Sunday, 20 April 2014

Oambal~ Indian State Nagaland

Oambal~ Indian State Nagaland

Nagaland is a state that belongs to the north-eastern part of India. This state is mostly covered by lush mountains, which gives the land a unique beauty.

The various Naga tribes have their unique dishes and the cuisine is never same for any two of the tribes. A typical Naga meal comprises of rice accompanied by a meat dish, a couple of boiled vegetable dishes and chutney.

The characteristic of the Naga cuisine is that dishes are boiled to cook instead of frying. The meat and fish are smoked, dried or fermented. Smoked meat is prepared by keeping the meat above the fire or hanging on the wall of the kitchen for 2 weeks or longer, which could last for the whole year ahead. Fermenting food is practiced in the cuisine of Nagaland in order to preserve the food. The food item is first boiled and then dried under the sun or near the fire. It is then wrapped in a banana leaf and stored for future use. Traditional homes in Nagaland have external kitchens that serve as smokehouses.The main components of Naga cuisine are rice, potatoes and other vegetables and meat. Various meats include beef, pork, fish, chicken, crabs, frog, snail, spider, insects, bee larvae, dog, cat, rat, birds, snake, spider, monkey, bear, and even elephant. Pork meat is highly popular and is cooked with bamboo shoots . Meat of dog and other wild animals are considered a delicacy in Nagaland. Apart from meat, bamboo shoots, lettuce, soybeans, mustard leaves, and yam leaves are also used in cooking. These ingredients are fermented and used to make various dishes.

The Nagas being hunters by nature are meat eaters. The food is hot and spicy with a unique taste as due the local flavouring agents are used and have distinct flavours. Chillies are an integral part of the cuisine of Nagaland and are used in most of the dishes. The ginger used in the Naga cuisine is spicy, aromatic and is different from the common ginger. Various local herbs and leaves are also used to spice up the dishes.

 The cuisine of Nagaland has largely remained free from influence of other cuisines.

There are a lot of first for Nagaland in my case this is where I began my search for North-Eastern Dishes.  Nagaland was also the state where I discovered NE states will be difficult for us all!! (Now we have Doctorates being awarded in NE states cuisine, culture) and this was the first dish I cooked.

Anyway this was the only vegetarian dish I found for Nagaland.


Indian State: Nagaland
Recipe Source:

  • 500 grms pumpkin boiled and mashed
  • ¼ cup   Tamarind pulp( I used only 2 tblspn)
  • ¼ Cup   jaggery grated
  •  1 Bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Lime juice
  • 1 tsp Raisins
  • 2 Dry slit red chillies
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
Oambal~ Indian State Nagaland


  • Mix the pumpkin with tamarind water.
  • Heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add chillies, bay leaf and raisins and stir for few minutes.
  • Add the pumpkin tamarind mixture and cook for a couple of minutes.
  •  Add the jaggery mixture and boil at a low flame for a couple of minutes.
  • After removing from the fire add the lime juice and mix well.
Linking to Fabulous Friday Feast at Pavani's

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  1. Omg, cant resist to this fingerlicking oambal..

  2. you mentioned about smoke houses but it kind of turned me off, the pictures on the net, i was living on top of one such smoke house during my project work in sweden, i dread those days...but luckily we found the oambhal :) this recipe is such different from its otherwise truly nonveggies dishes

  3. Good choice. Looks like Omabal is the dish of Nagaland within our group :)

  4. Your version looks so well done as well Archana..

  5. Archana..very well made..much better than what I made..finger licking!

  6. Even I made this ombhal. It tasted amazing. Your version also looks so yumm...

  7. Oambal wins Nagaland -- hands down.
    Yummy looking pumpkin Oambal.

  8. oambal looks delicious

  9. I love this one after seeing so many, I must try this at the soonest

  10. wow thats an delicious looking ombal arcahana .. looks very yummy !!


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