North India is home to the Seven Sisters – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura. These states are inhabited by different indigenous tribes who have their roots in South East Asia. Because their diet mainly comprises of rice and fish, you’ll find that the seafood recipes from here are typical of their distinctive identity. Here are some to try!

MASUR TENGA, ASSAM

Cooking Time- 30 minutes | Serves – 2

  • Marinate 4 pieces of Rohu fish or Katla with turmeric and salt for around 15 minutes.
  • In a deep pan, heat oil and shallow fry the fish until lightly brown. Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of mustard oil until it fumes and add 1 dry red chilly followed by a spoonful of Panch Phoron (a mix of 1 tbsp each of nigella seeds, black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds.) Once the spices begin to release aroma, add 1 large chopped tomato and 1 tsp of turmeric powder. Sauté and let it simmer until the tomatoes turn pulpy. Then add a squeeze of lemon juice for some acidity.
  • Add 1 small chopped potato and mix well. Put the lid on and let it simmer until the oil separates. When potatoes are soft, add 2 cups of warm water and add fish pieces. Let it boil for 3-4 minutes. Add salt if required and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

MISA MACH POORA, MIZORAM

Cooking Time- 20 minutes | Serves – 2

  • Rub salt and turmeric powder on 3 cups of uncooked, shelled, deveined prawns. Let it marinate.
  • Take half a cup of water in a medium sized pan, add 1 tsp of coriander and 12 peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Then add the shrimp and cook for exactly 2 minutes. Drain the water and add 1 tbsp of mustard oil.
  • Place the shrimps on a greased banana leaf in a shallow, flame proof dish. Spread the banana leaf package over the grill or roast it upon an open charcoal fire.
  • Before serving, pour a few drops of lemon juice on top and serve hot with steamed rice.

BAMBOO STEAMED FISH, NAGALAND

Cooking Time- 15 minutes | Serves – 2

  • Clean 1 whole fresh fish, either Rui or Tapra and cut into uniform slices.
  • Place the fish in a wok or pan with 8 dried red chillies, 5 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of bamboo shoot juice, 500 mls of water and salt to taste.
  • Cook until the water dries up. Leave in the wok/pan with the lid open for it to cool and serve with rice.

IROMBA, Manipur

Cooking Time- 15 minutes | Serves – 2

  • In a pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and 3 red chillies. Fry until the chillies turn dark.
  • Then add a bunch of spring onions and ½ kg of shrimp. Fry until the shrimp is light brown. Leave it aside.
  • Filet a tilapia fish and marinate it with some salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Fry until brown in the same pan.
  • In a bowl, crumble red chillies. Mix with 1 boiled, mashed potato, 250 gms sliced mushrooms, 1 steamed and mashed tomato and a cup of warm water with salt to taste. Serve with rice.

SONGMUNG, Tripura

Cooking Time- 40 minutes | Serves – 2

  • Add 1.5 litres of water in a pan and boil. To this, add 3 tsp of green chilli paste and boil again.
  • Put in 4 big pieces of berma (dried puthi fish) and salt to taste and continue boiling for 7 minutes
  • Now add 750 grams of washed and cut bamboo shoot and cook for 30 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, make a paste of 50 grams of rice flour and water. Simmer on the flame and mix in the paste gradually while stirring simultaneously. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes more.
  • Crush 10 cloves of garlic and add it to the boiling bamboo shoot. Then cover the pot. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and garnish with banta leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice.

POORA MACCH, Arunachal Pradesh

Cooking Time- 40 minutes | Serves – 3

  • Take 4 sol fish and loosen the filets from the backbone but keep the sides attached.
  • Rub the fish with mustard oil on both sides.
  • In a bowl, mix a pinch of mustard seeds, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, a tsp of chilli powder, chopped coriander seeds, ½ tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Marinate the fish pieces in this paste for a couple of hours.
  • Then wrap the fish in a banana leaf and roast over a charcoal fire. Serve with steamed rice.

TUNGTAP, Meghalaya

Cooking Time- 10 minutes | Serves – 1

  • Fry 2 cans of anchovies in a pan until brown and dry. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Mix together ½ finely chopped onion, 1/ tsp chilli powder and ½ tsp green chillies. Pour over the anchovies and stir. As the anchovies are salted, there is no need to add extra salt.
  • Serve with hot rice or mashed potato.

Enjoy cooking and sampling these exotic, flavoursome dishes. We bet you’ll fall in love with them!