Not a foodies guide to Manipur

I wasn’t there long enough to find the best places to eat. With the curfew, we had to be back at the guest house at dusk (5pm in January) for security reasons, so evening dining was out of the question. There was one fast food restaurant which looked like it had been sponsored by an American church group, which served western meals – burgers, fruit smoothies, chipped potatoes. Manipur is a dry state, so no wine or beer with your meals, either.

Here is a scene at the market in CCpur. Mystery meat on sale, with dog looking on wistfully. He hasn’t a hope.

Making a special dosa (rice flour pancake) during Pongal celebrations.


Steaming rice cakes called “idlis”

The markets contained some excellent fresh vegetables. Look at the size of those brocoli. I didn’t feel confident enough to sample the mussels, though.

I am not sure that naming an establishment “Three Star Hotel” will pull in the punters. The saloon doesn’t serve alcohol, but you can check out the poultry hanging outside the kitchen area.


Or you could try your luck at this interesting restaurant.


This is how you make stuffed parathas. Take a ball of dough, make an impression using your thumb and fill it with spicy potato and coriander. Fold it back up, then flap it back and forth between your hands to make a thick pancake which is fried. Delicious.

This is a plain breakfast paratha, with spicy relish on the side, eaten for breakfast in the clinic, accompanied by sweet masala chai.


Some road side snacks – eat on the pavement. No one could tell me what the green sludge was in the large pot – Burmese tea leaf salad? There is rice stew, offal stew with lungs, aorta, liver and other stuff requiring a veterinary anatomy degree to decipher and finally, black pudding sausages. These were very tasty indeed.

You could cook your own food, of course. Here is a row of indeterminate chunks of meat hanging on hooks at a butcher’s shop. The easy way to pluck a chicken (“ploat” is what I wrote at first. Is it a real word, or is it just Geordie slang?) quickly, using a blow torch. It also gets the cooking process started, I suppose.

For snacks, you can buy fried strands of dough. And for dessert, there’s always candy floss (cotton candy). With chillies.


By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

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