Northeast India

The northeastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Tripura are a world apart from the rest of India. The region is connected to the subcontinent by a mere thread of land, and most of the population traces its ancestry back to bordering Bhutan, China, and Myanmar. The kinship comes through in the cuisine. Pork and bamboo feature prominently, and cooks rely on ingredients like black sesame paste and salty fermented foods that speak more of Southeast Asia than the subcontinent. The landscape, too, shapes what is eaten. The Brahmaputra River supplies fish and supports rice paddies, while primeval forests are home to wild game, herbs, and greens. For Indians and non-Indians alike, the cuisine of this place is a delicious discovery.