Recipes from North Eastern states of India were the toughest to find in this alphabetical journey of Indian states. One reason is the there aren’t many on-line sources. Second is because the cuisine is mostly non vegetarian. The third thing is that the vegetables/greens used for cooking in NE are mostly local and not available in the rest of India.
Assam and Manipur recipes were comparatively easier to find. But for Manipur, I checked with my neighbour for a doable lunch menu. Again, what you see here is what was available in my pantry that day.
She suggested a dal kind of gravy- called Uti/Ootti. It can be made with dry yellow peas or with green peas. Most on-line resources show recipes for the dry peas. I too had some with me, which I thought would use up this way.
In South, people usually eat rice with veggies on the side. It’s called palya in Karnataka, thoran in Kerala, porial in Tamil Nadu. So if the veggie used is cabbage, it’s cabbage palya/porial/thoran. If it’s beans, then its beans palya/porial/thoran. The Manipuri side dishes are called Kangho. The one here is potatoes and green peas combination.
The aloo kangmet was quite easy to prepare. Fry red chillies, fry onions and mash it all with cooked potatoes. You are done! It’s slightly spicy, so you need to adjust the chillies accordingly.
Chamfoot is boiled vegetables. It’s like a simple salad. My neighbour told me that sugar can be added if you find the taste too bland.
- Aloo Kangmet : Boiled potatoes mashed with fried red chillies and fried onions.
- Uti (Ootti) : Pressure cook 1 cup dry yellow peas or fresh green peas with sufficient water along with a spoon of oil, 1 or 2 green chillies and a tablespoon of rice. Once its cooked and the pressure is released, boil the cooked mix for a couple of minutes. Add 1/2 tsp cooking soda and boil again, mashing it well. Add salt, taste test and adjust accordingly. Keep aside. For the tadka, saute chopped onions, couple of garlic cloves, 1-2 red chillies. Add a pinch of jeera powder and coriander powder. Add this tadka to the cooked Uti.
- Aloo and Peas Kanghou : Kanghou is the regular side dish. It takes the name of the vegetable used to make it. Like our Kerala thoran or Tamil Nadu porial. If it’s carrot, then it’s carrot thoran or porial. Here it’s potatoes and green peas, because that was all left in my pantry that day!! I have used chilli powder and coriander powder as well in this preparation.
- Chamfoot : Simple boiled vegetable salad. A combination of carrots, beans, bottle gourd, cucumber is used here. A spoon of sugar can be added, for taste (I didn’t).