Monday, April 30, 2012

Assam & Assamese Cuisine

Assamese Cuisine
Fish is more popular as it is a part of Vaishnavaite culture
In a strict Vaishnavaite Kitchen, Egg, Chicken, Pork are not cooked the when Elders are at Home

Very light & Healthy as less Oil, Spices which is good for skin as well

In a typical Assamese meal, Khar is a mandatory Appetiser eaten with a little Rice
It is extracted from the skin of the Plantain and added to curries, typically with Vegetables & Meat for a Piquant taste
Tenga Anja cooked with Bottle Gourd (Lauki) and Ridge Gourd & the taste of Tenga varies from region to region

Naga Bhut Jolokia is also used abundantly

Herb flavoured vegetable stock at Delicacy’s is a little better than Paradise's Jakoi’s Amla soup

Central to meals in all Assamese restaurants
a Vegetarian Thali, with fairly standard ingredients- Dal, Aloo Pitika (mashed Potatoes is similar to Chokha in Bihar), an Aloo-Parwal (Potol/Parimal), Khar (Papaya with a natural alkali) etc.

Delicacy has the best Thali

Boil Cake’ (like Odiya chhena poda), a mildly sweet cheesecake made with fresh Chhena

the simple flavours of Assamese food, use of methods like steaming and smoking, and above all conservative use of Chilli

Deka Chang in Sonapur (slightly outside Guwahati) has Veggie Thali plus add ons
Saag/Dhekia or fern
Khar is start of the meal like the papaya khar, Khar can be made out of almost any veggie even with left overs like Lauki skin or cauliflower stems.

Most thalis will give two dals one would be masur and the other will be “Mati” dalor urad dal
Not to forget the pieces of long lime is also an intregral part of the assamese meal which they squeeze liberally on the food. Thats why there is khar in the stomach before hand to balance out the acidic nature of the Lime and Tenga

The Tenga is the integral part of the meal which is generally taken as the last dish, also made with Bor (plain pakoras of Masoor Dal) for Vegetarians

Khorika means sticks or bamboo Skewers
Serving Utensilas are made of “Kaah” or Bell metal

EMOINU on A.M. Road offers Veg, Chicken, Fish Thali all at 40/-, 70/- & 60/-

Manipuri Thali has Steamed Rice, meal order starts with Uti (is a Vegetarian dish) or Dal, Kam Soy, Champhut (is Boiled Bottle Gourd/Pumpkin),

Ginger, Garlic, Chilli form most spice rather than Garam Masala
Sareng (Smashed Fish with Hing)

Elanga (Fish Green Chlli or Red Chilli Spicy Pungent)
Mah Matung (is a Piece of Fish)

Chicken Spicy
Chicken or Pork is not cooked in the home
Sareng is Fish Smashed & Cooked with Spices like Hing

Lakshmi Cabin Fancy Bazaar H P Road is famous for Samosa (closer in taste to the Bengali Singhara than the North Indian)
specializes in Assamese Sweets (which by the way are not very sweets) like Gud ka Rasgulla

Pitas made with Rice Flour Crepes cooked with stuffing
Dry Pitas made with Rice Powder & stuffing of Coconut Jaggery

Maihang on G.S. Road offers Veg Thali at 99/- specializes in Fish Whole

Veg Thali: Steamed Joha Rice (is a naturally aromatic variety traditionally grown in Assam), Lau/Pumpkin, Dhidhu Gravy, Black Dal, Masoor Dal, Aloo Pitika (Famous mashed Dry Sabzi), Bihai (Tomato Pitika/Chutney), Baingana, Tenga Meetha Banana Flower, Elephant Apple (Tenga Sweet), Kheera

Kola Joha (Sweet Sticky Glutenized Black Reddish Rice), Kosu (Lotus Stem found in Forest lakes mashed)

Kunkuni Joha (small Brown Rice)


Famous Black Sesame Seeds (called Til) used to make Achari Chicken

Til Kokda 175/-
Parama Koldil 165/-
Patodiya Maas (small Fishes steamed with Leaf) 80/-
Kola Joha 80/-
Famous staple is Pigeon with Banana Flowers

Kola Jahan
Koldil Paro Manghor Jalukia Or Pigeon Meat With Banana Flower is a Staple Food
Khorga (BBQ Pork on Skewer)

Assamese Biryani:
Layer Assamese Small Grained Boiled Rice very light in the Earthenware Pot
Add Chicken Tengar with Bamboo Shoots & Lauki
Add Coriander
Add Rice all over the Chicken
Add Tengar
Add Coriander
Add Rice, Cover & Put in the Oven

Masoor Dal & Yellow Moong Dal Dumpling Cooked in Simple Spices:
For the Masoor Dal Masala Paste:
Mix Chopped Onion, Green Chilli, Coriander
Tip for Dumpling with 2 spoons drained of oil
Do 3 times transfer from the spoon & dip in Oil
Drain on Plate with Absorbent Paper
Serve with Chicken Tengar

Nirvana Trip:

Mājuli is the abode of the Assamese Neo Vaisnavite culture as the first Sattra/Xatra was founded in Majuli

Kamakhya Temple, which is situated at the top of the Nilachal Hill at about 800 feet above the sea level


Assamese Muga silk 
Its name is derived from Assamese word ‘Muga’, which means Yellow. The fabric is superior in every respect in comparison to the normal White Silk that available all over the world. It is also much more durable. Muga Worm (‘Muga Polu’ in Assamese language) also has the same lifecycle as that of a Silkworm. Traditionally Muga Silk is used to make Mekhela-Chadar for Women/Girls and Kurtas for Boys and dresses made of Muga Silk is considered most sophisticated and are expensive in Assam. Mekhela Chadar or Saree costs minimum Rs 10,000 in Assam. Muga silk is one of the costliest silks available in the world. Today, the cost of Muga Silk is so high that for a Middle-Class woman in Assam it has become a prized possession, just as her Gold Ornaments. Silk’s brightness improves with every wash.

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