Sept 17, 2016: When it comes to Indian food, first thing comes to mind is rich, delicious cuisines, spices, finger-licking curries, hot tandoori chicken, butter naan, rich flavours etc. Have you ever heard India could also have bizarre foods that are second to none? If you used to believe that Indian food is all about curries, vegetables, and spices, keep reading to get your facts right. We strongly believe that your perceptions about Indian food will change!
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India is truly a land of surprises. The following list of bizarre foods available in India will truly surprise you:
- Jadoh– This dish is popular with the Jaintia tribe of the North East, predominantly Meghalaya. It consists of rice being cooked with the blood and entrails of either pigs or chicken. It is like your regular Pulav, but with blood and intestines.
- Nahkham-Garo tribe is known for having this delicacy. The dish includes a curry made of dried fish which is well-blended with vegetables and distilled ashes. The dish smells actually bad, sometimes even worse than expected. But dried fish is well known in several parts of the country.
- Doh Khileh– Another one is from Meghalaya makes it to the list. If you’ve ever had pork and onion salad, this is very similar to that. But of course, there is a catch here. It’s the garnishing it comes with. This delicacy is garnished with steamed pig brain; yes you read that right. Pig Brain, anyone?
- Dog meat– All you dog lovers can stay away from this one! Though unheard of in rest of the country, Nagaland has delicacies that include dogs, spiders, pork, beef, crabs and even elephants. Dog meat prepared in different ways and is a favorite amongst the tribal communities of Nagaland, Mizoram, and Manipur.
- Frog Legs– In Sikkim’s Lepchas community, having a few pieces of frog legs is really very exotic experience. The tribal people relish on frog legs as their delicacy for their whole life. According to them, frog legs have medicinal values and they can treat various stomach ailments and dysentery.
- Sorpotel– When it comes to food, Goa has Portuguese inclinations. Goa is offering bizarre food known as Sorpotel. The pork offal is the ingredient which makes it so bizarre. Offal is actually the internal organs and entrails of animal which is used as food or waste material.
- Eri Polu– Made of silkworm pupas, Eri Polu is one of the delicious yet bizarre foods in Assam. The main ingredient in this delicacy is Eri silkworm. Its cocoon is spun and used to prepare it. Usually, it is served with another exotic dish, “Khorasan” It is prepared using fermented bamboo shoots. This traditional condiment is used in Assam.
- Red Ant Chutney– Chapra is the hottest favorite meals of the tribe in Chhattisgarh. It is actually the tribal state where this type of food is common. Chapra is chutney made of red ants and their eggs. It has the spicy and pungent flavor which gives the amazing experience. It looks weird at first. These ants are used for garnishing the dishes to add some spice and heat.
- Baby shark curry– This one was a complete surprise to me. If you’re in Goa, you’ll find that this is a star dish of the Goan cuisine. Just think of it like any other fish, really. Since it’s very difficult to catch and also very well-loved by the locals, this is one curry that won’t come for cheap. Who is afraid of sharks, anymore?
- Hilsa Eggs– Llisha or Hilsa is a fish species found in the Bay of Bengal. It is also one of the popular foods among the people of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Hilsa eggs in Bengal are made with turmeric and mustard oil.
- Buffalo Spleen– Tilli is actually the spleen of buffalo which is marinated in spices and char-grilled. It is the delicacy in Pune. It has a great nutritional value of protein and iron and it is low fat. It is a tasty and aromatic street snack in Pune.
- Rat Meat– Restaurants in Bihar are used to serve rat meat. The rat curry or roasted rat is the main delicacy in their menu. It is locally known as Patal Bageri by the Musharar community in Jharkhand and Bihar.
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- Fermented Pork Fat- The unbearable smell will make you leave the food therewith, but some Indians enjoy the fermented pig fat known as Gradook and find it delicious!
- Grated Bamboo Shoot– As it sounds , Khorisa is tasteless and spices free, but is eaten in some parts of India in Pickled form and fermented too.
- Paya– The word “Paya” , though famous, has the taste of hoofs of cow, buffalo, horse or lamb and is cooked over coal to give it a smoky flavor!.
India has always been a land of diversity and that is relevant in its cuisine. If one community disapproves a dish, the other community finds it delicious. Different cultures, different areas and thus different, unique and sometimes bizarre is what describes our food habits best.
-by Arya Sharan of NewsGram. Twitter: @NoOffense9