Food Habits

The Yimkhiungrus are by and large non-vegetarian. The people consume meat of all animals-domestic or wild. Meat is an essential and integral part of diet in all occasions. The people practice jhuming cultivation for all food crops and vegetables. Rice form the main stable diet. Although food grains like millet, job’s tears, phab-khiung pu, thuru-ji, corn etc were widely grown for food. Many varieties of kidney beans (kholar) is grown each year. Rhizomes like, Yam, Rhu-u, alo-rhu etc are also grown in abundance and consumed. Wild and kitchen garden vegetables are also consumed in good quantity.  Many varieties of pulses are also grown for consumption. The diet also consists of aquatic creatures such as fishes, crabs, frogs, snails, eatable tree worms, birds, eggs and many eatable insects. The people consume steam food rather than fried. Various chutney accompanied by fermented soya beans or dried fishes are eaten. Earlier times people use to consume locally grown tobacco either by chewing or smoking. These days due to advancement in education, Christianity religion and knowledge, this bad habits are dying fast. The people consumed lots of rice beer. This habit of drinking rice beer is also fading fast due to Christianity influence. Normally, people would eat three meals a day.

The Yimkhiungru people are fond of kholar (kidney beans), which grows abundantly. There are varieties of kholar out of which is best quality known as “JIPHUYAK” is available only in the Shamatore belt. People also cultivate rice, millet, kachu, corm, rhizome, cucumber, bumpkins, bottle gourds and the naga dal in abundance. The people don’t lack in any of the crops. Besides fruits like papayas, oranges, banana, guava, big lemon are grown. The people also rear various domestic animals like pigs, cow, dogs, goats, sheep, buffaloes and poultry. The mithun is considered rich man’s animal and his wealth are measured by the numbers of mithun he possess. The people eat types of flesh except snakes, house rats and lizards. They also eat all types of birds, fish and some particular insects. Varieties of plants along with its shoots, leave are eaten. Rice beer is one of the main drinks of the Yimchungru people. But, Christianity considers of late drinking of rice beer irreligious. Locally produced tobacco was commonly used for smoking and preparation of other intoxicant drinks. Drinking of fresh milk of cows or goats was confined to rich and affluent section only. It was not commonly used. It was considered luxury items.