The cuisine of the North eastern states of India is absolutely delicious. The use of regional herbs, tangy spices and their unique process of cooking will make you amazed. However, the regional beverages made in these states are no less exciting! In every state, you are likely to come across unique beverages-alcoholic and otherwise. Your exploration of North Eastern cuisine will remain incomplete unless you taste these beverages, at least once.
1. Sekhmai Yu (Manipur)
Each state of the North East has its own variations of Rice beer but the taste and flavor of Yu is mind blowing. The Yu, made in Sekhmai town of Manipur is much sought after owing to its flavor. It has even drawn comparison with Japanese Sake. Distilled from special type of fermented rice it has low alcohol quotient.
2. Tongba/ Chhang (Sikkim)
The Channg or Tongba is a popular drink in Sikkim. It is made using whole grain millet which is cooked and then fermented. It is also dried for a long time before the beverage can be prepared. The fermented mallet is stored in bamboo tumbler and then boiled water is added in it. Using bamboo straw, you can sip the drink. No social occasion in Sikkim is complete without its consumption.
3. Zutho (Nagaland)
Naga people are fond of using rice in their cuisine alongside various types of meat and they also make beverage using rice. The taste is somewhat sour and the beverage also has a fruity aroma. Different Naga tribes prepare the fermented rice beer a little differently than others but the taste never fails to amaze. It is served in bamboo made glasses.
4. Zawlaidi (Mizoram)
If you have penchant for fruit based beverages, Zawlaidi- found in Mizoram will fit your bill the best. Made with Mizoram grapes-this is nothing less than a local wine. Zawlaidi costs much less than other wines sold in the state. The alcohol percent stands at 11 to 14%/Vol.
5. Lao Paani (Assam)
Assamese tribes make a wide range of alcoholic beverages. However Lao Paani-a type of rice beer is very popular there . This indigenously prepared drink is made with subtle variations in many regions of the hilly state, rice is soaked into water to turn into beer. It is made by ‘Lalungs’ tribe of Assam.