Understanding The Seafood Culture Of India's Hill Regions
Image Credit: Unsplash

India is a geographically diverse country. This variation in the topography is one of the major reasons why India has such a heterogeneous gastronomic trail. The geography of a particular area plays an important role in the development of eating habits and practises of people living in that part. For example, one would assume that a person living near the seaside will have a diet heavily reliant on seafood. On the other hand, a person living in the northern plains will eat different types of grains because of the fertile land.

Video Credits: YouTube 

But this is not true in the case of India as here people have always been experimantal when it comes to food. Also the frequent travel from one place to another leads to the introduction of various recipes even in far places. In the various hilly areas of India, one can find a fusion of conventional recipes with different types of seafood. These people like to cook the fresh fish available in streams by using different types of natural spices and ingredients. Here is a look at some popular seafood dishes in hilly areas of India.

* Tehri With Fish

Tehri is a rice-cooked dish that is made with different types of vegetables and spices. It is popularly cooked in Uttarakhand as well as in Himachal Pradesh. There are a lot of variations of tehri that are made with freshwater fishes like trout or mahseer. The local people like to believe that this not only adds a very nice flavour to the regular tehri recipe but also makes it a lot more nutritious.

Image Credits: Instagram

* Naga Fish With Stew

The northeastern state of Nagaland is quite popular for its fermented food and the use of freshwater fishes to make different types of delicacies. In the hilly terrain of Nagaland, eating Naga fish with a thick stew is quite popular. This dish is specifically made with freshwater fish and vegetables like green beans and bamboo shoots. It is flavoured with locally available herbs and spices and consumed with some rice or flatbread on the side.

* Kumaoni Jhol

Kumaoni jhol comes from the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand where it is made by using freshwater fish, specifically mahseer or rohu. This fish is cooked in a very thick gravy made from tomatoes, besan, garlic, ginger, onions, and another blend of a lot of local spices. People like to serve this fish curry kind of dish with some boiled rice or roti. Cooking the fish in a tomato paste gives it a tangy flavour.

Image Credits: Instagram

* Himachali Trout Fish

Trout fish is abundantly found in the freshwater streams in Himachal Pradesh. The recipe for making trout fish is quite different in all regions of Himachal. However, a very popular recipe involves cooking the trout fish by first marinating it with a spice blend of carom seeds, salt, red chilli and a little bit of yoghurt. Then this fish is pan-fried with a little bit of oil until it becomes crispy. The fish is then served with a lot of fresh salad. It can be eaten on its own and with roti or rice as well.

* Garhwali Raita

Garhwal region of Uttarakhand is popular for a lot of its delectable recipes. Garhwali people have their take on the conventional raita recipe. Many people there like to add some freshwater fish into the raita along with tomatoes, chopped onion, green chillies, and a little bit of salt and black pepper. It helps in enhancing taste and texture and also makes the raita more appetising.

Image Credits: Instagram

* Arunachali Smoked Fish

Smoking fish is a prevalent practice in Arunachal Pradesh. Just like Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh has also a considerable hilly area where there is not much accessibility when it comes to arranging ingredients for cooking food. This is the reason why people like to make the most of what is available naturally to cook innovative and decadent dishes. Arunachali smoked fish is made by using a lot of green chutney, green chillies, garlic, fermented bamboo shoots, and some other local spices. This spicy and smoky fish is often served with white rice, which is another staple food of the people of Arunachal Pradesh.

Image Credits: Instagram

* Sikkimese Chhurpi With Dried Fish

Chhurpi is a type of homemade traditional cheese that is made in many parts of the Himalayas. It is made from buttermilk and is also called durkha and chogo. This cheese is also quite popular in Sikkim and one of the most common uses is to serve it with some dried fish. The famous Sikkimese dried fish is made by first dehydrating fish, and then rehydrating it by cooking it with chhurpi cheese and local spices.