Holiday Scout posted on 03 June 2017Among the Northeastern states of India, it is Manipur that has the broadest culinary spectrum and the widest variety of dishes. Here spices and oil are used in food preparation with vegetables and fish featuring prominently on restaurant menus and on the table at home.
Manipur has a population of approximately 2.7 million. Of this total, about 40% are Hindus with the Meitei community representing the majority. On a recent visit to Imphal, we were invited to witness the consecration of the new Ramakrishna Temple in Singjamei, a ceremony that culminated in a mouthwatering meal for everyone present – a Meitei Chakluk with 21 vegetarian items!
Served on a large thali plate in bowls made from banana leaves, here are the dishes we got to savor:
(1) Peanuts (2) Nongmangkha mapan, bitter leaves (3) Cabbage (4) Moong dal (5) Chak hao, wild red rice (6) Ooti, yellow peas (7) Iromba, spicy fermented bamboo shoots (8) Watermelon (9) Urad dal (10) Rajma aloo, kidney beans with potato (11) Chana dal (12) Singju, salad with lotus stem (13) Maroi thongba, garlicky chives (14) Eggplant (15) Eggplant with peanuts (16) Imli, tamarind chutney (17) Pakora, veg fritter (18) Paneer cheese (19) Rice Kheer dessert (20) Pumpkin (21) Steamed white rice.
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