheekbones, almond shaped eyes, sparkling teeth and a bronze skin, which is quite a combination. The population of Nagaland is made up of sixteen tribal groups with their distinctive cultures. Each tribe wears their Clan Motifs in colorful traditional dresses,


MOFITS (TRADITIONAL DRESS)


MORUNG

FLORA AND FAUNA

About one-sixth of Nagaland is covered by tropical and sub-tropical evergreen forests—including palms, bamboo, rattan as well as timber and mahogany forests. Nagaland boasts of its rich flora & fauna. Each of the sanctuary in Nagaland is different than the other in terms of variety and scenic beauty. The Fakim Sanctuary in Nagaland is close to the Myanmar border. The sanctuary lies in the Pungro circle headquarter in Nagaland.

 Hornbill Festival of Nagaland

Hornbill Festival was launched by the Government of Nagaland in December 2000 to encourage inter-tribal interaction and to promote cultural heritage of the state. Organized by the State Tourism Department and Art & Culture Department. Hornbill Festival showcases a mélange of cultural displays under one roof. This festival takes place between 1 to 7 December every year.

INFULENCE ON NAGA CUISINE 
The Naga food has not been influenced much by other cuisines.As hunting is a favorite occupation of people, meat is an indispensable part of the Naga cuisine. The Naga food is the same as it had been for ages, but the people have learnt to use spices in cooking.

COMMON INGREDIENTS
Plain rice, vegetables like potato, and meat are the main ingredients used in the Naga cuisine. Meat could refer to beef, pork, fish, chicken, crabs, frog, snail, spider, insects, and bee larvae. As Naga people are hunters, the meat also includes that of other animals such as dogs, cat, rats, birds, snakes, spiders, monkeys, bear, and even elephant. Animal blood, which is solidified, is cut into pieces and used to prepare curries.

COMMON INGREDIENTS
Apart from meat, bamboo shoots, lettuce, soya beans, mustard leaves, and yam leaves are also used in cooking. These ingredients are fermented and used to make various dishes. The Naga king chilli, for which the Government of Nagaland has obtained GI rights, is widely used to add flavor and spiciness to the dishes. Garlic and ginger are other spices used.

COOKING METHOD
The Naga tribes ferment their food, especially meat, in order to preserve it. The food is fermented by first boiling it and then putting it out in the sun or near the fire with axone - fermented soya beans. The fermented food is then parceled with a banana leaf and stored next to the fire until further use. These are consumed immediately or are sold in the bazaar.When it comes to meat, the entire animal including the skin and intestines are eaten. The food is usually boiled, and the meat and vegetables are cooked together. Lettuce and spinach leaves are also used to cook meat.

EVERYDAY NAGA FOOD
Rice eaten with meat or vegetables is the everyday food of the Naga people. Dal is included along with the meat curries. Dog meat and the meat of wild animals are considered a delicacy. Paanch phoron tarkaari, misa mach poora, bamboo shoot fry, fish rice, and roasted duck are some of the foods made here. TRADITIONAL NAGA FOOD Smoke dried pork curry with akhuni and snails is a traditional Naga food. Akhuni refers to fermented soya beans. Chicken chutney is made with shredded chicken, king chilli, garlic, and green onion.Rice beer is a traditional drink in this region. Zutho, dzutse, and ruhi are other types of drinks consumed here. Koat pitha is a sweet dish made with bananas, rice flour, and jaggery. 

TRADITIONAL NAGA FOOD
TRADITIONAL NAGA FOOD
Smoke dried pork curry with akhuni and snails is a traditional Naga food. Akhuni refers to fermented soya beans. Chicken chutney is made with shredded chicken, king chilli, garlic, and green onion.Rice beer is a traditional drink in this region. Zutho, dzutse, and ruhi are other types of drinks consumed here. Koat pitha is a sweet dish made with bananas, rice flour, and jaggery. 



FOOD AS MEDICINE

The Naga people believe that certain meat can cure diseases. The meat of a stone bird is believed to cure renal diseases. Dog meat is considered to cure pneumonia. Bee larvae, snails, and frogs are believed to heal the skin and bones when injured.A fluid full of earthworms is believed to act as an antidote to snake bite.
 NAGA CUISINE IMPACT’S ON HEALTH
The health benefits of Naga cuisine is not much studied, although the rice, vegetables, and meat can provide the essential carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins to an extent. However, the food is very spicy and hot with the inclusion of the king chilli in most of its dishes.This generates excess heat and can cause stomach problems, such as gastritis and acid reflux. Hot and spicy food can also cause sleeplessness, bad breath, and can damage taste buds.


