North East India is relatively unknown to pretty much most of India, let alone the world. It’s a mystical land of dense jungles, pretty valleys, roaring untamed rivers and great wildlife. The people who inhabit these lands belong to the mongoloid stock although their specific anthropological origins are so vast and different. The different language, colour, food of these lands would be enough to keep a blogger like me engaged for decades!!!. So, i have decided to focus on the food and cooking styles of these lands. They are unique, simple, tasty … and in these days of our techno crazed, cholesterol building, artery clogging food habits will seem …distinct… so go ahead and scroll down
This is a great dish to have an idea of tribal food from north east india. Its basic but yum when done right. Free range chicken works best although spring chicken will also do. Use cuts of leg, chicken ribs, etc . Chicken breasts not preferred as they are too tender and would turn rubbery when cooked for long with the lentils.
500- 750 gms chicken with bone, 200 gms black lentils (kaali daal in hindi), 100 gms ginger julienned, 2-3 chillies, cooking soda( sodium bicarbonate), 2 onions julienned. Soak the lentils overnight in water, use this water to cook the lentils later.
Heat oil in a wok. Saute the onions and the chicken and keep stirring till the chicken gets lightly browned. Make sure the flame is medium.
Put the black lentils in a pan with about 3 cups of water ; add the ginger and chillies.Let it simmer till the lentils are tender. If you are using a pan with a closed lid, it will take around 45 ins;Alternatively you can pressure cook it for 20-25 mins.
After the lentils are cooked add the chicken to the lentils and bring it to a boil; Add about a teaspoon of the cooking soda. The broth will simmer to the top.dont panic!!. Just lower the flame and it will settle down to a simmer. Simmer the dish for 10 mins before serving.
Enjoy with rice.