There are various types of food available in Shillong. Indian, Chinese, South Indian food and what not but the best food in Shillong is the locally available foods; something that you will not find anywhere else.
That’s why it is the best! I mean, come on you do not come to Shillong to try South Indian food! It doesn’t make sense, right?
Obviously, you got to try the local foods even if you might not like some of them, because of their different flavours.
Most people think that Northeast people are purely non-veg. This is absolutely not true. Yes, we eat meat every day but we also have vegetables and fresh salads daily. Our MEALS consists of both veg and non-veg side by side.
Apart from this, we have seasonal wild herbs that are edible & use as vegetables and it is very good for health as well. These wild herbs are available in the local market during seasons.
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Best Food in Shillong
So, are you ready to salivate your taste bud? Well, here are some of the best local foods in Shillong.
Who doesn’t like tungtap? Tungtap is everyone’s favourite. It is the most popular Khasi chutney, stone-pounded fermented small fish with various flavours.
The Ja-maw after pounding is very tasty, hot and spicy. Here’s the recipe below if you want to give it a try.
A must-try recipe: Tung tap Chutney Recipe
There are various types of tungtap-making styles. We have,
- Tomatoes fried tungtap (tungtap sdieh bad sohsaw)
- Onion mix tungtap
- Pounded fresh tomatoes tungtap with red onions
- Garlic fish fry tungtap (grind)
- Boiled potatoes tungtap
My mouth is watery thinking about all these. Tungtap is a great appetizer and we have it with rice or boiled potatoes.
2. Tungrymbai/ Tungtoh
Tungtoh will warm your heart during winter’s cold and most people cook tungtoh in almost every house during winter because it is best served in the winter season.
This is another favourite dish of the Khasi-Pnar community. Cooked with either black or white pounded sesame seeds, tungrymbai is a fermented Soya bean rich in probiotics.
Most people prefer to cook it in the winter but it’s available all year through we can cook it in all seasons, but it tastes great during winters.
Tungrymbai is usually cooked with pork or pork fats along with ingredients like ginger-turmeric paste, spring onions, chillies and some other spices and herbs for great flavour.
My mum use to cook it with Khasi apple or with the bitter ball and it tastes amazing.
I love this! Jadoh is rice cooked in a meat broth. It could be chicken broth, fish broth or pork broth.
In some parts of Meghalaya, jadoh is rice cooked in oil with onions and turmeric ginger paste only; no broth. But the best is when cooked in a meat broth and have it along with dohkhleh sniang.
Dohkhleh could be either chicken or pork however at my home we mostly cook Jadoh-Dohkha (fish) with dohkha khleh. Dohkha khleh is boiled fish mix that is shredded into small pieces and mixed with fresh finely chopped onions, coriander, grated ginger, salt and some chillies.
Dohjem is a combination of all the soft parts of the meat like a small soft intestine, the inner sheet of the meat that looks like a blanket, heart, liver and all the internal soft parts of either pork or chicken; are all mixed together and cooks with black sesame seeds. It is so tasty and it is one of my favourite dishes.
Almost the best dishes mentioned here are my favourites because all of them taste heavenly! Dohjem syiar (chicken) is very tasty.
5. Doh shaiň
This will really ignite your taste buds. Doh shaiň is a pounded/grind meat which is cooked into meatballs. The meat used is either chickens, pork or beef.
My favourite is beef.
6. Doh khleh of the Jaintia hills
Doh khleh is a combination of all the soft and hard parts of beef meat. It includes the intestines; liver, heart, and stomach cooked for 4-5 hours until they are soft with salt, pepper and seasoning to make it taste great!
7. Blood sausage
From the name itself, blood sausage is a blood sausage. We usually cooked it then cut it into thin slices or pieces and mix it along with chop onions; chopped coriander leaves, chillies flakes and salt.
It is something that you’ll never find in any part of the country. So, when you visit Shillong; make sure to give it a try. It’s as yum as any other meat and it is made from pork’s blood.
8. Dohsniang neiiong
Dohsniang is pork and thus dohsniang neiiong is pork cooked with pounded black sesame seeds.
It’s juicy (especially the fats), gravy, soft and one of the best. Having it with pu tharo is so amazingly gorgeous. However, people with high blood pressure don’t take it due to its high-fat content.
9. Smoke meats
Ooooooo…this is my all-time favourite too. From smoked beef to smoked chicken, smoked pork and even smoked fish, you name it; all taste heavenly if know how to cook and fry properly. Smoked meats are the best.
I love all types of smoked meat. They are cooked with gravy or dry-fried or soft-cooked with black sesame seeds.
10. Corn Cake
Made and prepare from the corn itself. Corn cake is yet another tasty food that is mainly prepared originally by the Pnar community. The Khasi people don’t make corn cake.
Corn cakes are available in all local shops during corn season.
11. Pu maloi / Pu tharo / Pu-doh
These are traditionally rice-baked kinds of bread and have it with teas. They are hand-made from either white or brown rice and cook in a traditional mud pot especially use for cooking these rice bread.
Pu doh is similar to the above pu but it had meat inside. Most are made from fats mixed with pounded rice. It is typically found only in Khasi hills. Not available in Jaintia hills.
Oh, I miss having pudoh when I’m in Jowai.
Chinese food is quite tasty here in Shillong if you love Chinese but for me personally; nothing could beat my love for traditional local foods.
There are a lot of Chinese foods in every hook and corner of the City. If you don’t like local food, you can always adopt for Chinese.
This is something invented here. It chows mixed with chana stem and it tastes so good. Only in Shillong. Not elsewhere.
This chana-chow is sprinkled with freshly cut red onions, salt, coriander leaves and masala. Chana is the yellow beans, that are softly cooked.
14. Dohkha syang
Dohkha syang is smoked fish which is smoked by the war-Jaintia people and sold in local markets.
I love smoked fish. Its flavour, its softness is so unique from the rest of the world. After removing all the spines, dohkha-syang is either cooked, fried or eaten directly like that.
15. Rice with Kthung
Kthung is dry fish that consists of all types of fish. We eat it fried, cooked; chutney making. In the olden days when meat is not available like it is now, kthung is the most used dish in the villages as it can be stored for a long period of time without spoilage.
Besides, it is cheap and eaten by mostly poor people. However, things changed, these days kthung is a very expensive meal and people who eat it are considered to be rich.
16. Sohsaw khleh with Jamyrdoh
We also took lots of veggies besides meat. DON’T GeT US WRONG and lots of freshly prepared salads as well.
Sohsaw is tomatoes; freshly cut into small pieces and mixed with Jamyrdoh (local herbs found in most parts of southeast Asia).
These salads are so refreshing and healthy, especially the sweet smell of Jamyrdoh. We have it with rice, meat, fry vegetables and chutney.
There are lots of locally available foods that are very unique from the rest of the Country. I hope you enjoy some of the best food in Shillong.
The local vegetables out here are also very unique. We love having a meal that is rich in a combination of both veg and non-veg.
Rice is our stable food and with rice, we have vegetable soup and some other tasty side dishes.