food of Arunachal Pradesh

Food of Arunachal Pradesh: A way to someone's heart

Author: Pema Yankee Bhutia
Date: 2020-04-21

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Similar to other northeastern states of India, Arunachal Pradesh’s tradition, culture, and food is one of the main focuses of Indian tourism. Food forms an essential and integral part of the culture of northeast India, and travellers are keen on understanding its uniqueness. The food of Arunachal Pradesh draws a lot of attention owing to its marvelous taste and compelling smell, and dishes vary from tribe to tribe.

The inhabitants on the eastern side of Arunachal Pradesh mainly eat bamboo shoots and other leafy vegetables, which are mostly boiled. Fried food is not very popular as the locals of Arunachal Pradesh either prefer boiled or smoked food. So if you are into healthy eating, you must visit this part of Arunachal Pradesh. If you move towards the town of Tawang and places close to Tibet, you will acknowledge that dairy products are more in business.

Let’s look at some ingredients and dishes that comprise the food of Arunachal Pradesh:

1. Rice

Rice is a staple food in Arunachal Pradesh and is commonly accompanied by fried vegetables, curry, or a soup. Some form of meat curry is included to make the meal more wholesome. What is interesting is the way rice is cooked in Arunachal Pradesh. Washed rice is stuffed into a hollow bamboo, which is then placed over hot coals; this gives the rice a different flavour than the normal method of cooking it in a vessel. And you all should know that this style of cooking needs a special type of bamboo that grows only in some parts of northeast India, which makes this dish very unique. This method of cooking rice is also common in Assam, but the difference lies in the type of bamboo used, which completely alters the taste.

Simple white rice - the staple food of Arunachal Pradesh

2. Bamboo Shoot

Bamboo shoot is a popular food ingredient in Arunachal Pradesh and usually eaten throughout the northeastern states of India because it is commonly grow here. It is boiled and cooked with meat or other vegetables. Bamboo shoot pickle and chutneys are widely famous in Arunachal Pradesh.

Bamboo shoot served with rice

3. Pika Pila

Pika pila is a type of pickle made of bamboo shoot, the key ingredient, and pork fats, with a small addition of king chilly. It is mostly eaten by the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh. It is used as a day to day accompaniment to the main course.

Pika Pila - food of Arunachal Pradesh

4. Lukter

Another favourite food delicacy of Arunachal Pradesh is Lukter. It is a combination of large-size cut and cooked dry meat mixed with chilly flakes and bhut jolokia (ghost pepper). It is mostly used as a side dish and commonly eaten with rice.

One of the delicacies of Arunachal Pradesh - Lukter

5. Pehak

Pehak is also used as a side dish along with cooked rice. It is a type of spicy chutney made by using fermented soya bean and chilly. It is fried along with onion, tomatoes, and chilly to give it a tangy and spicy flavor. This is highly popular in Arunachal Pradesh. 

7. Meat

Meat is the main food delicacy of Arunachal Pradesh. Almost everyone in Arunachal Pradesh eats meat. The meat that is most commonly eaten is “Mithun” (Bos frontails) a member of the cattle family. Other commonly eaten meats in Arunachal Pradesh are beef, chicken, pork, and mutton.