The traditional Manipuri fine dining was a literally ‘sit-down’ affair with banana-leaf plates. Their love for rice can be seen in every household here. Some take rice with meat, and some others prefer a fish delicacy along with the main dish.
The populace is distinctively divided into the hill tribes (Ching-Mee) and the people of the plains (Tam-mee) and both share the produce of the other. The people of the plains depend on the food grains cultivated by the hill tribes and the hill tribes depend on the meats provided by the tribes of the plains.
The dishes eaten by the Manipuri people include among others:
Eromba, a stew of boiled vegetables or potatoes with lots of red chilies and dried fish. This dish is garnished with Maroi and coriander leaves.
Chamthong or Kangshoi
Chamthong or Kangshoi is prepared by boiling seasonal vegetables with coarsely chopped onions, Maroi, ginger, garlic cloves and salt. This dish is topped with Ngari and water. The dish is soupy in nature and is served with rice.
The salad and chutney pastes prepared include Morok Metpa which is a coarse paste prepared with green or dry red chilies. These chilies are boiled with Ngari and mashed with salt.
Kang-ngou or kaang-hou
Kang-ngou or kaang-hou is a dish which is prepared with various vegetables fried dry in oil with traditional spices.
Sana thongba is prepared with paneer in Manipuri style.
A-nganba is a dish which is prepared with steamed vegetables, such as pumpkin, peas, carrots, French beans…
Singju is a salad prepared with finely chopped cabbage, onions, lotus stems, tree beans, coriander, ginger, sinju pan and many seasonal vegetables mixed with Ngari.
Boiled kidney beans are eaten seasoned with red chili flakes, salt, roasted sesame powder and roasted chick peas powder.
Paknam is a fish cake.
Nga-thongba is a fish curry.
A popular sweet here is Kabok, made of rice and molasses.
Yu is the fermented drink common among the ethnic tribes in the State. It is prepared by fermenting rice, millet or Job’s tear and is as smooth as vodka. It needs extra care while processing and the best ones are from those earthenware pots fermented for longer periods.