Naga cuisine

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Naga cuisine is the traditional foods of the Naga people in the northeastern region of India and northwestern region of Myanmar. Each ethnic group of the Nagas prepares its own unique style of cuisines. It most notably features rice, meats and leaf vegetables. Meat prepared by the Nagas are often smoked, dried or fermented.


The various ethnic group of Nagas have their own cuisines, but often exchange recipes. A typical Naga meal consists of rice, a meat dish, one or two boiled vegetable dishes including the leaves, and a chutney/pickle (Tathu).

Rice is the main carbohydrate source in the Naga diet and this region produces a number of prized rice varieties, but rice is also imported into the region from other states.

Dried/smoked meat is a very important ingredient in Naga cuisine and has practical significance for sustenance farmers/foragers and hunters. Smoked meat is often kept for an entire year to provide food security for individual families. Nagas tend to prefer boiled edible organic leaves and wild forage which makes up a large part of the diet of many Naga regions.

Naga food tends to be spicy and there are several different varieties of chillies in Nagaland. The most notable being Naga Morich and Bhut jolokia. The ginger used in the Naga cuisine is spicy, aromatic and is different from the common ginger. Garlic and ginger leaves are also used in cooking meat dishes. Sichuan pepper is also a popular spice used by the Nagas.


Galho serving
Smoked pork with akhuni
  • Akhuni (axone), a fermented soybean product often served with smoked pork and beef. It is a Sümi Naga delicacy.
  • Anishi are fermented taro leaves made into patties and then smoked over the fire or sun dried. It is an Ao Naga delicacy.
  • Fermented bamboo shoots, locally known as Bastenga, is made from tender shoot of the Bamboo tree are often served with fish and pork. It is prepared most notably by the Lotha Nagas
  • Galho also known as Zawo, a common Angami/Chakhesang Naga delicacy, is a mix rice dish made from a mixture of rice, vegetables and various meats.[1]
  • Smoked meat produced by keeping the meat above a fire or hanging on the wall of the kitchen for anywhere between 1 day to 2 weeks or longer.
  • Yongjack (Parkia speciosa?) are long treebeans often eaten roasted over coals, and are often traded in bunches.[2]


Alcoholic beverages[edit]

  • Thuthse is a fermented drink made from sticky rice. It is the traditional drink of the Angami and Chakhesang Nagas.
  • Zutho is another fermented drink made from rice. It has a light and dull taste compared to thuthse, which is thicker, stronger and sweeter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Recipe of Galho – Yummy Rice Dish from Nagaland". Roots and Leisure. 30 July 2017. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  2. ^ "7 Special Dishes Of Nagaland That Everyone Needs to Try". NDTV Food. 8 December 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  • Naga recipes from Naga Ethnic Cuisine - A Class of its Own, Naga Women Voluntary Association.

External links[edit]