If you belong to a Northeastern family or have lived with one for any period of time, you would know that Northeastern homes really know how to turn up the aroma factor during meal times. The citrusy burst of kaji nemu, the earthy fresh smell of local herbs, the unmistakable whiff of bamboo shoot, the appetizing spicy hint of bhut jolokia, all of this tempts you to take an extra helping even when you are already quite full. This is one of the reasons why Northeasterners living outside the region tend to crave for home-cooked meals, and even though we try to compensate the lack of these local flavours with international ones, no lasagne or Thai red curry will ever truly satisfy our taste buds quite as much as pork cooked with bamboo shoot that melts in the mouth or the dry fish chutney that produces a symphony of flavours inside your mouth.
The First Step
Trishna Wahengbam, a Northesterner living in Delhi, found that looking for NE food outside the region was not very easy. When she was pursuing her master’s degree and residing in North Campus, Delhi University, she realized that there was a dearth of places in the capital that served delicious, hygienic and budget-friendly Northeastern food. This prompted her to start a venture that would make Northeastern cuisine easily available to students living in-and-around the university campus. And so, after completing her course, she started Chaminnasi, a food delivery service.
Trishna supervises all the kitchen operations herself, and partner Mervyn Mathew oversees marketing and also handles all front-end operations.
What’s on the Menu!
Chaminnasi offers Assamese, Manipuri and Naga dishes. They source ingredients such as ghost pepper, bamboo shoot, fermented soybean, perilla seeds, fermented and dry fish directly from Assam, Manipur and Nagaland. The fresh produce and meats are procured locally from Delhi. Their thalis cost between INR200 to INR280 and the add-ons are priced from INR60 to INR120 each.
The menu is available on their Zomato, Instagram and Facebook pages, and customers can place their orders through phone. ‘Our delivery radius covers places around North Campus, Delhi University as of now. This includes areas such as Vijay Nagar, Hudson Lane, Outram Lines, Indira Vihar on one side, and Kamla Nagar, Roop Nagar, Shakti Nagar and Civil Lines on the other,’ shares the team.
One only has to look at the review section on their pages to figure out that they have made quite a few fans in the city. ‘The feedback from all of our customers has been extremely encouraging. We feel blessed to have such wonderful patrons who keep coming back to our food and have supported us right from the first week of opening. Our passion for cooking and motto of serving freshly-prepared dishes with premium ingredients has been welcomed by all our customers. We are often acknowledged for our hygiene, quantity and friendly customer relations,’ informs the team.
Some of their most recommended items are Spicy Pork Ribs thali, Chicken/Pork with Bamboo Shoot thali, Spicy Dry Fried Chicken thali, Masor Tenga thali, Chicken Liver Fry and Chutney, and Chicken with Fermented Soyabean.
Order Like a Pro
If you are thinking about ordering from Chaminnasi anytime soon then you should know that they offer traditional desserts on certain days of the week. ‘We encourage customers to ask for the dessert of the day.’ If you have a sweet-tooth then you shouldn’t miss out on tasting some traditional NE desserts.
For various North Eastern festivals such as Bihu, Ningol Chakouba and Christmas, they also put together special items that you should keep an eye out for.
The team at Chaminnasi are planning to make a few yummy changes in the coming months. ‘First and foremost, we are looking at expanding our menu by incorporating dishes from other Northeastern states. Secondly, we hope to move into a larger working space in the coming year and build further from there onwards.’
With Chaminnasi to their rescue, Northeasterners in Delhi will hopefully feel a little less homesick this year.
Follow Chaminnasi on their Facebook page
By Meeta Borah