The so-called ‘mainland’ definition of breakfast comprises toast and eggs, idli or poha, or even parantha with yoghurt. But did you know there is a whole world of food out there in such unique combinations that forms popular breakfast choices too?
Look deep into the North-East of India, and you will have some true gems on how the seven-sister-states begin their day. Quite a revelation, actually! You’ll discover an array of fantastic, flavoursome dishes that are steeped in tradition as much as they are high on health.
Next time you put together your breakfast, perhaps you may want to consider these options too.
1. Assamese Jolpan: A rice and jaggery treat
This breakfast is no less than a mini meal whose main component is roasted or ground rice (xandoh). The other variations are puffed rice (muri) and flattened rice (chira). Usually one of these variants of rice is eaten together with yoghurt or milk cream and jaggery. The flattened rice is however popularly served with cream and a sweet instead of jaggery.
2. Manipur’s Tan and Chaangang
Restaurants in Manipur open up as early as 6 am and serve the popular Tan and Chaangang combination for breakfast. Tan can be any desi flatbread, but in this context they are fluffy and crispy puris that are typically served with a peas dal accompanied by a pumpkin dish. This you can wash down with a cup or two of Chaangang (sweetened black tea), and get going.
3. Nagaland swears by its Egg Shoap
A magical combination of potatoes and eggs, this is quite a wholesome breakfast packed with proteins and carbohydrates. Here boiled potatoes and eggs are coated with egg batter, rolled in breadcrumbs and then deep fried to a golden brown consistency, to spells pure bliss on its eater.
4. Mizoram’s Sanpiau, a healthy rice and veggie bowl
Loaded with local herbs, meat or fish, and rice, the Mizos resort mostly to steaming and boiling their food. The Mizo Sanpiau is a popular street food and breakfast choice in which rice porridge is served with fresh coriander paste, ground black pepper, shallots, and fish sauce.
5. Tripura loves its Chire Doi Aam
Basically sweetened flattened rice that is beautifully blended with yoghurt, mango, cardamom, and nuts like pistachios and almonds. In place of sugar, jaggery is popularly used to sweeten the chire before it is mixed together with a ripe mango pulp. This can, in fact, double up for a yummy dessert too.
6. Meghalaya’s Jadoh: A Khasi favourite
A rice and meat based recipe of the Khasi tribe from Meghalaya, a Jadoh uses rice, pork pieces, onion, chillies and black pepper. Don’t be surprised to find rice on most breakfast menus, for the North-East thrives on rice. This dish is beautifully textured with pork fat, and brings out the subtle aroma from herbs like cilantro.
7. Arunachal Pradesh’s Zan – porridge broth with veggies
A staple breakfast favourite of the Monpas, Zan is typically rustled up using millets or any other kind of flour. Very simple to put together; boil the flour, boil some vegetables or fermented soyabean, add some ghee, and salt for seasoning, and this very healthy farmer’s breakfast is ready to serve.