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Manipur sits amid seven hills and is considered the Northeastern jewel of India. There may be a lot of food it has in common with its neighbours Mizoram, Nagaland, Assam and Myanmar. But, it is unique in its rituals, traditions, tribes and communities, which leave a huge influence on its favourite street foods. The rain-blessed agrarian state and its diversity of fruits and vegetables make the food of Manipur a great idea to exploit as a small food business.
The idea of converting the main food of Manipur into a street food model or as a paying business is a popular option for food entrepreneurs willing to make a decent profit with a comparatively low investment. Here are some options worth exploring:
There are also several opportunities that street versions of Manipur foods create. Take a look at these options:
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Even though it is a small street food business, starting a business is not as easy as it looks. There are several factors to consider when starting a famous dish of Manipur cuisine entrepreneurial venture. Below is a list of the significant aspects that have to be sorted out before a business takes off:
Business infrastructure: This is an essential factor in the Manipur famous food business. Make a list of the rent, location, seating arrangements, kitchen equipment required, running expenses, teller and technology, billing costs, etc.
Budgeting: This is the main financial factor of running and establishing a street food business. It is not just the budget used after the business commences, but the budget for every phase is important. The costs of location, rent, wages, licensing required, raw materials, cooking expenses, cutlery and service expenses are critical. Along with that, billing costs and every single item on a long list of expenses will need a budget and fine-tuning depending on how much can be afforded as capital for the business.
Coordination and planning: A crucial factor in entrepreneurship is planning and coordinating your daily activity lists, getting things moving, organising your facilities, arranging for loans and more. Typically small businesses are single person dependent startups. Therefore, smartly organising ideas and planning can help save a lot of hassle.
Choosing the right location: Location is a significant factor in any business and even more when it comes to street food. Ensure your location is visible and close to floating crowds of locals. Ensure the place has a scope for Manipuri cuisine that is good on quality, quantity and prices. When a small shop is not feasible, be innovative and think of food carts, food trucks and quick-assemble outlets that are within budgets.
Investment and loans: Finances are the bloodline of a business. Not every pie has to be from your pocket. The banks and government aid entrepreneurs by funding the Manipur business enterprises with loans at a reasonable interest rate. They also conduct entrepreneurship development programs to help sustain and manage small food business ventures.
Resource Management: It will not be an easy task to manage your resources for Manipuri cuisine. Remember your budget, and procure the right resources like raw materials, equipment on hire, workforce, fresh veggies and fruits, disposable cutlery etc.
Logistics and supply chain management: Since the business of serving Manipuri food is dependent on taste and local recipes, ensure you get authentic local spices, herbs, fish, vegetables etc., that are found in Manipuri food. Maintaining a regular and adequate supply of these is an art in itself.
Advertising and marketing support: Marketing Manipur traditional food and your business are essential. Think innovatively to promote the business. Does your food outlet display a cannot-be-missed signboard? Is your menu made of favourite local dishes? Can you get a tie-up with a food chain? Do you offer an excellent price for tummy-filling quantities? Think creatively and fulfil the requirements for successful marketing.
Taste: The very basic of the Manipur food eatery business is its taste and nutritional value. If the dishes served are Manipur’s authentic and traditional recipes, they easily identify with the locals. Your chef is your biggest asset in this line of work. Stay with organic foods, wholesome foods and a well-flavoured range of Manipuri tastes.
Social media: Today’s Manipur special food businesses can be easily promoted online with a strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. Chat up your customers to make regular posts of your business to achieve fame and success.
The normal rule is that food businesses rarely fail when you ensure the following tips:
Manipuri street food is well-appreciated in the Northeastern States. Several business opportunities in the cuisine of Manipur exist that can be easily exploited gainfully with a minimum of resources. However, as pointed out above, the job of an entrepreneur is never easy. The main hurdles in such business are in accounting, State GST compliance, scheduling, managing and maintaining their enterprises. Did you know that the Khatabook app can be a God-send for street food entrepreneurs with just these hard tasks? Try it out today!
1. What is Morok Metpa?
The Morok Metpa is a sweet-hot spicy chutney made from green chillies, Ngari fish, salt, sugar, coriander leaves etc. This is used with all kinds of food dishes and is very popular in Manipur cuisine and street food.
2. What is Alu Kangmet?
Alu Kangmet is a side dish in Manipur cuisine made from boiled potatoes, mustard oil seasoning, salt etc.
3. What is the favourite food of the Meitei Manipuri community?
The predominant Meitei community loves the bite-sized Nga-thongba curry flavoured with red chillies, pepper, salt, garlic, ginger etc.
4. What is unique in Manipuri street food dishes?
Manipuri dishes have an abundance of broth-dishes eaten with rotis and rice. They are full of local fresh vegetables and pickled, fermented recipes spiced and flavoured with authentic Manipuri herbs and spices.
5. What are the sweet dishes found in Manipur?
Chak-hao kheer is the kheer version of the Manipuri food culture and a regular favourite of its people. The purple coloured kheer dish Chak-hao kheer has rice, milk, dry fruits, spices and herbs like cardamom. Paaknam is a spicy hot-sweet dish that is popular and has vegetables, gram flour and more.
6. Is Manipuri food similar to the cuisine of India’s Northeastern states?
Yes, Manipur has its own food culture similar to its neighbours Mizoram, Nagaland Assam, Myanmar and the Northeastern states. Pickled and fermented fish, soya bean dishes, cabbage, rice, bamboo shoots etc., are also popular in most of the Northeast of India.
7. Why is Manipuri street food unique?
The Manipuri food culture and its cuisine are healthy and largely a new territory. Their culinary ingredients have fermented and organic foods using simple recipes. The sparse use of mustard oil, a variety of fruits, spices, and vegetables endemic to Manipur, is used with plenty of green leafy vegetables contributing to its nutritional value and health factor. The food is also natural and organic, using green and red chillies instead of garam-masala powders, giving all the Manipuri food a unique flavour. The local Ngari fish is also used to flavour foods, as are bamboo shoots, soybean products etc.
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