By Paojel Chaoba
IMPHAL, April 20: Arriving at the entrance of Iboyaima Sumang Lila Shanglen, one’s senses are tickled by the smell of fried food wafting in the air.
A smorgasbord with choices ranging from the traditional Singju (local salad) right down to Chinese shark fin soup, the third Chinjak Festival caters to the taste buds of the connoisseurs and the public alike.
With 43 stalls participating at the Chinjak Festival, one has umpteen choices to decide from local indigenous cuisines and international ones. Mostly the local stalls are exhibited by traditional chefs, mainly womenfolk.
A plethora of local eatables are displayed at the stalls, inclusive of ‘Chakhao Tan,Kongreng Bora, Sengju, Fola, fried indigenous fish inclusive of Ngaton, Pengba and Ngakra,meat preparations by different tribal women including local sausages, shredded beef, soft boiled pork etc are available. Fermented passion fruit drinks including rice beer are also a main attraction at the food fest.
A star studded stall opened by Tonthoi, who recently bagged the second best actress award at the National Film Festival Awards held at Delhi recently was a hit among the foodies.
“We have a chance to interact with our local stars and as an added bonus ,get to taste their cooking the “Fola” that Tonthoi made was superb”, Thongbam Niran, a visitor said.
As a crowd, the festival has a separate stall where film stars will cook and sell their wares to the visitors. Local actor Bala will showcase her culinary skills in preparing Alu Chop and Sougri mathel. Soma, another star will also prepare ‘Boras’.
‘We want to exhibit the talents of the local stars; they have as much love for good food. This is another side of their talents which we are exhibiting here’, Chinglen, the main organizer of the festival said.
Organized by the Innovative Youth Society in association with the department of Tourism, the festival will continue till April 29 .
International cuisines that can be savored during the festival include Korean food which will be on offering Kimchi-fermented vegetables ,Kimbab-seaweeds rice cake, Chinese dishes like Shark soup, Chicken stew, chicken fried with ginger and golden brown egg-egg boiled with herbs will be available.
Other international cuisines like Som Tum-papaya salad, Spicy minced pork salad, Num Tok-spicy slice pork salad, Vietnam with Pho noodle Soup-noodle soup, Vietnam Spring roll, Chicken Bagasse-chicken fried in Bagasse are made to cater to the taste buds of the locals.
Thai stall will have Pat Thai-noodle dried fry, fish fried rice, pork satae-pork grill, fish salad.
The Tibetan stall will have Lambhi-steam flour with spices and a whole gamut of other Tibetan food varieties.
Singapore food stall have, four season fish, Singapore curry soup, chicken gravy with steam rice, Hotboy with big sausage. Hongkong stall will have Pork stew with rice, chicken stew with rice, pork spicy, chicken spicy etc.
The fest kicked off with imminent personalities at the inaugural function. Artists including, Kaiku, Bala, Soma,Tonthoi,Boney hosted an entertainment program at the site. Imphal Free Press and Ireibak are media partners of the event.