Meghalaya literally means abode of clouds and being true to this it also “as the wettest place on earth”. The climate is pleasant all year round and is an ideal place to spend a holiday. Shillong, the capital of this rate is known as "Scotland of the East". The British colonials saw this space to have great resemblance with Scotland. And it was their place spend a vacation in India. But the local food is nothing close to the food served in Scotland.
Tree main tribes are Khasi, Garos and Jayantias, and the foods they prepare are similar to rest of the North East region. Their favourite meat pork; mutton and beef not very popular. But they have some mouth catering fish based dishes. Fish cooked is bamboo hollow, fish baked banana leaves are a favourite among the people too. Spices and fat are again used sparsely, ginger, garlic, onions and green chillies is all that is needed to cook up the dishes from here.
Amongst the three tribes there is slight variation in the style of cooking. Garos use lots of indigenous soda in their cooking. Khasis have a liking fermented fish dishes and also pork dishes.
Apart from the other Meghalaya speciality, what is indispensable is the importance of khwai (betel nut). A day for a resident of Meghalaya starts with a mouthful of khwai, betel leaf and chemical lime. It is also a vital requirement for all important occasions; in wedding ceremonies the groom presents khwai, betel leaf, chemical lime, rice beer and clothes to the eldest female member of the bride's family. It is also offered to guest, it's had before meals to create more appetite and after real it is said to help in digestion.
During earlier days, food was offered to a departed soul, it was believed that it would help the soul in its journey from earth to the next world. After the arrival of Christianity, these practices have ceased to take place. Now Khasis prefer t have tea party or hold a feast after a funeral.
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