Say Naga food and I am always up and ready for a fiery feast. So when we heard about the ongoing Naga food festival at Cafe Thulp, Bangalore, it seemed like the perfect excuse to kickstart the weekend food fiesta. Naga cuisine, though notoriously popular for its exorbitant spice level, is also known for some simple, flavoursome dishes prepared by boiling ingredients in a meat stock or steaming veggies with basic seasoning. I find their cooking techniques quite fascinating too and indulging in some home-style Naga food always brings back fond memories.
So our plan for lunch was simple: meat, meat and meat! From the menu prepared by Chef Aketoli Zhimomi from Nagaland who was in the city for the food festival, we ordered a handful of dishes from the non vegetarian selection along with some interesting meat chutneys. And though we had tears streaming down our faces in our fight against the potent Naga chilli, we just couldn’t stop savouring the dishes. Here’s a photo essay of our experience:
For starters, we tried the Athumu Kha, which was Rohu pan seared with athumu (Naga sour spice powder) in mustard oil; and Black Sesame Beef, Chef Zhimomi’s signature dish, which was slow cooked beef fillet simmered with thick black sesame paste and spices and served in skewers.
From the main course, we tried the Pork Bastenga, which was slices of pork slow cooked with fermented bamboo shoots and chillies in a mildly spicy gravy; Smoked Pork Samthu, which was smoked pork cooked with Naga red chillies and axone (fermented soya beans); and Smoked Beef with Anishi, which was beef fillet cooked with sun-dried yum leaves, chillies and axone.
The Naga Food Festival is on till 7th March at Cafe Thulp Indiranagar branch.
#39, 80 Feet Road, 12th Main Junction, HAL 3rd Stage, Indiranagar; tel: 41607606