Traditional Meat Products of North Eastern Region of India

( By Dr.M.Hazarika, Professor, Department of Livestock Product Technology, Assam Agricultural University)

The people of North East India (NER) have strong preference for foods of animal origin. (Please refer  Percapita_Meat_Consumption_NER and Av_Expenditure_perperson_on_Meat )

The ethnic and tribal groups are confined to their traditional ways and customs where meat consumption is an integral part. They produce varieties of meat and poultry products since time immemorial. Apart from the fresh meat production and traditional processing, a sizeable portion is preserved using their indigenous methods and ingredients. The products as well as methods of preservation vary region to region and even among the ethnic groups. Some of the meat products are preserved years together in normal room temperature.

Traditional meat products ready for roasting in banana leaves

Traditional meat products ready for roasting in banana leaves

It is very interesting to note that excess meat is processed and preserved by drying or by drying cum smoking or by salting and drying with local herbs or by fermentation. It is also observed that indigenous herbs, leaves of trees, roots, seeds, liquid vegetable extracts, spices and oils are used for preservation of some meat products. Many tribal people claim that certain herbal products used in meat preservation and processing has lypolytic, proteolytic, cholesterolytic and hepatoprotective properties. Their claim is probably true from the fact that in spite of heavy consumption of meat, few people are prone to heart problems.

Women selling meat products

Women selling meat products

The consumption pattern of meat can be grouped into seven categories:

  1. Fresh meat
  2. Dried meat
  3. Dried and smoked meat
  4. Dried and smoked with preservative
  5. Fermented meat
  6. Non fermented processed meat products
  7. Modern meat products.

On the basis of popularity pork stands first in the region followed by chicken, chevon and beef. The table below  list some of the traditional meat products of North Eastern Region of India. Currently attempts are being made to document traditional knowledge some of the select products for possible commercialisation.

Certain traditional meat products of NER with their colloquial term, origin and type

Sl. name Name of the product Origin Type and description of the product
1 Adin Arunachal Pradesh Smoked dried pork, beef or mithun meat with fermented   bamboo shoot
2 Ar sa ret Mizoram Dry smoked chicken
3 Ashi kioki Naga tribes, Assam Thinly sliced dried pork taken with fermented bamboo shoot /soybean
4 Arjia Western part of Himalaya & Sikkim Soft brown sausage type Mutton product taken as curry
5 Bai Mizoram Pork with spinach and bamboo shoot taken as curry with   rice
6 Bagjinam Sema Naga of Nagaland Fermented pork taken as curry
7 Cheu Deuri community of Assam Semi-Boiled pork pieces smeared with turmeric, red chilli   and salt woven in bamboo sticks & roasted over fire (Charcoal)
8 Chilu Sikkim, Ladak and Bhutan Fat of yak/Beef/Lamb stored in empty stomach of sheep used   as edible oil
9 Dawng sa ret Mizoram Dry smoked beef used as curry
10 Doh klong Meghalaya Small pieces of boiled pork with local spices- fried in   oil & hot served
11 Doh khleik Meghalaya Pig brain and head meat with bamboo shoot  and spices and fried in oil
12 Doh kpu Meghalaya Finely minced pork-mixed with onion, garlic ,green   chillies and local spices- meat balls – – fried in oil & served with rice
13 Doh snam Meghalaya Blood-filled in intestine with spices.-cooked for ½ an   hour taken as blood sausage
14 Doh Snier Meghalaya Cleaned intestine filled with molten fat, moist cooked ,spices   and turmeric added to improve shelf-life
15 Doh pheret Meghalaya Small cut pieces from edible and inedible organs-cooked   in a pot for long time with spices and served hot
16 Doh tyrkhong Meghalaya Smoked-dried pork/beef
17 Eg-adin banum Mising community of Assam Pork pieces mild cooked- marinated with local spices and   condiments-woven in bamboo sticks-roasted over fire until turns into golden   brown
18 Honohein/Mongong grain Dimasa tribe of Karbi anglong Dried pork/buffalo meat used for curry preparation
19 Kheuri Sikkim Meat product prepared from Yak or Beef chopped intestine   in empty stomach of sheep, taken as curry or side dish
20 Kargyong Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh,Darjeeling Soft or hard brownish sausage like product prepared from   yak/Beef/Pork ,taken as curry or side dish
21 Momo All the states of North Eastern   Region Flour with water-dough, small balls are rolled, filled   with pre fried minced meat with spices-steam cooked and served with sauce
22 Ngam phoat Arunachal pradesh Dry smoked meat covered with salt and turmeric paste
23 Ngam Toongpak Arunachal pradesh Pork small pieces with bamboo   shoot–kept inside a tightly covered bamboo hollow container. Long shelf life
24 Noau soum Assam Boiled rice smeared over the boiled pork pieces filled   tightly in bamboo cans and sealed-fermentation occurs within few days and   acts as preservative
25 Pakku Tripura Mutton curry with rice
26 Sathu North cachar hills of Assam Pieces of pork fat-half boiled –kept   inside the sathu (Water gourd)     container -kept near the fire for 4-5 days- long shelf life-used in   curry.
27 Saphak North cachar hills of Assam Boiled fats of pork-kept in air tight bottle and used in   curry preparation
28 Suka ko maso Sikkim, and Darjeeling Mutton or buffalo meat-smoked dried taken as curry, side   dish or grilled meat
29 Sun/Yen akangha Manipur Dried beef/chicken product
Sun/Yen ayaiba Manipur Smoked beef/chicken
30 Satchu Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh,Darjeeling Yak meat or Beef smoked dried, hard brownish taken as   curry or side dish
31 Tambe-Akom Misimi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh Small pork pieces mixed with ginger,   garlic and salt paste stuffed into bamboo hollow container- burnt in   fire-cool & consume in slice form
32 Yoo-Aso Apatani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh Pork back fat with skin treated with a herbal preparation   called pila (Extract of ash of millet and a local fern) – long shelf life
33 Zadoh snam Meghalaya Fresh beef/pork blood mixed with half cooked rice and   fried in oil for 5-6 minutes with local spices

Source: Author’s personal collection

Photo credit: ‘ Women Selling Meat Products’: Mr.Ashish Chopra




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