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7 Signature Street Foods of Northeast India that Will Set You Drooling Right Away

Mary Jane
Contributor, Bordoisila

7th August, 2016

I think experiencing the street food is one of the most effective ways to understand a local population. Eating out in the streets with the aam janta gives you a more engaging experience of the life there. Therefore keeping the foodie explorer inside you in mind, I present to you the 7 signature dishes from around Northeast India.  Have a mouth-watering read.

1.Laksa of Assam

Laksa defines the very identity of the bona fide Axomiya culinary. The main ingredients of the soup are rice noodles with chicken, prawn or fish dunked in hot coconut milk which makes it an explicitly drooling affair for every foodie. The soup is exclusive to the streets of Assam and the only other countries where a similar kind of soup is available are Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

2.Thukpa of Arunachal Pradesh

Thupka actually originated from Tibet. The noodle soup then made its way to the streets of Arunachal Pradesh and is now a hot favourite among the locals. Prepared with meat or simply mixed vegetable dish, the tasty soup is available in four different varieties. Over the recent years, thupka has become increasingly popular all over Northeast India.

3.Kelli Chana of Manipur

Kelli Chana supposedly got its name from an old lady Kelli who used to sell the chana snack under a tree. The recipe became so popular that folks from all over the state pouring in for Kelli Chana. Interestingly, she never disclosed the recipe and apparently took it to her grave. However, Kelli Chana is a popular street food in Manipur now and is available everywhere. It is prepared from spicy yellow peas and traditionally served on a lotus leaf. It’s full of energy and keeps the tummy full for a few hours.

4.Kappa of Meghalaya

Prepared from chicken entrails with cooking soda, the fresh garden spices is what gives this recipe its distinct taste. As the snack perfectly complements the dewy climate of Meghalaya, tourists are always found looking for Kappa around the back alleys of Shillong.

5.Arsa Buhchiar of Mizoram

Arsa Buhchiar is a combination of rice and chicken dish that is usually served with local herbs. The exotic herbs give the combination of rice with meat its unique flavour. Among the visitors, this great food item is popular as chicken pudding and a ‘must have’ during every visit to this wonderful state.

6.Kinalas of Nagaland

Basically a noodle dish, Kinalas is Nagaland's very own street food. Made from either beef or pork head, the soup is the tastiest due to the brown sauce topping. The first slurping of the soup could get the most satisfied grunts from those on a visit to Nagaland.


Pork is a common food of tribals in Tripura, and they usually prepare it in two varieties. The first type is the pork curry and the other type is ‘pork bharta’. Small pieces of peeled onion, ginger, roasted chilli, flavored plant leaves and salt are added to boiled pork making the item as yummy as it sounds.

They say people are what they eat. Therefore, the next time you are on a visit to the Seven Sisters, make it a point to try the street food and connect to the people better.


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