Episode 008 Manipuri Food: Bobby Soram sharing recipe of Nganum (steamed/baked fish) with herbs

Episode 008 FindingTheVoices Bobby Soram sharing recipe of Manipuri Food Nganum 

Today we are going to talk about Food & cooking with Bobby Soram originally from Manipur and now based in Delhi. Bobby is sharing a recipe for making one of the authentic Manipuri food “Nganum” which is baked fish with herbs. Bobby is mother of 2 wonderful kids. Thanks to Bobby for sharing the recipe, pictures and content of this post. If you try this recipe, please let us know how it came out for you.

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Nganum recipe:

Preparation and cooking time – 40-45 minutes


1. Small fish- mukkak nga or nga- sang or any small fish- 250 gms

2. Turmeric leaves, 4-5

3. Banana leaves, half the leaf

4. Maroi napaakpi ( a small bunch say 10-15 of them) or onion/spring onion- cut into small pieces. One small onion or two small spring onions.

4. 4-5 Green chillies sliced into halves

5. Turmeric powder- one teaspoon

6. Mustard oil ( optional)

7. Salt to taste one  teaspoon.

wash the fish gently and drain the excess water

Clean the banana and turmeric leaves with a wet cloth and spread it on a plate, Banana leaves layered with turmeric leaves on top.

In the meantime, boil  some water in a rice cooker putting  the steamer on top. You can do this while cooking rice too.  when the water while cooking rice starts boiling

Gently Mix the fish, cut chillies maroi napakpi or onions, turmeric powder and salt to taste. Some people pour a teaspoon of mustard oil so that the fishes does not stick. But that is optional.

After mixing it, spread the mixture on the leaves. Wrap it up properly and put it on a steel or aluminum  quarter plate. Place the plate with the wrapped fishes on the steamer and close the lid.Steam it for about 15 minutes.

Remove the wrapped fish with a big spatula from the steamer and place it on a tawa on the gas stove. Place a heavy utensil, a heavy plate or toksu on top of it. Heat it on low flame for about 15 minutes turning sides carefully. This is to remove excess water from the leaves.

Now open the  wrapped fish and check. Your aromatic Nganum is ready.

* traditional method in Manipur is to bake it on low flame  without steaming.I prefer steaming it first.

* you can try this recipe with fresh mackerel, tuna, Elish fish or pomphret too.

Customization of Nganum’s recipe using Hilsa fish and spring onions instead of maroi Napakpi shared by our listener Sairem Surjarani from Montreal. Also turmeric leaf used was from dried one. Thanks to Surjarani for sharing the picture.


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