Dimapur’s Local Fresh Market in Nagaland

By Mark Wiens 12 Comments
Dimapur market in Nagaland
Dimapur market in Nagaland

Dimapur is the largest town in the Northeastern Indian province of Nagaland. The city, which has a population of around 400,000 or so, is accessible by train or airplane (but the airport isn’t always so reliable).

After 30 hours on a train from Kolkata, I was ready to be in Dimapur!

One thing I love doing when I arrive to any destination is to wander around the local fresh market.

Nagaland knives being sold
Nagaland knives being sold

Luckily in Dimapur, I didn’t have to wake up at 4 am like the Long Bien Market, to see the trade taking place. During the morning at 7 or 8 am you’ll find the market pretty busy and it stays open, but rather sleepy, for most of the day.

The Dimpur Market sells mostly fresh food ingredients, but they also do have some clothes, and some nice racks of Nagaland signature knives – used mostly for chopping meat (like pig intestines), but really for a multitude of uses.

Rice and other dry grains
Rice and other dry grains

Rice is the staple for Nagaland food, but other things like beans and dal (influenced from India) are also widely eaten at nearly all meals. At the market you’ll find plenty of grains neatly displayed and ready to be canned out.

Indian food spices
Indian food spices

Beautifully colorful spices are mainly used in Indian cooking rather than local Nagaland cuisine, but all forms of spices are available in abundance at the market.

Red chili powder
Red chili powder

Chili peppers, both in fresh and dried form, are a huge ingredient in Nagaland food. Though most of their dishes aren’t cooked overly spicy, they often eat everything with a seriously fiery hot dipping sauce garnish similar to a Thai nam prik.

Fresh produce
Fresh produce

Fresh vegetables were scattered throughout the market.

Pile of carrots at the market
Pile of carrots at the market

Carrots, onions, potatoes, bitter melon, and all sorts of greens were widely available.

Market vendor selling king chillies
Market vendor selling king chillies

The Naga king chili, a beautiful looking pepper, is one of the hottest chillies in the world. It’s all over the Dimapur fresh market, and it’s heavily consumed in the local diet.

It’s similar to the cobra chili that’s used in Sri Lankan food, but the Naga king chili is quite a bit spicier.

Naga king chillies
Naga king chillies

Naga king chilies are extremely hot, but they are more sharply spicy, rather than a lingering spice that hurts your mouth for a long period of time. The chillies do provide unparalleled flavor, and as many locals mentioned to me, even though they are so spicy, they don’t create a bad stomach.

I had some king chillies in a sauce one night for dinner, and it was hot, but provided really great flavor.

Market in Dimapur, Nagaland
Market in Dimapur, Nagaland

In Nagaland, just like at markets in China, people prefer to purchase their meat alive. That’s always the safer bet. Chickens, pigs, and fish, were all quite common throughout the Dimapur market.

In Nagaland some people do eat dog meat, so there were quite a few dogs at the market, but I’ll spare you from the photos.

Beehives, I think?
Beehives, I think?

I just love walking around local fresh markets because there are always so many interesting ingredients to observe. Fresh honey is alway nice too… this is a beehive right?

There were also many other little creepy crawly bugs and insects all for eating.

Dried fish
Dried fish

Dried and salted fish is another part of the Naga diet, and at the Dimapur market they have a lovely selection.

The reason I love visiting markets so much, is because I love to eat, and there’s no better way to get a feeling of the ingredients used in whatever you’ll be eating than by walking around the food market!

12 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • High Rated Gabru

    2 hours ago

    OMG!! Awesome share Mark.

  • Mohammed Khan

    6 months ago

    Pakeeza Agro food’s
    Meat export
    Veg and non veg

  • Butun ram

    4 years ago

    I want pig Diller plz contact me my phone number 8825351407

  • Roko Sophie

    7 years ago

    Ello Mark i see you have visited a part of My land “Nagaland” hope you enjoyed your stay and the food! Well if you have any plans to visit again do try more foods, say the dog meat (lol), try some snails, wood worms (red), some of the bee paupa, try the fermented soya bean cakes (as pickels and food garnish of course), maybe some fresh fingerlings and local rice beer’s or fruit beer, well you know by now how diverse the food habit in Nagaland is, hope you get to come back and try everything haha.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Hey Roko, great to hear from you, it was so much fun to visit Nagaland. I really hope to visit again in the future, and to sample the dishes you mentioned. Hope you’re doing well.

  • heike

    8 years ago

    oh no…how horrible they had dogs on the market!!!!! now I’m not so sure anymore if i wanna go….thanks for not showing photos of that !!!

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Heike, yes they did have dogs, so if you are concerned you may want to avoid the market…

  • Dan

    8 years ago

    Did you try any of that dried fish? I guess you have to soak it before you cook it, but I heard some people eat it just like a snack…would go well with some cold beer I think 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hey Dan, no didn’t get to try any of this particular fish. I’m sure it would be good as is like fish jerky!

  • Arlyne

    8 years ago

    Great posts about India. Someday, I will visit this country, too. For now, I will just have to sit back and enjoy reading your adventures!

  • Naga Videos Online

    8 years ago

    Hi,

    I must say I enjoy going through the picture and also your text. And I suppose from your experiences you are “adventurous” … 🙂

    Keep sharing!