Assam Food is Awesome Food!
Food in Assam is one of the simplest, healthiest and tastiest cuisines in India and in the world. Like the other parts of Asia, Assam’s staple food is also rice which is presented with different dishes containing whole lot of flavors and healthy ingredients. Assamese food have some similarities with food of West Bengal and Odisha, but have its own significance in many other ways. Khar, masor tenga, alu pitika, pigeon curry, duck meat, chicken, pork, bambooshoot, bhoot jolokiya, different kinds of yum and taro, koldil, ou tenga, thekera and what not! Assam food has a long list to amaze your taste buds. I am just drooling writing these!
Explore food in Assam- try out the unique menu!
- Alu pitika: Alu pitika is nothing but some flavorsome smashed potato. It is a popular side dish of Assam and is loved by all. Generally onion, chilies, salt and mustard oil is added with the boiled smashed potato and alu pitika is made. But there is no such mandatory procedure. Many people love to have it by adding more different things like lemon, black paper, coriander leaves and even bambooshoot.
- Khaar: Khaar is the most common in traditional cuisine of Assam. The name khaar is derived from the main ingredient used in the dish which is made by the ashes of a specific variety of dried banana cover. The dried banana cover is burned and the ashes are allowed to pass through water. That slightly black water is called khar and is cooked with raw papaya, chickpea, ginger and salt to make the complete dish. However it is a vegetarian dish, some people also like to use khar with small fish and that too tastes awesome.
- Masor Tenga: Food in Assam is incomplete without Tenga Jul. It is a tangy curry and is mostly prepared or loved by adding fried fish to it. The ingredients generally include potato, tomato, lemon, fish (maas in Assamese), mustard seeds, oil and salt. Some like to include locally available leafy greens to it like- fiddle head fern (dhekiya), green amaranth (khutora), Indian sorrel (tengesi) etc. Lemon is used for the tanginess, but elephant apple (ou tenga), garcinia (thekera), tamarind etc are also used in preparing Masor tenga.
- Pork: There will be glitters in eyes when you say pork to people in Assam! It is a dear food for almost all Assamese people. It is consumed mainly with rice and tastes awesome. Pork cooked with bambooshoot and pork cooked with laai xaak (vegetable mustard) are very popular in traditional Assamese cuisine. In many traditional festivals in Assam, especially in the festivals of the tribes in Assam, it is a habit to have smoked pork with aapong (rice beer).
- Snails: Snails are generally eaten by the Bodo tribe in Assam, however others do have it too. They cook it with different herbs and leafy greens. Generally it is not fried and eaten in boiled form.
- Silk worm: This is also a dish served with rice and mostly eaten by the tribes and Ahoms. It is fried with onion, garlic, chilies and other spices and the dish is prepared. More or less it tastes like egg yolk boiled and fried and have a grassy smell.
- Bambooshoot: Bambooshoot is actually an ingredient and is used in many dishes in Assamese cuisine. With fish, fish head, chicken, pork, jackfruit seed and many other things bambooshoot is used. People in Assam make pickles with bambooshoot too. The best ingredient that can be paired with bambooshoot is king chili or bhoot jolokiya, which is an integral part of food in Assam.
- Kochu: Kochu is nothing but a particular variety of yum or taro. It is mainly cooked in a curry form. People also put it in tenga jul, a savory curry. The stem is prepared with lots of pepper and steamed in banana leaves.
- Poita bhaat: Cool the boiled rice, pour some water, keep it overnight and let it ferment a bit. Add salt and raw mustard oil and poita bhat is ready. Best consumed with alu pitika, kharoli (mustard seeds paste with khaar), and smoked or fried fish. Some like to have it with bambooshoot and king chilies as well. Poita bhat is one of the most important part of Assamese food.
- Posola: Posola is nothing but the tender banana tree. The stem of the tender banana tree is cut into small pieces, boiled and mixed with daal or khar and posola dish is prepared. It is a favorite recipe for all Assamese.
The list for different delicacies of Assam food goes on and on. Starting from the different dishes served with rice, the famous Assam tea, snacks like pitha, laru, jolpan and ending with tamul-paan (betel nut and betel leaf), food in Assam has so much to offer you. With less oil, less spice, without a complex preparation method and with so many of natural ingredients available locally, what the traditional cooking brings to you is incomparable. Everyone should try out Assamese food at least once in life!