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Authentic Manipuri cuisines: A hit among food lovers

Authentic Manipuri cuisines: A hit among food lovers

New Delhi: In an innovative way in the world of business and management, two young entrepreneurs from Manipur have set one of the finest examples by promoting cultural experience for a livelihood and introduced the world to one of the exotic delicacies of the northeast region.

Poirei Yambem and Ashok Mutum from Manipur’s capital city Imphal, the brainchild behind ‘The Categorical Eat-PHAM’, a contemporary Manipuri cuisines outlet in Delhi, which has become an instant hit among the Delhites.

“Manipuri cuisine is a confluence of the Southeast Asia and South Asia. For example, in the Far East, people use turmeric leaves for cooking and here in India, we used both the turmeric powder and the leaves, so it is a confluence of Southeast Asia and South Asia cuisines,” said Poirei Yambem, co-owner of the Eat PHAM Restaurant.

Though coming from different professional backgrounds, the duo’s love for food eventually landed up the idea and turned it into a reality. Humbly started-off from their rented house kitchen in 2013 as a home delivery service, within no time these youngsters have now expanded their outlet in full fledged restaurant at Safdarjung Enclave in New Delhi.

Ashok Mutum, co-owner of the Eat PHAM Restaurant said, “The pressure is very high in hospitality industry but we enjoy since we wanted to do this. We enjoy the experience and the kind of return we are getting, not only in terms of monetary but also in terms of people liking the food and giving us great reviews. So the experience has been good.”

In metro cities, undergoing cultural adaptations, authentic cuisines of the northeast region are rare. So, people from the region, especially students who are new in the city often find themselves adjusting to local north Indian-styled spicy food and crave for a taste of home.

Turning up as angels for those in needs and to promote the delicacies of the region with special focus on authentic Manipuri cuisines, the young men have set up the outlet. At the same time, these entrepreneurs provide an employment opportunity to five other youngsters from the region to earn for their livelihood and improve their skills eventually.

“This is one of the best things happen in Delhi because whenever I want to taste the special dish of Manipuri, I come here and taste the food,” said Monik Sharma, a regular customer.

Since its inception in the city, this contemporary Manipuri cuisine has become popular not only to the food lovers from the region but also among those Delhites who loves to experiment varied tastes.

“We don’t really get northeastern food in the city very easily. It is very rare and I am so happy that this restaurant is here now and it’s good to be here. We always craze for food from home towns and when you come to different cities, you just don’t get it easily. So, it’s good that such restaurant also here,” added another customer from Lucknow.

The traditional form of salad popularly known as ‘Singjui’ and smoke pork blend with fermented soya bean and river snails are some of the most sought after dishes from the menu lists. And not to forget, duck curry is also on the favorite lists of the foodalcoholics.

For appetizers, apart from Lemon grass tea and Garcinia green tea, fruity Roselle tea which comes in crystal pink color is in great demand from the customers as it gives a mixture taste of sour and sweetness.

Outsourcing the ingredients mostly from their home state Manipur, the outlet strives to provide organic food to the customers not only for the authentic taste and aroma but also for healthy living.

“Most of the items that are not available in Delhi like fermented fish, fermented soyabean, snails, bamboo shoot and other local ingredients, we sourced it from Manipur directly at least once or twice in week,” added Mutum.

Apart from running full fledged restaurant, the duo are also experimenting in other extended hospitality areas like food catering and food exhibition in various festivals and events in the city to promote Manipuri cuisine on larger platforms.

With an aim to provide authentic cuisine of the region and promote their culture, the duo is now planning to open up more outlets across the city. Moreover, with precise strategies in expanding their business, these young Manipuri entrepreneurs are aiming to cater not only the skillful youths but also provide an opportunity to the youths who are willing to pursue their career in hospitality sector.

Such hard work in achieving success through passion has served as an inspiration and motivation to many youngsters in the country and especially from the northeast region. (ANI)