Food You Should Eat When You Visit Shillong, the Heart of Meghalaya
If you have landed on this page, you must know about Shillong and want to know more about Shillong food, right? You are at the right place.
You will learn about the top 10 Shillong foods from an authentic Shillongite, a food lover, who works for Zizira, a food products company operating from Shillong! Wonder if you know that our State, Meghalaya, falls in one of the 4 biodiversity hotspots of India. Thanks to this, our land is pristine and home to very many healthy plants, herbs and spices. Our land has a lot to offer, farmers are hardworking, over 80% of the population depends on agriculture, yet many are subsistence farmers. Why? Because most are family farms and reaching their produce to the market is challenging given the undulating terrain of Meghalaya. Zizira is working to help them realize the potential of the land and improve the livelihood of the farmers we work with. Here is why we do what we do.
At the heart of Shillong, food, and music are traditions that are ingrained in our culture. You'd be surprised to know that the most authentic places to experience Shillong food, is not at a hotel, but it's on the nooks and crannies of the city.
Hi! My name is Chan, a young mid-twenty-year-old lad from Shillong, with excellent taste in food and part of the Zizira team. I've been living in Shillong for almost my entire life, and I think I've tried everything here. I will be your trustworthy guide for Shillong food. I have a selection of favorite snacks and meals, which I would recommend any food lover visiting Shillong to try. Let me share them with you.
The Top 10 Shillong Foods
- Jadoh Meal:
Go to any traditional Khasi food stall, and ask for Jadoh. Jadoh is a unique rice cuisine prepared in pork stock, with chunks of pork. It's somewhat similar to the Biryani of North-India, but without the big pieces of meat.
Sometimes, it's even cooked in fish stock and other meat. Jadoh goes well with Doh Sniang Neiiong (pieces of pork cooked with grounded sesame seeds), Phan Sdieh (Khasi fried potatoes with vegetables), and Tungtap (hot dried fish chutney). You can have Jadoh along with your choice of meat or side vegetables you can get from the stall.
- Putharo Dohjem:
Putharo is a simple steamed rice cake served for breakfast or a snack. Putharo makes a perfect duo with Dohjem. Dohjem is a dish with a mixture of liver, kidneys, and intestines of either pork, beef, or chicken. Dohjem is like a dry curry cooked with onions, black pepper, and grounded sesame seeds. This combination is mouth-watering and can be addictive. I would not leave the kitchen whenever we had Putharo Dohjem in the winters at home.
- Phan Tungtap:
Phan Tungtap platter is a mouth-watering spicy snack that works best over friendly conversations. This platter is a combination of Phan (baked potatoes), Tungtap (hot dried fish chutney), accompanied with different herbs. I remember, whenever my friends made Phan Tungtap at their place, we would always fight over the last piece of it. I'd recommend my favorite spot at "You & I-Arts Cafe" for an extraordinary Phan Tungtap experience.
Take a short 35-minute drive to Mylliem, for one of the best Doh-Thad (smoked meat) from Shillong. I would go there every time I get the chance. Doh-Thad is a local cuisine of Meghalaya, which is either smoked pork, beef, or fish. The meat is kept over a kitchen furnace to smoke. It is later fried with onions and chilies.
Head a little further from Mylliem to Laitlyngkot, for some savory local sausage. Doh Snam is a local sausage made of pork intestines filled with seasoned pork blood. The pork intestine acts as a natural pouch for the sausage and then boiled for a few hours. If all you care about is just the flavor, then the only thing in your way is your budget.
- Maggi Mawkdok:
Just a little further before reaching Sohra, is the famous bridge, Mawkdok. It's a renowned tourist spot, but why I usually love to go there is because of Maggi. Enjoy a breath-taking view of the majestic hills along with a delicious bowl of Maggi. I personally love the Maggi with Cheese from there, especially when it's cold and raining, which is the perfect weather.
You have varieties of Maggi to choose, and each one prepared differently.
- Shillong Momos:
If anyone comes to Shillong and doesn't try the momos from Shillong, then I consider it a significant loss. Almost all of my friends have told me that the Momos from Shillong are the best. I don't have any particular momo spot to recommend, but I suggest you try them all. Go to places where you find plenty of young people, and you're bound to come across a good momo joint nearby. Try the different kinds of sauces which you will get along with your momo.
If you're on your way from Guwahati to Shillong, you may see jars of bottles in some of the stalls along the highway. Or, if you are roaming about town shopping, you'll find 'Ashar' (pickles) in an excellent departmental store. Yes! Shillong has a variety of good choices of brine, which are either fruit-based or meat-based. You will see unique ingredients from Shillong because of the tropical terrain. Pickles can either be saturated, dried, and fermented and filled into neat containers. That is if you want to take them back home with you.
- Pu Saw:
Pu Saw is another basic, cake-like traditional food of Meghalaya. My mom would buy from the local market, and we have it for tea in the evening. It's not a very heavy snack, which is perfect if you want to have something light before you go out in the evening. Pu Saw is a sweet red-rice cake, baked in a traditional oven. It's not like your regular bakery cake. I recommend Pu Saw fresh and warm. I would say the best Pu Saw is the one freshly made from Mawkyrwat Village and Mairang Village.
- Tpu Saru:
We've got many good bakers in Jowai, the center of Jaintia Hills. 'Tpu Saru' is a local corn cake, baked traditionally at homes. It is one of the Jaintias’ annual home recipes, usually made during the season when corn is ready for harvest. It may sound like an ordinary cake, but this cake is as soft and tasty as fresh bread from a bakery. My best friend once brought two slabs of Tpu Saru as a gift to my mom from his mom (it's a mom to mom thing). As soon as I handed the cake to my mother, I couldn't resist but try a small slice of the cake. Within the next hour I had finished the entire slab of cake all by myself, without a crumb to spare. Poor mom, nothing for her too.
I can go on and on, as I still have a few left on my list to share with you. But I'd better end it here. Try it all, that's my suggestion! Write to me if you want to know about anything else. Maybe the next time, I can write about my choice of best cafes in Shillong.
Comment below and tell me about your favorite food and experiences you had in Shillong. I'll be more than happy to hear them.