Tag Archives: bamboo

Local Rice Beer and Spices @ Shillong Beer Festival

Shillong Beer Festival

The Shillong Beer Festival

There is no such thing as a bad beer. It’s that some taste better than others.” – Bill Carter .

Fried Chicken and Rice Beer @ Shillong Beer Festival
Fried Chicken and Rice Beer

This was exactly the first thing that came to mind when i entered the Shillong Beer Festival yesterday . Hosted or the 4th time on the 21st of October , it took place in the scenic Orchid Lake Resort with the very beautiful Barapani Lake in the backdrop . Sitting on the wooden platforms on the lake and sipping beers with your friends is always an awesome feeling . If only the weather was better , it would have been a much better event .

Mahau Beer @ Shillong Beer Festival
Mahau Beer

Multiple national brands like Magpie and Savage were available alongside international brands like Budweiser and Mahau . But what was special about the event were the local rice beers from various parts of Meghalaya . Served in bamboo tubes or tumblers , these are the drinks that you normally don’t get to buy in wine shops !!

Local Rice Beer
Local Rice Beer

My favorite turned out to be a local rice beer which they mixed with red chili powder and salt before serving . The taste was really nice and totally unexpected from a beer , specially a locally made one . It also provided a welcome change from all the branded beers which were available in the event .

Local Rice Beer and Spices @ Shillong Beer Festival
Local Rice Beer with Spices

Apart from the beers , a lot of food options were also available during the event . It included multiple local recipes of chicken and pork . Some guys had also put up a stall to serve chicken and pork satay . Rice and gravy options were also available for those who preferred to eat heavy .

Pork Satay @ Shillong Beer Festival
Pork Satay

Shillong isn’t called the Rock Capital of the nation without reason . Any event happening in and around the area generally accompanies live performances and the Shillong Beer Festival of this year was no exception . However the continuous rain played spoilsport and dampened the spirits of organizers , participants and enthusiasts alike . And now we have to wait for one more year for hopping for an even bigger Shillong Beer Festival !

Beer Dispenser in the Rain @ Shillong Beer Festival
Beer Dispenser in the Rain

Sungat bonua – cooking in bamboo tubes

Sungat bonua literally translates to cooking in bamboo tubes in Assamese .

Bamboo is a very common plant in the equatorial region of the earth . Due to its high strength and fast growth rate , this member of the grass family is very popular in the construction and paper industry . But this post is about something completely different  , using bamboo as a utensil to cook your food !

Sungat bonua - cooking in bamboo tubesPicture courtesy : Buddha Saikia

Eating is a necessity but cooking is an art .

The first step is to choose an edible type of bamboo ( if you do not want to have allergic reactions!! ) . For this you can ask your elders or you can check this list .

Select a thick raw piece . The thickness and the water content in the stem wall prevents it from catching fire easily , thus enabling cooking in bamboo tubes . Try to  use the end towards the roots for making these tubes as they are thicker and stronger .

Next comes the cutting . Cut about two inches from the node in such a way that each piece has an intact node at one end . Use a saw or hack-saw blade to cut so that there are no cracks while making the tubes .

Do not forget to rinse well before you use it  . It takes from about fifteen minutes to about one hour for cooking in bamboo tubes depending on what you put inside . A wide range of food like rice , fish , meat  and vegetables can be cooked in these tubes . Try to use small pieces when cooking meat . Cover it with a tender banana or leaf after putting the contents and tie it with piece of string or straw .

This type of cooking is even more fun when you are on an outing with your family or friends . Set up the sungas to cook on your campfire while everyone is enjoying . The nice aroma of the bamboo to your food is what makes cooking in bamboo tubes ever so special .

Click here for more information and recipes on Sungat bonua – cooking in bamboo tubes .


Sunga Chicken – Chicken cooked in bamboo tube

Mainly because of its availability , bamboo has been an integral part of the Assamese culture for quite a long time . Used not only as a building material , but also as food and in this case , as a utensil to cook chicken , it has a variety of uses . Sunga in Assamese means a hollow cylinder , and in this case the hollow cavity of the bamboo stem . This article is about how we can cook delicious chicken in the cavity of bamboo – sunga chicken !!

sunga chicken - chicken cooked in bamboo cavityPicture courtesy : Buddha Saikia

I love chicken . I would eat chicken fingers on Thanksgiving if it was socially acceptable . ~ Todd Barry

Ingredients :
  1. One kg Chicken ( cut into small pieces ) .
  2. About 50 grams each of fresh ginger and garlic .
  3. Two – three large onions .
  4. One large tomato .
  5. Green chilies according to taste .
  6.  Salt and black pepper .
  7. Fresh coriander leaves for garnish .
  8. Little mustard oil .
  9. One lemon .
  10. Three stems of edible type bamboo ( about 1.5 to 2 feet length , with a node intact at one end) .
 Procedure :

Make a paste of the coriander leaves , ginger , garlic , tomato , onions and chillies in a grinder . Marinate the chicken in this paste along with grated or pickled bamboo shoot ( if you like ) . Then add the salt and black pepper according to your taste  . Also add about two teaspoons of mustard oil and few drops of lemon juice to the chicken . And then mix everything properly so that the meat is evenly coated with the paste . Let this marinated chicken stand for about two hours .

Then put the chicken in the bamboo , filling it to about 2/3 rd of the capacity . Then add about half a cup of water to it . Cover it with a tender banana leaf tied with a sting or straw to seal the contents inside .

Meanwhile start charcoal / coal / wood fire ( make sure that there aren’t  much flames or else the bamboo might catch fire ) . Do not keep the sungas directly on the burning coals , rather use a grill or wood to make a raised platform which does not catch fire . And make sure that they do not fall over and spill the chicken .

Keep them in that place for about an hour , occasionally rotating them  to heat them from all sides . Then let it cool for about fifteen minutes in the sunga before serving . Garnish the sunga chicken with fresh herbs and serve while it is still warm  .

Click here for more information and recipes on Sungat bonua – cooking in bamboo tubes .