Landimliu Pheiga Gangmei (37) has taken the city of Genk in Belgium by storm with her authentic Naga food truck called ‘Lulu’s Tribal Kitchen’ that she runs along with her husband.
“I feel a sense of responsibility for representing my food and culture on the map. The northeastern part of India still feels like this unexplored, unknown territory of the country, and more people should know about it,” she says.
Hailing from Neikanlong in Manipur, Landimliu, fondly called Lulu, learned how to cook from her mother.
After moving to Belgium, it was her husband who suggested that she start a food truck as he loved what she cooked.
“The problem was that Indian food for people is mostly curries and butter chicken. When I introduced the Naga dishes where meat is cooked with bones and skin, it took people by surprise,” she says.
While it took some time for people to accept her way of cooking, her truck is doing very well. She tweaked the recipes a bit to make them people-appropriate.
She also delivered food to people’s doorsteps when the pandemic hit, which helped their business grow.
Lulu’s kitchen serves a variety of food — such as beef curry, smokey chicken, Asian pork, Naga dal (lentils cooked in Naga style), began curry (eggplant curry), khui tam (bamboo sauce), umrok tam (a kind of sauce), steamed and seasoned broccoli, courgette etc.
The couple plans on adding more authentic dishes to the menu. “We want to add a new chutney made of soya beans and chillies which is quite spicy,” she says.