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Tripuri Chow

At Chow Club, we love to share foods that you can’t find anywhere else in Atlanta, and this is particularly true this month. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Tripuri restaurant anywhere in the United States (or outside of India, for that matter).


Although it’s the third-smallest state in India, Tripura is one of the most diverse. Tripura is home to 19 tribes, including some ethnic groups who have migrated from other parts of India. Each tribe has its own languages, cultures and traditions.


Located in the northeast of the country, Tripura is surrounded on three sides by Bangladesh. During the Partition of Bengal in 1947, hundreds of thousands of Bengali refugees fled from East Pakistan into Tripura. More Bengalis moved to Tripura in 1971 during the Bangladesh liberation war. Today, Benglais represent almost 70% of Tripura’s population.


Traditional Tripuri cuisine, known as Mui Borok, is heavily influenced by the region's agrarian and fishing traditions. The staple foods of Tripura cuisine is rice and Berma, a small, oil-pasted, and dry fermented fish. Triipuri foods are usually prepared without oil, and so are considered to be healthy. Along with the Tripuri traditional cuisine, the food of Tripura is also influenced by Chinese and Bangladeshi cuisine.


Our chef, Anju Roy Sarkar, is ethnically Bengali, but she was born and lives in Tripura. She and her husband are in the U.S. for six months visiting their daughter and her family. This is only their second time visiting in the twelve years that her daughter has been in the States. On September 22 & 23, she prepared a number of traditional Tripuri dishes for us to try.





Rompher Murhi Kwtwi Narikela

This simple morning snack is a mixture of four ingredients: Rompher (flat rice), Murhi (puffed rice), Kwtwi (date jaggery, a natural, unrefined sweetener), and Narikela (coconut). Mix the four ingredients together and dig in! Gluten-free. Vegan


Sejna Data Motor Dail

Locally called, “Sejna Dail,” this daal reflects the Bengali influence on Tripuri cuisine. Yellow split peas are mixed with tomato, five spices, red chili, and shredded coconut. Floating in the daal are drumstick vegetables, long, rigid pods of the moringa oleifera tree. Though not common in the U.S., this nutritious vegetable is used extensively in Indian cuisine. Gluten-free. Vegan

 

Bhangui

One of the oldest dishes known in the area, Bhangui (or Bangwi), is named for the banana leaf in which the dish is wrapped. The leaf is folded into a triangle and filled with binni chaal (a sweet sticky rice), raisins, coconut, carrots, onion, salt, and ginger. This portable dish is popular for both lunch and dinner and is often served alongside a meat dish. Gluten-free. Vegan

 

Tohan Mosdeng 

For this tribal-style chicken salad, the chicken is first boiled with ginger, garlic and salt. Meanwhile a paste is made from dried red chilies, sliced ginger, and salt. Then the paste is mixed with dried green chili, fresh ginger, sliced red onions, lemon zest and the chicken and topped with mustard oil. Gluten-free. Vegan Version: Soy Chunks 

 

Moya Chakhoi

Dried fish cooked with bamboo shoots, potato, kidney beans, green beans, orange lentils, lemon leaf and green chili. Served with white rice. Gluten-free. Vegan Version Available

 

Amsi Mwkhwi

This sweet and sour beverage is served before dessert. Sun-dried mango, tamarind, salt, sugar, red chili, black mustard seed, and fenugreek come together to create this unique  Gluten-free. Vegan.

 

Mairug Guri Awang

Kin to the South Indian Kozhukattta, Mairug Guri Awang is a steamed coconut jaggery dumpling. The dough is made from rice flour, and the filling is coconut and jaggery, a traditional, unprocessed cane sugar made from cane juice and often date or palm sap. Gluten-free. Vegan.

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