An A'chik Mande / Garo Culinary Adventure



Other Cuisines

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marga@lacabe.com

They call themselves the A'chik Mande or "hill people," but the world at large knows them as the Garo, after the hills they have inhabited for over two millennia. They are a Tibetan-Burmese ethnic group, organized in a matrilineal tribal society. Rice is their most important crop, but they cultivate and eat a wide variety of foods, including imports from the Americas such as maize, bananas, papaya, squash and cassava. They raise goats and ducks and incorporate wild animals into their diet.

For centuries, the A'chick Mande enhanced their curries and other dishes with kalchi, a substance created by burning dry pieces of young bamboo or plaintain stems and mixing the ashes with water. This probably had a tenderizer effect, as well as help some foodstuff to cook faster. More recently, the ashes had been replaced by baking soda.

My incursion into Garo cuisine was very brief, I only made this one dish: