Singju is an exotic cuisine of Meetei. Nowadays, it is gladly accepted by the world. Meetei Singju is simple and easy-to-prepare cuisine. The ingredients are mostly homegrown. The taste of Meetei shows the rich civilization and food habits.
Meetei Singju is prepared from kitchen garden herbs like Cabbage, Banana flowers, 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 to the cuisine.
Little girls used Mimi as an important ingredient and is popular among school-going teens. They called it Mimi Singju. The old people prefer yongchak singju. Now, meat like chicken and pork is added to the Singju.
In Manipur, singju festivals are organised to promote this cuisine. As a result, this cuisine is gaining popularity. Singju are 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. Singju are prepared and offered to the gods and goddesses. This is called saroi khangba. When a person is sick, local maiba or maibi offered Singju to the deities.
Of all the Singju variety, I prefer heibi mana singju 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 can be immune booster and protect ourselves from Covid-19. For Singju consists of several naturally growing herbs. But, be careful to wash the herbs clean and fresh.
(C) Naorem Mohen
The writer can be reached at Twitter @laimacha