When it comes to eating in Nagaland, dishes go beyond just food; it’s a celebration of togetherness, a representation of the Naga way of life. Among the many delectable dishes that Nagaland has to offer, one that stands out is Galho. It’s a traditional Naga rice dish that encapsulates the essence of this region’s cuisine.
Galho, a traditional dish of the Nagas, offers a truly distinctive taste that reflects the rich culinary heritage of the state.
This rice dish combines fragrant rice with a unique blend of fermented bamboo shoots, assorted leafy greens, and fiery chili peppers.
What you get is… pic.twitter.com/K97Ywun8zx
— nagalandtourism (@tourismdeptgon) November 1, 2023
This rice dish is made with a special combination of spicy chilli peppers, different leafy greens, and fermented bamboo shoots. It also includes aromatic rice. What you get is a delectable blend of flavours that strikes a balance between earthy, sour, and spicy undertones, showcasing the vivid and varied flavours of Naga cuisine in Galho. It is a dish that has been passed down through generations.
The rice used in Galho is typically the local sticky or glutinous rice, which imparts a unique texture and flavour to the dish. The vegetables used in Galho vary based on what is locally available. But commonly used ingredients include bamboo shoots, yam leaves, colocasia leaves, and pumpkin. Meat options for Galho often include pork, chicken, or smoked fish, depending on regional preferences.
Traditionally, it was prepared during festivals, community gatherings, and other special occasions, serving as a communal dish. It is served in large bowls or platters, and everyone sits together to enjoy the meal.
Galho is renowned for its flavour profile. The sticky rice serves as a neutral canvas that allows the other ingredients to shine. The bamboo shoots provide a subtle earthy note, while the herbs and spices impart a delightful complexity. The choice of meat, whether it’s the smoky richness of pork or the tender succulence of chicken, adds another layer of flavour.
Recipe For Galho
"Galho" a traditional Angami Nagas soupy concoction of rice. Probably somewhere the same to a North Indian khichdi but has 2 portions vegetables or meat
— Wander Nagaland (@WanderNagaland) February 18, 2020
Originally made by the Angami Naga tribe, this popular local favourite is still going strong. It’s an easy recipe to cook, with all the materials readily available in any Naga kitchen, if you’re interested in giving it a try. So why not give it a try and expand your appetite with a taste of Naga cuisine?
- 200 grams of rice
- 500 grams of smoked pork or beef
- One tablespoon of fermented soybean, or Axone
- Chopped leaves from pumpkins or squash, or any other green leafy vegetable
- Ground green chillies (amount depending on the desired level of heat)
- 500 millilitres of water, or more if needed
- Salt as desired
- In a pot, combine water, axone, and ground green chillies; simmer for five minutes. To taste, add salt.
- After that, add the 1/2-cube smoked beef/pork to the saucepan and simmer it together for a further 45 minutes, or until the meat is cooked.
- Rinse the rice two or three times and add it to the meat pot. If extra water is needed, add it. On medium-high heat, cook.
- Stir in the chopped greens just before the rice is done.
- Simmer for five to seven minutes.
The careful blending of rice, meat, vegetables, and herbs in Galho creates a harmonious symphony of tastes and textures that has the power to captivate anyone lucky enough to taste it. It is a dish that tells a story, connects people, and brings the essence of Nagaland to the plate.
Cover image credits: X/Nagaland Tourism
For more such snackable content, interesting discoveries and the latest updates on food, travel and experiences in your city, download the Curly Tales App. Download HERE.
Good news! We are on WhatsApp! Subscribe to Curly Tales WhatsApp Channel to stay up-to-date with exclusive content and BTS. Join HERE.