Singju is an exotic cuisine of Meetei. Nowdays, it is gladly accepted by the world. Meetei Singju is simple and easy to prepare cuisine. The ingredients are mostly home grown. The taste of Meetei shows the rich civilization and food habits.
These are prepared from kitchen garden herbs like Cabbage, Banana flower, Pea leaves, Yongchak, Heibi Mana, Singju pan etc. Without Ngari or fermented fish, the taste of Singju cannot be perfect. Locally grown seasonal herbs are also added in the cuisine.
Little girls used Mimi as important ingredient and is a popular among school going teens. They called it Mimi Singju. The old people prefer yongchak singju. Now, meat like chicken and pork are added in the preparation.
In Manipur, singju festival are organised to promote this cuisine. As a result, this cuisine is gaining popularity. The dish is now known to mainland India. This is mainly because of its taste.
Not only it is food habit, but Singju is relevant to religious ceremony as well. These are prepared and offered to the gods and goddesses. This is called saroi khangba. When a person is sick, local maiba or maibi offered to the deities.
Of all the Singju variety, I prefer heibi mana which is healthy and tasty. The green leaves of heibi are plucked and washed in clear water. Then, it is added to other ingredients. Almost all Singju items are eaten raw. So, the benefit of eating Singju is taking fresh leaves and herbs.
We can prepare different Singju cuisine and it can be eaten at any hour. There is no particular place or time to relish this cuisine. People sometimes called Singju as Salad which is not true. Salad and Singju cannot be clubbed as one.
As you know, Singju is one of the best immune booster food to protect ourselves from Covid-19.It consists of several naturally growing herbs. But, be careful to wash the herbs clean and fresh.
There are different ways to prepare Singju. Mostly local herbs which are of high nutrition value and health benefits are added while preparing Singju. This exotic delicacy is eaten raw in Manipur. It doesnot need any special diploma or high end degree to prepare.
The Heibi mana, Nongmakha mana and the Mukthrubi mana singju are highly demanded one as these herbs are immune boosters.
We can savour this ethnic food of Manipur with a cup of tea or coffee as well.