Jingbam: Khasi Cuisines

Prarun Hazarika
Prarun Hazarika
Prarun Hazarika Lyndem belonging to the Khasi tribe is a high school student studying in Guwahati.

The title "Jingbam" literally means food or delicacy in Khasi, a tribal language originating from Meghalaya and Khasi. Jingbam are of various varieties, ranging from vegetables to meats to dips and chutneys.

For thousands of years, the Khasi people have preserved their traditions and culture in such a way that their dishes still have the same saporous taste and rich aroma as they did hundreds of years ago.

Passing down from generation to generation, Khasi Jingbam has proved that the richness of a culture cannot be exploited by modernization.

Here are some of the famous Jingbams (food) that are famous among the Khasi tribe.

  • Jadoh

Jadoh is a traditional khasi delicacy equivalent to biryani or pulao and is a favourite among all the people of the tribe. It's made with small grain rice, also known as "joha rice" among the locals, and a mixture of pork meat. It is prepared in such a way that the rice is cooked along with precooked pork meat to give it a strong taste and aroma. The richness of the spice and the taste of broiled onions add a great flavour to Jadoh. Jadoh Snam is also made in a special way. Jadoh Snam is one of a kind. But this dish is prepared with the blood of the pork meat and, unlike the normal Jadoh, Jadoh Snam has a very different yet delicious taste. Jadoh can also be made with only vegetables.



 Picture Credit: wannabemaven.com/EdwinaDsouza

  • Doh Khlieh 

Doh Khlieh is a typical Khasi dish, also prepared with pork. Doh Khlieh is very popular among Khasi people and non-Khasi people as well due to its delicious and fresh taste. Pork meat is the key ingredient. Doh Khlieh is nothing but a pork salad made by using cooked pork brain and vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, scallions, chives, and zesty lemon, mixed with finely chopped onions, green chillies, ginger, and local seasoning add-ons for a rich taste.

It can be eaten with jadoh or any type of rice. 

Picture Credit: atmykitchen.net


  • Tungrymbai

Tungrymbai is a Khasi traditional chutney prepared with fermented soybeans. Tungrymbai is a delicacy that can be used as a chutney or dip. Tungrymbai has a rich history behind its existence, made in almost every household in Meghalaya. It is a people's favourite and my favourite as well. My ancestors had a special recipe for it, which had been passed down to our family for generations. Tungrymbai can be made with both veg and non-veg. Fermented soybeans are its key ingredient. Tungrymbai is usually prepared by crushing beans until they become a paste, and the paste should be neither too thick nor too thin. After it is properly crushed, the paste is fried in mustard oil and once the colour of the paste turns reddish golden, more ingredients like ginger and garlic paste, onion paste, black sesame seeds paste, etc are added to the tungrymbai and cooked for an hour. It later on becomes a fine paste that can be consumed with rice or even boiled potatoes. Tungrymbai can also be flavoured with pork meat, chicken meat, or any other meat or vegetable. waters my mouth already.

Picture Credit: thegaijinmom.wordpress.com

  • Pumaloi

Pumaloi is a special dish and is one of a kind. It's equivalent to idlis made by steaming powdered rice. It is served with chutneys or stew. Consumed by many people living in Meghalaya, it's a perfect anytime meal, whether it be breakfast or brunch. Pumaloi can also be stuffed with pork meat or vegetables and can be served as a sweet dish by adding jaggery. 

Pork and meat are used across various cultures and tribes in Meghalaya. But the beautiful culture of the Khasi tribe has much more to offer than pork and other meats.

Picture credit : crazymasalafood

  • Kyat

Kyat is a fermented rice beer popular in Khasi culture. It's been consumed by the locals for centuries. It is prepared by boiling the fermented rice in water and is garnished with local ingredients. Kyat, which can be bitter or sweet in taste depending on how it's made, can be found in local liquor shops or in any bar or restaurant in Meghalaya. It is served as a side drink along with other dishes as well. One must try Kyat once in their life.

These are some of the dishes that a person visiting Meghalaya must try, because one should not miss these. With a posh texture and different flavours, these dishes are sure to make your visit to Meghalaya a memorable one along with its beautiful valleys and greenery.