Food is one aspect that can very well define the variety India possesses. Food habits of the Arunchalis differ because of the Tribal influence. The Nishis generally take in boiled food; even meat is either boiled or dried. Apatanis, Chuki and Nishi tribals are also quite fond of pickles.
The People of Arunachal Pradesh are mostly non-vegetarians. The cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh has a strong influence of South-east Asia. The cuisine of the state is predominantly those that Monpas brought with them generations ago. Monpas are an ethnic group of Tibetan descent. Here are some of the most popular dishes that Arunachal Pradesh has to offer:
Momos: It is prepared by stuffing a mixture of minced meat and onion with a thin covering of flour. These are steamed for about half and hour in a three tired perforated utensil placed about another utensil containing water and hence bones of meat for soup.
Zan: it is the staple food of the Monpas. Zan is made by adding millets or any other flour to the boiling water and then stirring with a flat wooden implement. It is served with vegetable or meat items, to which fermented cheese of soyabean is added as condiment.
Khura: A teatime delicacy, Khura is a Monpa pancake. A little Chang (a home-made rice brew) and required quantity of water is added to the flour and is stirred till it turns into a thick paste and is kept near the fireside overnight so that the cake becomes soft. This is usually served as teatime snack.
Gyapa-Khazi: It is a Monpa version of Pulao. It is prepared by mixing rice, fermented cheese, small dried fish, chillies, ginger and other herbs.
Thukpa: Thukpa is a dish which the entire south-east Asia is fond of. There are many forms and names of thukpa with small variations. It is also one of the most popular and common dish of the people of Arunachal Pradesh in general and the people of Tawang in particular. It is an ingredient of noodles with soup, minced meat, chillies etc. It is also known as Dre-Thuk. Thukpa made of maize, meat and beans is called Ashum Thukpa.
Apong: This is a local beer made from fermenting either rice or millet. Apong is drank during the various festival and social gatherings.