Local Cuisines to try in Arunachal Pradesh

26 Oct 2021

Local Cuisines to try in Arunachal Pradesh

In the recent years, Arunachal Pradesh has emerged as one of the most popular tourist spots in the country. What attracts people to the land of the rising sun is its pristine beauty and abundant greenery. But apart from its mesmerizing forests, snowy misty climate, calm lakes & rivers, welcoming villages and more, tourists are also charmed by its range of appetizing local cuisines. Being home to many tribes, you get to experience the ethnic diversity of the region through its varieties in local food.

Here’s a range of local delicacies that you’ll get to relish when in Arunachal –


P.C. Kipepeo – https://www.kipepeo.in/

Rice happens to be the staple food of the state. Every tribal community in the state consumes rice as their main food item which can be taken with side dishes like meat, fish and lettuce. Apart from the ‘common’ way of cooking rice in a cooking pot, the local people also use two traditional ways to prepare rice – called Dung Po and Kholam.

Commonly known as ‘Dung Po’, this preparation uses two brass utensils to steam the rice, after which it is served in leaves. The other process of cooking rice is ‘Kholam.’ In this process, a bamboo tube is used in place of utensils. The tube is filled with rice and water and heated beside a fireplace. The heat from the fireplace cooks up the rice inside. The outer layer of the bamboo is then cut out and rice is served. Kholam has become quite popular among the picnickers these days for preparing rice.

Wungwut Ngam

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If you weren’t aware, people in Arunachal Pradesh are very fond of meat. And it has always been part as the main delicacy for celebrations of different occasions. Wungwit Ngam is a local meat dish, which is prepared with chicken and rice. The rice is first toasted brown and then it is grounded into a fine powder. Then it is cooked with chicken meat along with some local herbs and spices. Pretty delicious in itself, the dish is a must try for the tourists visiting the state.

Bamboo Shoots

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Bamboo shoot is not only popular in Arunachal but all-over Northeast India. Due to its fine flavour, it is widely consumed throughout the state, and in numerous ways. It makes for a great accompaniment to cook meat with, especially pork as it greatly enhances the flavour and aroma of the dish. Bamboo shoots are also fermented and made into pickles with ghost peppers; it is also boiled with vegetables or alone. You’ll find a variety of local cuisines prepared with bamboo shoot and loved by both locals and tourists.


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Arunachal Pradesh takes pride in introducing some of the popular beverages found in region. Apong (as called by the Adi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh) is a local beer that is made from fermented rice. After the process of drying, smoking, fermenting and filtering is completed, the final product comes out as a sweet rice beer. It is traditionally served in bamboo tubes. The rice beer is home-made and is mostly consumed during the time of local festivals.

Pika Pila

P.C. Apatani Culture and Tradition – https://www.facebook.com/savetanii

This is perhaps the most popular local cuisine that tourists remember after Apong and bamboo shoot. Pika Pila or Pike Pila is a delicious local cuisine that is a special gift to the state from the Apatani tribe of the Arunachal Pradesh. This local dish is prepared from organic ashes of plants which are sun dried and made into liquid form. The liquid is then mixed with pork fat, smoked meat, bamboo shoots and some local vegetables. It is a dish well-liked by the locals as well as the tourists visiting the state.


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Just like Apong, Marua is another local beverage that is widely consumed during different festive occasions. The main difference between Apong and Marua is that, Apong is made with rice whereas millet is used for the production of Marua. For tourists looking to try out different beverages in the region, Marua is a great pick as it is affordable and delicious in taste.


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Ngatok is an appetizing local fish cuisine. The fascinating thing about Ngatok is that it is cooked with a stone! The stone is wrapped in a banana leaf and kept with cut fish pieces marinated in local herbs and spices. It is then covered in heated charcoal to cook. The unique cooking style renders a smoky flavour to the dish.


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Pasa can be identified as a local soup that is made with fresh fish, and is quite popular in the state. The dish is prepared by adding ingredients like green chillies, garlic, ginger, khumpatt leaves etc. to finely minced fresh fish. All of the ingredients mixed together with the minced fish give out a delicious savoury taste.


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Lukter is cooked dry meat mixed with chili flakes. It is very flavourful and on well demand in the state. It is meant to be eaten as a side dish. The chili used in preparing Lukter is usually the ghost pepper or commonly known as the Bhut Jolokia. The locals here have an affinity for spicy food, due to which cuisines such as Lukter contain a good amount of heat. Due to its popularity, Lukter is also available in the marketplace packed in bottles and zip bags.

Chura Sabzi

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Chura Sabzi is a traditionally prepared local curry made with fermented cheese. The cheese is made out of Yak’s or cow’s milk. The dish is topped with chili flakes and little pieces of king chili, which makes it very spicy but also delicious at the same time.


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One of the appetizing dishes of Arunachal Pradesh, Pehak is made with fermented soya beans and king chili. It has got quite a strong savory smell and taste and is best taken as a side dish with a bowl of rice (preferably steamed). As favoured by the locals, Pehak is made mostly hot and spicy.


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Thukpa is a noodle soup which is prepared with some boiled rice noodles accompanied by vegetables and meat. It is quite popular dish and a common sight in many local restaurants. Its origin can be traced back to the eastern part of Tibet. In the state of Arunachal Pradesh, it is a staple diet of the Monpa community.


Since the ages, the tribal communities of Arunachal Pradesh have exhibited their expertise when it comes to the culinary world. In almost every occasion these appetizing dishes are prepared to share the moment of happiness together and most importantly to share their culture and heritage to the outsiders. The feeling of homeliness is what the local people of Arunachal Pradesh offer with their local cuisine to people who visit them.

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