Lulu Pheiga Gangmei from the small Manipuri village of Neikanlong is the chef behind Lulu’s Tribal Kitchen. A popular food truck, it is winning hearts on the streets of Belgium. Based in Genk, Belgium, Lulu belongs to the Rongmei Naga tribe. She says, ‘We have nothing to complain about so far so it has been very positive…people say it put a smile on their face when they eat our food so that’s really good.’
The Idea of a Food Truck
Her husband Bob Staal who loves her cooking wanted other people to experience it too and that is how the idea of having her own food truck originated. The recipes in her menu have been handed down from her mother, grandmother and her ancestors.
Must Try Items
The menu comprises of mostly Naga food with one or two dishes from the Indian cuisine. Some items from her menu are Smoked Pork with Bamboo Shoots, King Chilli and Fermented Soybean Chutney, Ganhuai (Naga Risotto) etc.
She also caters for big festivals where she makes the Royal Naga Thali which includes 8 to 10 different dishes in one plate. Some of the crowd favourites are Smoked Pork, Naga Dahl and Butter Chicken.
Hard Work Pays
Lulu says, ‘It might seems all nice and smooth if you look from outside but I am telling you it’s takes lot of hard work, we sometimes work 16 to 20 hours at a stretch. 3 hours of sleep and you have to be ready to go again with a big smile on your face ready to serve your customer. Sometimes I can’t even move my wrist from pain when I tend to overwork, like for big music festivals, I have to cook for thousands of people and that’s not a joke. But if you stay positive and have the passion to do what you are doing and of course a good partner to encourage each other then you can overcome almost anything.’
Words: Payel Bhattacharjee