RCI: Northeast Cuisine

lemon cukes
garden cometh ~ hopeful little lemon cukes

I really wanted to take part in RCI: Northeast India, hosted by dear Bhags of delicious Crazy Curry. As usual, I came late to the party and found myself up late last night searching the net for inspiration.

I searched for several hours, looking for a recipe from the Seven Sisters that would be new and different. I kept coming across the same few dishes in numerous places and while they were appealing, I stubbornly wanted something a little different, a little out of the box. And of course I realised too late that Assam was not included — haven’t I told myself time and again to read the directions first!?!
I really need to remember that so often, less (in this case less complicated seasoning) is more.

Of a few food-related articles I came across, this piece caught my eye, especially this passage upon which my quasi-recipe is based:

“The Bai at the Mizoram stall is worth trying out. With both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions on offer, this simple dish is prepared with a mixture of green vegetables like brinjal, spinach, ginger, green chilly and bethu, a Mizo sauce made from fermented pork. . . ” — reference and credit Indian Express Newspapers Ltd. (no author noted on the original article).

Since the food of the Northeast region seems steeped in elegant simplicity, I decided to use what I had on hand to make something simple. It’s a sort of combination of the dish described above and the Manipuri kabok I kept seeing referred to not as a dessert, but as “rice fried with vegetables” — could not find a recipe for this, however.

I made do without fermented pork sauce.

Brinjal Fry, Seven Sisters Style

1 tsp canola oil
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
4-5 slit green chiles

1 large or 2 medium long brinjals
1/2 big onion
1 large green bell pepper

1 cup cooked rice

salt to taste


Wash and cut the veggies into thick matchsticks.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil and saute the ginger and garlic for a few minutes, until fragrant. Use medium heat so they don’t brown. Add the fresh veggies, raise the heat to med-high and stir-fry for a few minutes. When the veggies begin to soften and take on color, add the rice. Reduce heat to medium again and continue to stir-fry several more minutes, until everything is hot and the bell pepper is crisp-tender.

Sprinkle with salt to taste, remove to a plate and serve.

brinjal fry, seven sisters style
brinjal fry, seven sisters style

So that’s it! Simple and tasty, fragrant with fresh ginger and garlic and spicy with the heat of fresh chiles — I really loved this dish. Thank you Bhags, dear, for reminding me that less truly *is* more πŸ™‚


A few interesting sites I found, while searching recipes:

Preparation of Kabok

Kangla Online

and while not strictly Seven Sisters-related, my personal favorite…

Owl Tales from Northern India



  1. Aparna said

    Its been difficult to find too many recipes from the North East, especially vegetarian.
    This seems a lovely way to cook brinjals. And yes, whatever recipes I could find seem to use few ingredients to cook up a meal. Less is truly more.

    It was a challenge Aparna — but that’s fun too! πŸ™‚ Look forward to seeing what you made!

  2. indosungod said

    Linda, I noticed lemon cukes just the other day at the grocery store. Eat them just like cucumber or juice them?

    Oh I do love the simplicity of the recipe. Will taste good with the red rosematta rice perhaps?

    Hi ISG — my mom and nana always grew lemon cukes — we just washed them and ate with a little salt and pepper. They are less harsh on little stomachs than regular green cukes — maybe the kids would like πŸ™‚

    And yes I think this simple recipe would go well with any rice πŸ™‚

  3. Happy Cook said

    I gave it a miss this time RCI.
    It was really difficult to decide what to make.

  4. Happy Cook said

    Oh forgot to say simple but delicious πŸ™‚

    I had a hard time deciding too, HC πŸ™‚ Glad you liked this — look forward to seeing your dish! πŸ™‚

  5. Asha said

    Thank God I had a cookbook from that region, so I didn’t have to struggle too much. Stir fy looks mouthwatering. Give me anything with Eggplant, I will eat it. Looks great Linda!:)

    Me too Asha, say eggplant and I am there πŸ˜‰ I want to get that cookbook of yours — it sounded so interesting when you posted about it. I love cookbooks almost as much as eggplant!

  6. sagari said

    great looking recipe linda

    Thanks so much, Sagari! πŸ™‚

  7. bhags said

    u seem to have done lot of research for this RCI….:)
    nice one with the brinjals, i think the north east cuisine’s simplicity is its virtue….thanks for the lovely entry.

    Oh, I read plenty Bhags dear, but I don’t know how much I discovered that wasn’t already written! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for choosing such an intriguing region — you’ve got me thirsting to know more. Can’t wait for the round up! πŸ™‚

  8. mandira said

    looks simple, flavorful, and delicious πŸ™‚ how have you been?

    Mandira, you’re home!! I’ve missed you! I’ve been fine and am coming right around to Ahaar and see if you posted something new. Hope you had a great time off traveling! πŸ™‚

  9. Happy Cook said

    Love you vegetable garden. I have no idea wht that lemon cukes is. WHat do you use it had.
    I also missed the rci as was lazy for searching for a recipie .
    Nice recipe, have u any idea why they are calle seven sisters style.
    I am thinking loud maybe because the dish was made by seven sisters πŸ™‚

    Hi HC, lemon cukes are just a variety of cucumber — they are small and shaped like a lemon. Just eat them like regular garden cucumber — not like dosakaya which is so much more like a melon. Seven sisters made the dish, that was funny HC! πŸ™‚ I just called it that because I read the nickname ‘seven sisters’ for the states of the north east region πŸ™‚

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