NAGA VIPER PEPPER



Monday, April 10, 2017




EATING WITH EYES


Eating ,apart from being a basic necessity for everyone, is more of an art nowadays. It’s not just a way to fill the belly and survive, but something far bigger than in every extent. Food has always been of prime importance in every culture and it’s not just the palette but the way it is presented, gives us the basic idea about the ups and downs of the people and where the cuisine stands by the world preference.



‘Eating with Eyes’ is not just an idea, it is a trend which is followed up by the society nowadays. It involves the beautification of food in which the dish is elevated to such a professional level that it gives pleasure to the eyes of the beholder. There is an involvement of garnishes, garnitures, micros, exotic ingredients and all those elements that increase the eye appeal of the dish. Moreover, the portion size is decreasing and the focus is shifting towards the elegantly plated dishes.


Eating is an experience of senses. Whenever a dish arrives, our first reaction would always be according to its look. The way a dish looks, can make us form opinions and views about the taste, flavor and texture of it. While on a buffet too, one would always pick up dishes which have an aesthetic appeal, over others. Lately, there’s been a lot of literature written on clutter; on how a clutter-free home can significantly impact our emotional health, and how an uncluttered kitchen, can help us eat less. In the same way, an aesthetically presented meal is both an instant mood enhancer and a diet controller. You’re less likely to scoff down a beautifully assembled plate than a piled-up mess.That is why there are food stylists for cookbooks and magazines make those dishes look so appealing that you salivate at the very look of them. There are books written exclusively for food styling and presentation.Care for appearance also shows that you have pride in what you’ve made and that you have taken the trouble to try to attract and entice the people you’re making it for.

The presentation of food is so very important that nowadays a whole new range of professions are coming up such as food styling, food styling, food styling, food photography, color schemes and food sculptures Moreover the service is getting modified, where stewards are performing for guests rather than just putting the plate on the table.


The new trends in culinary world, like Molecular gastronomy, is also highly appreciated by guest as it is giving a whole new range of appeal and the boundaries are being pushed every day. .As the guests are always looking for something out of the box and thus all this gives a dramatic appearance and makes the whole experience worth. Thus in the world of food ‘Looks does matter’ and if one knows how to eat with eyes, then sky is the limit.


Monday, April 3, 2017

PIND CUISINE
 Punjab, a state in the Indian union, is situated in North West India. The word Punjab is a compound of two Persian words - Panj meaning “ Five” and Aab meaning “ Water”PIND- which is considered as backward areas of Punjab is unique in its own way as they lead a simple life. It is heavily influenced by agriculture and farming.It seems that every pindiwallah imbibed sufficient culinary lore and kitchen technique to match the chefs elsewhere. Pind cuisine includes dudh, ghee, dahi, shaak, godhum (wheat) and dhaniya. 

PIND CULTURE
Folklore, ballads of love and war, fares and festivals, dancing, music and Punjabi literature are the characteristic expressions of pind’s   cultural life. Old romances such as Heer Ranjha, Sassi Punnun, and Mirza Sahiban have been told in verse many times over. The whole populace joins in religious and seasonal festival such as Dussehra, Diwali, Baisakhi and the anniversary celebrations in the honour of Gurus and Saints.
 

FESTIVALS

BAISAKHI:-the harvest festival of Punjab, falls every year on the 13th of April and marks the beginning of the solar year. It is a joyous occasion, when after a harsh winter and long, arduous hours working in the fields, the rabi harvest finally comes home. And once the harvest has been sold, the farmer has ample money in his pocket and plenty of leisure at hand to blow it, till the next sowing time. The villagers dance lustily to the energetic beats of the dhol. “ Bhangra” and “ Gidda” are performed. 

 LOHRI:-The festival is dedicated to the end of winter season and a harvest festival as well as sugarcane is grown in january. It is traditional to eat GAJAK, SARSON KA SAAG with MAKKI DI ROTI, RADISH, GROUND NUTS AND JAGGERY AND TIL RICE( made by mixing rice , sesame seeds and jaggery) 


MAGHI:-Makar sankranti is frequently known as MAGHI in pind. People visit gurudwara.The festival marks the increase in daylight and celebrated culturally by eating khee.



