5 North East Indian Smoked Meat Dishes You Should Try

This summer, steer clear of spicy meat curries and opt for more flavourful methods of preparing meat, especially ones which don’t involve a ton of spices. Smoked meat delicacies are popular across several North Eastern states, be it Nagaland, Tripura, Assam, Mizoram etc. 

In traditional recipes, smoked pork is cooked with black lentils or Mati dal and "khar " or alkaline extract derived from burning peels of banana. The pork is cleaned, dried and slowly using a "Dhuwa Chang’ or a bamboo rack over the fireplace. The meat is then typically cooked with black lentils with ginger, garlic, raw green chillies and onions. Here are some unmissable smoked meat dishes from northeast India.

Smoked mejenga pork

Mejenga is essentially Sichuan peppercorn which adds quite a bit of heat and intensity to any dish. It has a faint bitterness and a citrusy aftertaste; mejenga is usually used in a meat masala which is used to cook smoked pork or chicken. The vibrant spiciness of this ingredient elevates the dish especially if you're using fatty cuts of meat. Pair it with some crispy bahu fish fry, stir-fried baby potatoes and joha rice.

Kumno ban shet dohsniang 

The traditional smoked pork dish from Meghalaya is particularly popular among the Khasi tribe. The name "dohsniang" literally translates to smoked pork. The pork, usually cut into chunks, is smoked in a firewood oven for several days. This smoking process not only imparts a deep, smoky flavour to the meat but also ensures it can be stored for long periods. Dohsniang is often cooked with minimal ingredients, allowing the rich, smoky taste of the pork to shine through. It is typically served with rice or other local staples.

Vawksa Rep

Vawksa Rep is a traditional Mizo dish featuring smoked pork cooked with yam leaves. The pork is smoked until thoroughly dried and flavorful, then cooked with tender yam leaves and local herbs. This combination creates a dish that is nutritious and rich in flavour, reflecting the Mizo community's ingenuity in using available resources. Vawksa Rep is a staple in Mizoram households, enjoyed with rice and other local accompaniments.

Axone Pork

Axone Pork is an iconic dish from Nagaland, where smoked pork is cooked with axone (fermented soybean paste). The preparation involves smoking the pork until it achieves a deep flavour, then cooking it with the pungent, earthy axone. This combination creates a dish that is both flavorful and aromatic, a staple at Naga celebrations and everyday meals. The unique taste of axone pairs well with the smokiness of the pork; pair it with some white rice and some fried baby potatoes.

Anishi Pork

Anishi Pork is a celebrated dish from Nagaland, featuring smoked pork cooked with fermented yam leaves (or Anishi). The pork is traditionally smoked over a bamboo rack above a fire for several days, giving it a deep, smoky flavour. Once adequately smoked, the pork is cooked with bamboo shoots, which add a crunchy texture and a slightly sour taste, complementing the rich smokiness of the meat.