Mizoram – Vegetable Bai


The other day I had lunch at my friend’s place. It was a fabulous lunch with the Kerala Matta rice (red rice) and coconut oil based curries and sambar. It was a feast for me.

And it would have been a punishment for my husband, had he been there.

Reason? He doesn’t like red rice, says it’s too thick for him. And he hates coconut oil in everything. Funny….he doesn’t like it for the same reasons that I love it!

The point is….food is an acquired taste.

We are fine with what we are used to all our lives. And we find it surprising if someone else doesn’t find it tasty.

Same way, I couldn’t enjoy this dish much as it was a totally new taste for me. But for the people of Mizoram, this is one tasty dish – Bai, a stew kind of dish made with green leaves and assorted veggies.

Recipe: Boil about half a litre water. Add salt and half a tsp of cooking soda. Once the bubbles subside, add stalks, leaves and a few florets of a small cauliflower. Add chopped beans, 2-3 green chillies, one tablespoon rice and one diced potato. Cook in a low heat, adding more water as required, until the rice is done and potatoes and beans are cooked.



11 thoughts on “Mizoram – Vegetable Bai

  1. I am a Mizo, In Mizo Cuisine “Bai” baking soda is the most important ingredients, and not to mention “saum” (which is fermented pork fats) is also used. If the baking soda is absent then you cant make a “bai” it will only be a Stew or boiled one


  2. I made the same but perked it up with some red pepper flakes. I totally agree without the pepper flakes, no one would touch at our place :)


  3. so simple!! so many bai recipes today!! and do true about – food being so much personal and individual… one person loves it and the another person hates it!!


  4. one major reason could be the quality of cauliflower we get, it is not our major vegetable, and the fact that it is hybrid variety. In parts of mizo the vege is grown locally and has more flavor than the fowl smell we suffer, having said it..I agree that food is an acquired taste..and our palette gets baptised to a certain kind in our growing years


  5. Omg, husbands are always special, mine is exactly like yours, he dislikes watever i like,but living together for 2 decades…hehe.. Bai looks like a filling dish but somehow am not ready to make it soon.


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