Daily Recco, January 21: Bhangui, an authentic bite of Tripura
A sweet sticky rice preparation from Tripura to celebrate the gastronomical delights on Tripura Statehood Day.
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It has been 49 years today since Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya attained statehood. Under the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971, these three states were conferred statehood on January 21, 1972.
From the Prime Minister to the President, leaders across the spectrum have conveyed their wishes to the people of the states, praising their kindness, culture, warm-hearted nature and contribution to national development.
Best wishes to the people of Tripura on the special occasion of their Statehood Day. The culture and warm-hearted nature of the people of Tripura is admired across India. The state has achieved outstanding progress in various fields. May the same spirit continue.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 21, 2021
Greetings to the wonderful people of Manipur, Meghalaya & Tripura on Statehood Day. Blessed with immense natural beauty, rich history & vibrant culture, these states are fascinating. I extend my warm wishes as they continue to move ahead on the path of multi-faceted development.— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 21, 2021
Warm greetings and regards to the people of Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya on their state foundation day! pic.twitter.com/oVEx28pbTI— Congress (@INCIndia) January 21, 2021
However, one part that they missed was the epicurean delights from the states. The distinctive flavour of the Northeastern cuisine is as exemplary as the culture and contribution from the states. While the cuisine predominantly is based on various kinds of meat (duck, geese, chicken, beef, pork and freshwater fish), there is a variety of vegetarian fare too that mostly gets overlooked when compared to their succulent non-vegetarian counterparts.
From the special varieties of rice to the flavour from the local spices and herbs, to their fire-hot chillies (think bhut jolokia), the vegetarian fare has a lot to offer. One such dish is Bhangui — a traditional dish from Tripura. Interestingly, the word Bhangui means banana leaf, which is not edible in itself! Instead, it is a cake made of sun-dried rice that is cooked in banana leaf, which is served with the accompaniment of fish stews or typically spicy boiled pork, or Wahan Mosodeng. A special type of rice that is sweet and sticky, called Guria is the main ingredient for Bhangui. However, you can substitute it with any variety of sticky rice. Try making this incredibly easy-to-make dish and have it with the gravy of your choice.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
What you’ll need:
One cup of white sticky rice (ideally Guria) that has been washed and dried in the sun
Two-inch piece of ginger, julienned
Two large onions, chopped
One cup of ghee
A quarter teaspoon salt
Banana leaves (Bhangui) for wrapping
Strong twine for binding
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Soak the rice for about an hour. After an hour, completely drain the water and spread it out on a plate for a few minutes.
Mix the rice, onions, ginger, ghee and salt well in a vessel.
Make cones of the banana leaf and fill the cones with the rice mixture until it is filled 3/4th.
Close the top of the cone and bind it with the twine. The cone should be watertight and no rice should come out or water should go in.
In a broad vessel, fill water and immerse the cones in it. Let it boil for about half an hour.
After half an hour, remove it from the water, let it cool a little and gently unwrap the rice cones. Ensure you don’t disturb or break the cones while unwrapping.
Serve with gravy of your choice.
Pro Tip: In case the rice is still uncooked after unwrapping, cook in a pressure cooker for one or two whistles.