Known for its natural beauty and warm welcoming simple people, Northeast India has many unexplored treasures. The region comprises of eight states which are Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Sikkim. Each state has its own colour, its own culture and its own beauty. It is sad that the rest of the country still know and understand very less about Northeast. Though the scenario is changing recently and I feel it is the duty of people like us to make the world know more and more about the beautiful North Eastern part of India. I hail from Northeast and I am so proud of my region.
Of all the colourful states of Northeast, one which is famous for its lakes, valleys, hills, martial arts, dance, handloom and cuisine and the one which is very close to my state, Assam, is Manipur. Mainly dominated by Meitei community, the dishes that this land offers are simple, traditional, super healthy and utterly delicious. One such delectable dish is Eromba or Iromba. Eromba is a traditional Manipuri dish and is typically prepared by mashing boiled veggies with dry fermented fish that they call Ngari or Ootonga. Ngari because “Nga” means fish in Manipuri and Ootonga because “Ootong” means cylindrical pipe in Manipuri and fishes get fermented in cylindrical pipe. It is the same Ngari or Ootonga that we, the Bengalis of Assam, call Shidol.
Like many other Sylhetis, I have an eternal love for Shutki and Shidol and I have a few recipes of the same on my blog. While Shidol is very common in my house, all these are typically Sylheti dishes. I never made Eromba by myself, neither I have seen Maa making it. But yes, as I have quite a few Manipuri friends, I have had this dish many a times. I love Eromba and so does Baba and so does my husband. Baba used to have it frequently during his five years stay in Manipur.
Recently my husband’s best friend has shared Eromba recipe with us. This is a variety of Eromba where beans being the primary vegetable, gets mashed with shidol/ngari (dry fermented fish) and it is called Hawai Asangbi Eromba. Hawai Asangbi means beans in Manipuri and Eromba means “mixing of all boiled vegetables together very firmly”. Here I specially like to mention that all the background information, meanings and the recipe itself is shared with us by my husband’s friend and I just can’t thank him enough for his kind gesture.
All said and done, now let me quickly share the recipe with you all and I hope you will like it. This is a zero oil, zero spices recipe and is super healthy.
- 5 shidol/ngari/ootonga (dry fermented fish)
- 250 gm beans
- 1 large potato, peeled
- 1 large tomato, uncut
- 6 green chilli, uncut (adjust according to your tolerance)
- 1 handful masoor dal (red lentil), washed and soaked for 15 minutes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 handful coriander leaves, chopped
- salt, according to taste
- Take beans, peeled potato, tomato and green chillies in a pressure cooker and add water just enough for the veggies to get boiled.
- Take soaked masoor dal in a small vessel and add water just enough for the dal to get boiled. Place the vessel in the pressure cooker above the veggies.
- Also, in a small bowl, take the dry fermented fishes and add little water. Place it inside the same pressure cooker.
- Close the pressure cooker and cook for 4 whistles. Let the pressure get released naturally.
- Once the pressure is naturally released, take out the boiled masoor dal and keep aside. Take out the dry fermented fishes and keep aside. Take out the boiled veggies and discard the water.
- In a large vessel, take boiled fermented fish and boiled chillies from the veggies. Mash these two thing together very firmly.
- Add boiled beans to it and mash well.
- Add boiled potato to it and mash well.
- Now, add boiled tomato and masoor dal and again, mash well.
- Once all the veggies and fermented fishes are properly mashed together, add salt to taste and give a proper mix.
- Your Hawai Asangbi Eromba is ready now. Garnish with chopped onion and coriander leaves and serve.
Serve with steamed rice and enjoy this authentic Manipuri dish with your loved ones. Do drop me a comment telling how you like this recipe. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks.