Exploring the ethereal food of Manipur

The food of Manipur is influenced by different countries and communities, the traditional food of Manipur is said to be similar to the cuisine of South-east and Central Asia like that of the Thais and Vietnamese. The staples here are rice, local vegetables and leaves, fish and meats, and last but not the least, lots of herbs like mint, coriander, chives, pepper and basil, that grow in abundance in Manipur.

A typical Manipuri meal will consist of rice, ensaang or athongba, eromba, morok metpa and singju. Athongba is basically a vegetable stew often flavored with fried or dry fish. Eromba is similar to athongba the only difference is the vegetables are mashed and flavored with chilies and fermented fish called ngari. Morok metpa is spicy chutney or paste made of king chilies, garlic, salt and fermented fish and singju is a salad of local herbs, colocasia leaves, banana flowers etc. Even if you are a vegetarian you will find many options to choose from like kangsoi or chamthong, ooti etc. Kangsoi is similar to athongba minus the fish and ooti is another star food of Manipur consisting of mashed peas.

Apart from fish you will find many dishes of meat like chicken, beef, pork, lamb and mutton. Some of the popular meat dishes of Manipur are soibum thongba and yen thongba made of pork and chicken respectively. Many dishes of Manipur are flavored with bamboo shoots and tastes absolutely delicious. Also, the umorok or the king chilies form the basis of almost all vegetarian and non-vegetarian preparations in Manipur. The traditional food of Manipur may appear simple, but the flavors are unmistakably complex and tasty. There is plenty to eat and enjoy in Manipur. And your next visit to Manipur should be for food and all things of gastronomical proportions. 

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