Dare to try , Spider dish in Nagaland

It drizzled the whole night. That was my first ever experience of winter rain in mountains. It was cold outside . The soft light streamed through the tent announcing a brand new day. I woke up and enjoyed a hot coffee followed by breakfast. And it’s the day when I dared to try Spider dish in Nagaland.

Beauty of Exploring Solo

My solo trip to Nagaland was filled with so many precious memories that’s still fresh in mind !
Solo trip offers an unique opportunity for self-discovery, solitude and reconnecting to yourself.

These two little sisters who were living in a small cottage next to the camp site .. I would spend some time with them while taking the road to the Fest site post breakfast, 20 mins walk .
They would show me the veggies what the family growing in their small garden .
The innocence of those kids is a treasure to behold, untouched by the complexities of modern life

It was the last day at the Fest . I was already in a mood of exploring something new !

Dare to Try, Spider dish in Nagaland

In Nagaland, a state in northeastern India, spiders are consumed as a traditional food item. The practice of eating spiders, particularly the local species called “a-pi,” has cultural and culinary significance.

As I approached the stall showcasing various indigenous foods at the Festival, my senses are immediately engaged. The air was filled with the aroma of spices mingled with the sounds of traditional music and laughter from different Morungs.

Tribal Culture of the Nagaland Hornbill Festival

Fried Spider

My curiosity piqued, I joined my friends whom I met at the camp site. They gathered around a section of the stall where a variety of insects and spiders are on display. The sight of the spiders, cooked to a golden crispness and seasoned with local spices, both intrigues and slightly unsettled me.

Taking a deep breath, I decided to try this unique delicacy. With the encouragement of those friends and the lady who selling it, I gingerly picked one up.

The texture was slightly crunchy legs , giving way to a soft interior at the middle section. A combination of spices that danced on your palate. Despite the initial hesitation, I found myself enjoying the taste and getting ready for the second one !

It was not just about trying a new food; it’s about immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of Nagaland’s culinary traditions.And proudly embracing the spirit of exploration and openness that defines the Hornbill Festival.



The only traditional brew from Northeast India to obtain the GI tag. Brewed majorly by women, this drink is served as a symbol of respect. It’s a drink to greet their guest and relatives with love.

Judima is a traditional rice-based alcoholic beverage from the Dimasa community in the North Cachar Hills region of Assam, India. It is made by fermenting cooked rice with the help of a starter culture called ‘Juda’ or ‘Judima.’

This beverage holds cultural significance among the Dimasa people and is often consumed during festivals and ceremonies. It is regarded as sacred drink ,guided by stories, spirits .

The making process involves several steps ending with at least one month fermentation . I had two bottles of Judima during the lunch followed by pork cooked with Anishi.

Anishi is primarily made from fermented colocasia leaves, which are known locally as ‘taro’ leaves. The preparation of Anishi involves a meticulous process.It begins with harvesting the colocasia leaves during the peak season. These leaves are then thoroughly washed and finely shredded before being left to ferment for several days.

The resulting dish is a savory and slightly tangy stew-like preparation with a rich umami flavor. Anishi is often enjoyed with steamed rice, which helps balance its acidity and adds a comforting element to the meal. It’s a dish that embodies the essence of Naga cuisine.

And here I am holding red tea which was served in that cute Bamboo cup. That was my afternoon tea before heading to the Musical evening. Stay tuned for my next Blog to read about ‘Rope Pulling Festival’ that I witnessed in Kohima on my return journey to Guwhati, Assam.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top