The Northeastern states of India are known for their rich traditions and cultural heritage. They also have some delicious local cuisines which are integral to their identity. Some popular cuisines of the region are fortified with an array of leaves, herbs, and spices. The cooking techniques of the region too are unique.
Different tribes of the region have their own cooking styles and consequently there are multiple versions of a dish. For instance pork that is mainly a staple diet in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram has a range of versions like pork cooked in sesame oil, pork with bamboo shoot, pork with dry red chilies etc.
Most people are unaware of the health benefits of the simple everyday ingredients that are used for cooking. And when it comes to north eastern cuisine the health benefits are high largely owing to the cooking techniques (low oil more steam and stir fry). A common food ingredient of Nagaland is axone (fermented soya bean) which is consumed by almost every Naga tribe and other communities of the Northeastern states. Axone is used in a range of curries and the most common is pork curry. A health benefit of axone is that it increases the antioxidant function of the body which slows damage to body cells.
The benefits of rice beer or Zutho is that, it harms the body lesser than most liquors do.Apart from axone, smoked pork, bamboo shoots (dry, fresh or fermented), dry fish, anishi, zutho etc are some of the traditional foods of different Naga tribes. The benefit of smoked pork is that it can be preserved for a longer period of time and can be eaten wherever and whenever one desires. Also it reduces the level of fats in our body and so there is little or no risk for any health complications. Pork, bamboo shoots and axone are one of the best combinations of traditional Naga food.
Bamboo shoot is not only delicious but also produces antibacterial and antiviral effects in the body. Bamboo shoots are also a good source of dietary fiber and are also beneficial for a healthy heart as it contains potassium. Zutho is another traditional drink or beverage of the Nagas especially for the Angami tribes of Nagaland.
Zutho is a drink made of rice and is referred to as rice beer in English although each tribe has different names for it. The benefits of rice beer or Zutho is that, it harms the body lesser than most liquors do. Since it is organic and prepared with rice in the most hygienic manner without any chemicals involved, it greatly helps the body in maintaining a balanced shape along with increasing appetite.
Since most of the tribal food ingredients are organic and prepared locally without any fertilizers or chemicals they result in better health and longevity.