Let’s Poaka, a pork specialist cloud kitchen that features Naga cuisine. The section from the North East region grabbed my attention. Kolkata got very few Naga cuisine options. Let’s Poaka opened their latest cloud kitchen at New Town about six to seven months back but will be trying them for the first time. Hence the weekend lunch has to be a porky affair at home.
About Naga Cuisine
North East India is our country’s one of least explored regions. North-Eastern Cuisine, with its eight sister states, is clubbed under Naga cuisine. Evidently, mysticism evokes in Naga cuisine.
Steamed rice is the central diet in Naga’s meal composition with fresh, smoked, or dry meat, leafy vegetable, lentils, and fermented condiment. Naga cuisines are not fiery, devoid of spices, and cooked in the fat released from the meat. No oil presence in the preparation. Obviously, it retains maximum proteins and vitamins in its foods. Hence, the cuisine is still incredibly light on the stomach. Naga cuisine is no short of culinary adventure – subtle, nuanced, aromatic, and earthy notes.
North East people are very fond of pork, and pork is an integral part of their life. So, festivals and special occasions are incomplete without pork dishes. Let’s see how Let’s Poaka handles Naga cuisine.
Khorisa Pork is dry stir-fried pork with fermented bamboo shoots. Whether dry or fresh, bamboo shoots are a very lean vegetable and need meat fat to cook with. And pork is roasted in its own fats with dry bamboo shoots. Yet, be aware of the pungent smell of bamboo shoots. However, incredibly delicious preparation overshadows the obnoxious odour. Enjoy with your favourite poison.
Sunga Pork is slow-cooked pork inside a hollow bamboo tube and sealed with banana leaves. Diced pork is mixed with bamboo shoots, ginger-garlic paste, and chillies. Hence, the bamboo’s fresh raw essence and aroma give the dish a very local smoky flavour. Also, if we soak bamboo tubes in water overnight, absorb extra moisture. Bamboo releases moisture in food goes on a bed of embers. Hence, pork is soft and succulent.
Pork Lai Xaak
Pork Lai Xaak is a melange of lai xaak (mustard greens) and pork. Mustard green is a green leafy vegetable. During slow-cook, the leaves absorb the fat and taste a little bitter and pungent. The natural spiciness of mustard leaves and fat-laden pork compliments steamed rice.
Til Pork is a Naga delicacy. Evidently, the hero of the dish is black sesame seeds. Slow-cooked pork with roasted black sesame makes the meat dark coloured and with a rich earthy flavour. Also, I love the spiciness in preparation from ginger-garlic paste and green chillis. The thick gravy is bliss with steamed rice.
Mati Dali Pork
Mati Dali Pork is a simple meat and lentil preparation with black gram (urad daal) and pork. Daal and pork softened under steam. Slow-cooked with ginger garlic paste with fat content water. A generous amount of green chillis added to amp up flavour. As a result, the slippery daal texture with fat-laden pork creates havoc with steam white rice.
Pork Curry is a slow-cooked quintessential meat curry. Bhut Jolokia or King Chilli is an integral ingredient. However, here used red chili instead to prepare this yummy pork recipe. So, little disappointed. Limited ingredients include ginger and garlic. It is zero oil preparation; slow-cooked meat in its own fat. Relish aromatic pork curry with piping hot steam rice. Thus, a perfect Sunday lunch order.
It is a sad reflection of the deep-rooted ignorance that we live in our own country when most of us can think beyond imported junk food culture like pizza and pasta. Hence, aside from a few foodies, writers, or bloggers, most are perplexed about the North-Eastern cuisines. Further, we continue our struggle to pronounce ‘axone’ also presume momo is from the North-East region. I salute Let’s Poaka humble effort to spread awareness about Naga cuisine. But the absence of Bhut Jolokia or King Chilli takes away the authenticity mark. Let me know in comments your experience or favourite Naga preparation.
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