“I was in Delhi, Nepal was so near and I had never been here. So I decided to make a trip up,” recalls Yaptomi, who explored the local market in Asan and was struck by the familiarity of it all. Bamboo shoots, dry fish, timur (Sichuan pepper) and niguro (fern) reminded her of Nagaland.
While the similarities excited her, she was even more intrigued by what could not be found in the local restaurant scene: no restaurants serving ethnic cuisine from India’s northeast. Through her music network, Yaptomi was offered a terrace space in Thamel, and that is how Dzoukou Tribal Kitchen came into being.