Food special: A slice of Nagaland in Mumbai

Soak in traditional Folk dances, fashion shows and relish authentic cuisine from Kohima as Mumbai hosts the first edition of the Nagaland Festival

Nestled in highly mountainous terrains, Nagaland is home to as many as 16 tribes and remains a remote hill-state in the North-East. In an attempt to acquaint Mumbaikars with Naga culture and bring together the Naga community in the city, the Nagaland Welfare Association Mumbai and the Indian National Fellowship Centre have jointly organised the first edition of the Nagaland Festival, set to take place this Saturday at the Mumbai University campus in Kalina.

Angu Pongsen
Angu Pongsen

“The idea is to promote the rich and unique tribal culture of the Nagas to the populace of Mumbai. This acts as an opportunity to experience Nagaland for those who are not able to visit the state,” says festival coordinator, Ningsang Jamir, who along with other working professionals has pooled in finances to make this festival a reality.

Crispy Sichuan
Crispy Sichuan

What’s in store?
The one-day event is packed with a movie screening, fashion shows by Nagaland-based designer Bambi Kevichusa and Rebecca Changkija, musical performances by winners of the Naga Hindi Idol Contest and Pop Rock singer Alobo Naga, tribal Folk dances as well as stalls presenting Naga traditional games, photo booths, etc. The chief guest is PB Acharya, the Governor of Nagaland, Assam and Tripura. “Bambi Kevichusa, the winners of Naga Hindi Idol Contest and Alobo Naga will be flown down from Nagaland,” informs Jamir.

Food blogger Moakala Longchar
Food blogger Moakala Longchar

Nagaland-born jewellery designer Aben, who has been living in the city for the last two years, will be showcasing a range of ethnic jewellery at her stall. With prices starting from '400, bracelets, necklaces, headpieces and earrings will be on display. “The jewellery designs are modern, but most of the pieces are in red colour, inspired from the traditional Naga tribal jewellery. I’ve also used a lot of feathers in the headpieces,” says Aben.

Food connect
Food forms an integral part of Naga culture and city-based food blogger Moakala Longchar, who runs North-East Indian food blog,, will be dishing out authentic Naga recipes at the fest. According to Longchar, Nagas prefer boiled edible organic leaves which might not be palatable for the majority, but might appeal to the bold and curious eater. Priced between '200-300, 15 dishes will be part of the stall. “A typical Naga table consists of simple combinations of fresh ingredients like a meat dish, a boiled vegetable dish or two, rice and chutney. Most of the ingredients like Napa (Naga basil), bamboo shoots, etc have been sourced from Mokokchung and Kohima districts of Nagaland,” she says. Besides, she will also be launching a cookbook comprising 10-15 Naga recipes, titled Authentic Naga Cook Book.

On: February 21, 3 pm onwards
Kavi Kusumagraj Marathi Bhasha Bhavan Hall, Mumbai University, Kalina.
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Did you know?
Nearly 10,000 Nagas currently live in Mumbai. A majority of them are students and mid-level professionals working in the service sector. They are settled in Santacruz and Khar because of the proximity to educational institutions like the Mumbai University.

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