Tuesday, November 23, 2004


This was fantastic. The best presentation by far too. With banana lakoi plates and banana dona boats. A red phida for my mother too so I was sorry my mother didn’t come. Gope’s sister Ima Thambal Ngoubi was waiting, as lovely as ever.

It was fun to see what Gope had done with our discussion of what and how to serve during this trip. I had told him not to have too many dishes and asked him to bags some dishes so that we have minimal repeats. I want to do a Manipuri-American cookbook: Manipuri dishes presented American style. Tra-la-la.

For the record, here is what I circulated or discussed with hosts before my folks arrived:


All Traditional Manipuri Dishes.

I am trying to see if we can present a wide variety over the 10 days; please see if there is anything that is not already listed here that you might want to feature on your menu.

Easy on Indian style dishes – they will have eaten lots of curries etc. in India. So more on the distinctive in Manipuri cuisine.

Preference for simple, spice-free, chamthong-champhut-kangsoi style.

Protein centerplate; rice as a side dish.

Fish dishes without or minimal bones preferably.

Few dishes – one-two protein, two-three vegetables, one relish, one fruit.

No uncooked vegetables like singju.

No or VERY little chili; except in chili dishes like iromba.

Low salt – Meitei thum on the side.

No dessert necessary.

Coffee and or tea – any style, but milk and sugar on the side.

Bottled water only.

Buffet style suggested: lakoi on dinner-plates, dona for finger bowls as Manipuri touch maybe?

They will eat with fingers; some knives, forks and spoons may be made available if you like.

Preferably sit on chairs or couches; some folk may have difficulty sitting on the ground.

Gope went much further. The guy is amazing. He even had a young botanist help with the traditional serving so she could answer some of the questions we had about what we were eating. At least the botanical names in Latin. Stroke of genius.

We looked at the near-full moon through his skylight after dinner. Perfect ending.


Porong Fish Curry
Porong Thongba

Mung Beans
Hawai Muk

Gathered Greens Rice with Bitter Herbs, seasoned with Vegetable Ash
Nomankha Uti Asangba

Mixed Small Fish, steamed in Turmeric Leaves

Stew of Red Spinach and Manipuri Yelang
Yelang Kengoi Kangsoi

Cauliflower and Peas Stew
Kobi Hawaitharak Kangsoi

Fresh Bamboo Shoots with River Shrimp and Lentils
Usoi Kangsu

Mushrooms with Grilled Fish and Chives
Kanglayen Nganam

Stir-Fried Arrowhead and Water Rice
Koukha Kambong Kangou

Lotus Root Fritters
Thambou Bora

Steamed Tapioca
U Mangra Ang’nganba

Cubed Pumpkin with Sweetened Broth
Mairen Cham’phut

Stir-Fried Bitter Herbs
Nomankha Kangou

Fragrant White Rice Pudding
Chahou Angouba Sangomkher

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