PIND KITCHENS:- Kitchens of the pind culture are traditionally open and spaced out and are usually situated in secluded areas of the home.Fuel used is most often by the means of cow dung, kerosene or simple stovesFood cooked is simple, yet takes long hours as it is most often based on the concept of slow cooking.



TRADITIONAL KITCHEN IN PIND



EQUIPMENTS AND UTENSILS USED
 

PONI:- The long handle, perforated disc used to lift deep fried items from the kadai. TAWA:-essential for making chapattis. It is a slightly concave iron disc of 8-9 inches in diameter and 1/12th of an inch in thickness.
SEEKHS:-The Seekhs are iron bars pointed at one end, flat on their four sides, rectangular in cross section and their length usually depends on the depth of the tandoor.
 

GRINDING STONE:-The popular method of dry grinding spices in the region is the use of a mortar and pestle whereas for wet grinding a stone slab of about 16 x 12 inches and a small conical stone roller about 6 x 21/2 inches are used for the same purpose.


TANDOOR- The tandoor is one of the most ancient equipment used for cooking. The origins of tandoor can be traced back to Iran, where it was called as “tanoor” and the bread maker was called as “nanva” and probably this is where we got the name “ naan bread”. The tandoor is one of the most widely used equipment in Pind cuisine. Certain villages also have a common tandoor called “ sanjha chullah” or a common cooking stove where womenfolk get their dough and prepare bread for their family. 





Essential Ingredients of Pind Cuisine
Most commonly used ingredients used are:
Badi Elaichi
Tomatoes
Onions
Garlic
Ginger
Ghee
Makhan
Coriander
Green chillies
Jeera
Ajwain


BLEND OF SPICES AND STAPLE DIET
Spices used in pind cuisine are green and black cardamom, ajwain, mace, black peppercorn, jeera, bay leaf, dhaniya powder, etc.Their staple diet consists of paranthas for breakfast, dal and meat preparation with phulka for lunch and dinner.
  

DAIRY PRODUCTS
The people of Pind are very fond of dairy products. They consume it on daily basis.They have Dudh, dahi, ghee, lassi and chitta makhan .They prefer having milk in the evening.Most of the pind desserts are milk based. Example, kheer, sevainyan 
  

EATING HABITS OF THE PIND CULTURE
People in pind always sit together and have their meal. Pinds do not have dining tables as they sit on ‘MANJE’ or ‘CHARPAI’ which are placed in veda’s . As pind people lead a simple life, they prefer Steel Plates rather than fancy crockery.They prefer more of desi ghee in their food as they consider it healthy.




MOST COMMONLY PREPARED  DISHES



RECIPES
MURG MOGE WALA:
Ingredients-
Oil- 20ml
Bay leaves, cardamom- 15g
Chopped onions- 50g
Ginger garlic paste- 15g
Jeera powder- 10g
Turmeric- 10g
Coriander powder- 15g
Pindi masala- 15g
Tomato puree- 100ml
Chicken marinated in turmeric, red chilli powder, salt- 500g
Chopped coriander- 20 g
METHOD:
Marinate the chicken with salt, red chilly powder and turmeric.
Heat oil in a kadhai and add bay leaf and green cardamom when hot
Add onions and sauté till slightly brown
Add ginger garlic paste and sauté
Add the masalas and mix thoroughly
Add tomato puree with a little water for consistency
Add salt as per taste
Add the marinated chicken and let it cook well
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
 
SARSON KA SAAG-

INGREDIENTS-
Ghee- 30g
Chopped ginger- 20 g
Chopped garlic- 15g
Red chilli powder- 15g
Saag- 300g
Bathua leaves- 100g
Salt- as per taste
METHOD-
Boil saag leaves, bathua leaves together and puree.
Heat oil in a kadhai.
Add chopped ginger, chopped garlic and sauté
Add red chilly powder and saute
Add the saag mixture and cook well.
Add salt as per taste
Finish with desi ghee



The Pind cuisine in other words is a simple eating habit followed by the people of Punjab in their local region with local ingredients.People from the Pind are large hearted and find comfort only in rich and nutritional palates made from home grown ingredients.