7 Famous Food And Dishes Of Nagaland You Must Try
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The atmosphere of Lok Sabha elections has churned up in various states with its first phase. Similarly, in this first phase, elections are also being conducted in Nagaland. When elections occur in a state, the cultural and heritage traditions of the state come to the forefront and with that comes a huge amount of external personnel. Visiting a state and missing out on their authentic local food is unjustified. Hence, one should always be on the lookout for such popular dishes.

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One of the defining characteristics of Naga cuisine is its use of locally sourced ingredients, often foraged from the lush forests and fertile valleys that carpet the landscape. Wild herbs, edible ferns, bamboo shoots, and an array of aromatic spices form the building blocks of many Naga dishes, infusing them with a distinctive earthy flavour that is both comforting and invigorating.

Fish In Bamboo

Fish in Bamboo is an iconic dish of Nagaland, a northeastern state of India renowned for its rich culinary heritage. This delectable delicacy involves stuffing fresh fish, typically freshwater varieties like trout or carp, with aromatic herbs and spices. The fish is then sealed within bamboo tubes and slow-cooked over an open flame or hot coals, infusing it with smoky flavours and tenderising it to perfection.

Akini Chokibo

Akini Chokibo is a traditional dish of Nagaland that might not be cherished anywhere else due to its uncommon star ingredient, but it is devoured there. This dish features ingredients like perilla seeds, paddy field snails, pork lard and axone of fermented soybeans. It is the snails that freak out most people, thinking about how it will taste and if it is even safe to eat. But in the Naga traditions, it is eaten widely and prepared in such a way it melts in the mouth. Hence, if you are up for being a little adventurous, you can give it a try.


Galho, a renowned dish of Nagaland, embodies the rich culinary heritage of the region. Prepared with a blend of rice, vegetables, and smoked meat, this savoury concoction is a staple in Naga cuisine. The ingredients, including bamboo shoots, mustard leaves, and local herbs, infuse Galho with distinctive flavours. The cooking process involves simmering the ingredients together until they amalgamate into a hearty stew. 


This rice beer is steeped in cultural significance and is often served during festivals and gatherings. Crafting Zutho is an art passed down through generations. Locals ferment soaked glutinous rice with indigenous herbs like ‘meini’ leaves for a distinct flavour. The process, a blend of patience and skill, involves meticulous monitoring of fermentation. The result is a mildly alcoholic beverage, rich in aroma and taste, fostering camaraderie and celebration.


Aikibeye is a hearty stew that features smoked pork, the essential ingredient, renowned for its depth of flavour. Complemented by indigenous spices like ginger, garlic, and the fiery Raja mirchi, it offers a tantalising sensory experience. The preparation involves marinating the pork with local herbs, slow-cooking it over an open flame, and simmering it to perfection

Smoked Pork

Smoked pork is a celebrated delicacy in Nagaland, famed for its rich flavours and cultural significance. Typically prepared using locally sourced pork, the meat is marinated with a blend of indigenous spices like ginger, garlic, and bhut jolokia or Naga chilli. The marinated pork is then smoked over a wood fire for hours, infusing it with a distinctive smoky aroma. This slow-cooking process tenderises the meat while intensifying its taste. 


Axone, a revered dish of Nagaland, is made from fermented soybeans and emanates a pungent aroma that tantalises the senses. The process involves soaking soybeans overnight, followed by fermentation for several days, often aided by banana leaves for a distinct flavour. After fermentation, the beans are either cooked with meat or used as a condiment, enhancing the taste of various dishes.