The local cuisine in Kohima is majorly dominated by spicy, colorful, delicious and a bit adventurous non-vegetarian food. The state has a somewhat western dominated eating style. Pork, beef, mutton, chicken and also lots of jungle animals are consumed here.
Eating out in Kohima has totally modern touch and you can find in Kohima numerous food joints having all diverse types of cuisines. Most of the famous and normal hotels have their very own restaurants which used to serve all types of Cuisines including Indian and Chinese. The taste of almost all the restaurants is quite delicious and high-quality food is served in these places. Also, tourists can get a few reasonable and small restaurants in the main market area of Kohima that are good at Tibetan and Chinese cuisine. There are also loads of restaurants and food joints in the vicinity of the Secretariat building of Kohima.
1. Bamboo shoot
Bamboo shoot is used as an ingredient in almost the whole of the North-Eastern part of India. It is majorly used in pork preparation. The Bamboo shoot is used in dried as well as fermented form. It adds a little sour flavor to the dishes. Some of the popular dishes that make use of Bamboo shoot as an important ingredient are Pork with Bamboo shoot and Fish with Bamboo shoot.
2. Axone (fermented soyabean)
Axone that is also known as Akhuni, is widely used by almost every household in Nagaland. It comes in powdered form and is also available in cake form. There are many uses for these fermented soyabeans. Some important and popular ones include its use along with vegetables for making stew. It is most importantly used to make tasty chutney. Every household’s favorite dishes with Axone include Smoked pork in Axone, Dried river fish with Axone, and Dried beef with Axone.
3. Anishi (dry colocasia stems and leaves)
Anishi is a name associated with Colocasia that is also known as Arbi in Hindi. It is an important ingredient as well. Its stems and leaves are used to make various stew and add extra flavor to the food. This ingredient is mostly used by the Ao tribe of Nagaland. It is best cooked with fresh pork or smoked pork.
4. Fermented dry fish
Fermented dry fish is also very famous in Kohima. Most of the food in the North East contains something fermented. For those who love seafood and fish specifically, should try this. Fermented dry fish is mainly used for making chutney or it is cooked with Colocasia or potatoes and vegetables.
When Axone is used in smoked pork, it is made into a thick curry with the use of a chili powder that is populary called Samanthu. This is a vital part of the dish and makes it more gravy-like and most importantly spicy. This dish is prepared mostly in Sema/Sumi houses in Nagaland. It is their signature food which is loved by all the people of the tribe. The dish is then slow-cooked to give it more flavor and that’s why it takes more time to cook.
Aikibeye is another infamous dish that majorly comprises of Mustard leaf and Colocasia roots. This dish is cooked with a very little salt and no spices that give it a bland flavor making it perfect for being eaten with the flavorful and spicy Non- Veg dishes of Kohima. Very little water is used as this is preferred that it is thick.
7. Akini(perilla seeds) Chokibo (snails)
Akini Chokibo as a dish is basically made by roasting and grounding the Perilla seeds. These are then cooked with paddy field snails. Other things that are added to the dish while it is being cooked is a little bit of lard from the pork and Axone.
Zutho is a famous rice beer. It is made all over the North East especially famous in Kohima and is the main source of enjoyment for the people of that place.