An Ethnic Museum, With Appetizing Food
-   2017-11-08 | nepaltraveller.com
Dzükou Tribal Kitchen is a new restaurant in the city offering authentic Naga cuisine.
We couldn’t help but visit after learning that a new Naga restaurant had opened up in the city. With so many cuisines being offered in the city today, Naga food isn’t something that comes up quite often. After sauntering the narrow alleys of Thamel, we finally find this quiet wooden hut-like restaurant.
The restaurant derives its name from theDzükou valley in the northeast Indian state of Nagaland. The restaurant has recently been introduced to Kathmandu, with its original establishment being located in New Delhi.
The restaurant has a traditional Naga ambiance. As we climb the stairs we come across the pictures of various tribes hanging on the walls. The Konyak tribe is one such Naga tribe, known for their headhunting expertise. The hut-like pad has un-polished rugged wooden tables and benches—each table having ethnic tablemats and an aluminum kettle to serve water on. The walls of the restaurant have tribal Naga ornaments and the ceilings have light bulbs covered by wicker baskets.
Our choice of appetizer was Pork chops—this succulent dish turned out to be our favourite. The dish is crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. The dish comes along with a tangy sauce which complements the taste of the pork chops.
Moving on to the entrée, we were first served Pork with Anishi. Anishi is a paste of fermented smoked yam leaves. The dish was served in aluminum bowl—it is very quintessential in Naga culture to serve food in aluminum utensils. It was quite surprising to get a very earthy taste from a meat stew. The flavorsome dish is a great healthy alternative for anyone who wants pork in his or her meal.
“Naga dishes are very healthy, with a minimal amount of oil in the dishes and no masala ( a mixture of many spices)—just basic herbs,” says Karen Yepthomi, a native of Nagaland and, the owner and top chef of the restaurant.
The next dish we tried was smoked buff, a pungent broth with chewy buff pieces. The dish was concocted with flavourful ingredients, which go well when eaten with sticky rice, and boiled vegetables that are served alongside.
Like many other South Asian cuisines, the best way to try Naga cuisine is by taking a large portion of sticky rice on an aluminum plate and on the sides, add meat curry, boiled vegetables and a small amount of condiments. This is a very balanced diet providing all the necessary nutrients for the body.
Dzükou Tribal Kitchen not only offers scrumptious food but is also a great way to get an insight into the culture of northeastern India. Naga cuisine may not be the most common and sought-after cuisine, but it is definitely worth a try. Tease your palate with something different once in a while.
Address: AmritMarg, Thamel, Kathmandu