Skip to main content

An Introduction To Assamese cuisine


Assamese cuisine and Assamese recipes are unique of its kind. It has a little similarly with the cuisine and recipes of other Northeast Indian states but Assamese cuisine and recipes doesn't match with the cuisine and recipes of other Indian states.
Before you know what is Assamese cuisine, let me tell you a little bit about Assam and the various communities of Assam.

Assam is a state in the Northeast part of India. It is the heart among the 8 Northeastern states of India. Assam is well known for its wildlife and tea plantation. Assam is famous for one horned rhino, the Maa Kamakhya temple and the mighty river Brahmaputra. Assamese Society is a multi ethnic, multi linguistic and multi religious society. In Assam there are many tribes living, having their own language,  culture, customs, traditions and of course own cuisines.  So Assamese cuisine is the cuisine of Assam and its different multi ethnic  communities and tribes living in different parts of Assam.

 
    Assamese people are well know for their excellent hospitality.  Rice is the main food and fish is an everyday business.  A traditional Assamese meal begin with khar and at the end of the meal tamul paan is served.

 Assamese cuisine can be described in the following headings:


Rice:

An Assamese lunch platter served in bell metal utensil
Photo credit : Sampurna 

Rice is the main ingredient of Assamese cuisine. Some particular rice are grown in Assam alone such as sticky rice (bora chawl), aromatic rice (joha chawl) etc. Rice is served in lunch and dinner. In everyday cooking, Assamese people likes to eat plain rice or boiled rice. Boiled rice is served basically with sour fish curries which are Assamese peoples' favourite dish. Rice is also served with lentils or different dals and vegetable found in this part of northeast India such as feddlehead ferns,  colocasia, spinach, water spinach, mustard plant, mustard green, amaranth, green amaranth, white goosefoot etc. Meat is also served with rice. Assamese people usually eat chicken, mutton, duck meat, pork etc.
Almost all Assamese specially in rural areas like to have rice in both lunch and dinner.

Khar:

Khar prepared from banana peel
Kolkhar 

Khar is an alkali prepared from sun dried skin of some varieties of banana. It is prepared by filtering the water from the burn ashes of the skin of the banana. Therefore it is also called kolkhar (kol means banana). It is preserved in bottles and can be used for months. It sounds bizarre but Assamese people are using khar as a cooking ingredient since time immemorial when salt was not discovered. It is believed that khar cleanses the stomach.

 A traditional Assamese meal begin with khar recipe.  A khar recipe can be prepared with raw papaya, bottle gourd, dry Jasmin flower,  doron bon xaak, fish head etc. In a khar recipe khar is the key ingredient.  One or two tablespoons is enough to prepare khar recipe.  Khar can also be consumed as raw by just adding chopped garlic,  few drops of mustard oil and salt.

Pitika:

Pitika 

Pitika means mashed. Pitika is the  signature recipe of Assamese cuisineAssamese people love to eat vegetables by mashing them with chopped onion, chilli and mustard oil after boiling or smoking/grilling them. Its taste is very pure. Sometimes raw onion is used and sometimes fried onion is used in these recepies. In Assamese cuisine mustard oil is used for all purposes as it can also be consumed  as raw. Pickled chilli or pickled bhut jolokia adds more taste to these dishes. These pitika recipes are great appetizer and generally takes very less time to prepare. 

Greens and vegetables:


Different herbs and medicinal plants and leafy vegetables are available in Assam such an fiddlehead ferns,  skunk vine,  colocasia leaves,  modhuxulung etc. These herbs,  greens and vegetables are generally eaten by simple frying, adding into different lentils, fish or meat. Green leafy vegetables are called xaak which are important part of Assamese cuisine. Greens and vegetables are grown and some found in wild.

Fish dishes:

Boiled fish cooked with greens
P. C. Sampurna 

Sour fish curries (masor tenga) are Assamese people's all time favorite.  An Assamese can eat sour fish curry everyday. In other words an Assamese can eat fish in every dinner or lunch.The mighty river Braumaputra and its sub-rivers are wondefull sources of some good river fish. There are many indigenous fish found in Assam. Assamese love to eat fish by making sour fish curries or by grilling on open fire and making pitika and also by cooking in banana or turmeric leaves. Each and every part of a fish is cooked and liked by Assamese people  including fish head and of course intestine parts. Masor patu or fish intestine is cooked in many different ways and liked by the people of Assam.

Meat dishes:


Local chicken, squab, mutton, duck and pork are very popular among indigenous people of Assam. In Assamese cuisine less amount of spices and oil are used. Meat are generally cooked in less oil with fresh herbs and spices. Ginger garlic is used as a basic spice in cooking meat.

Tea:

The Tea production and consumption was introduced in Assam by the British during the British regime in India. There are about 765 tea estates in Assam and about one lakh small tea gardens all over Assam.  Most of Assamese people wake up in the morning and the very first thing they do is to sip a delicious cup of tea.  It's a common practice in many household in Assam. Drinking tea in cups is a modern practice but Assamese serve tea in bell metal bowls. 

Pitha & Jolpan:


Assamese jolpan
Doi Chira Jolpan 

Pitha are sweets and savourys made during Bihu festivals with sticky rice, coconut, black sesame and jaggery.

Jolpan are type of snacks, ofen served as breakfat. Jolpan are also served to guests and during Bihu festivals.

Tamul paan:



Tamul is areca nut and paan is betal leaf. Tamul pan is an integral part of Assamese society.
Tamul paan served in Bota 

Tamul is areca nut and paan is betal leaf. Tamul pan is an integral part of Assamese society. Tamul pan is served as a pair with some lime (sun). Areca nut is first peeled and then cut into pieces. Betel leaf is also cut into pieces and then served with pieces of areca nuts. Tamul paan is offered whenever a guest visits in a bell metal utensil called Bota as a mark of honour. Tamul paan is more often served at the end of an Assamese meal for just as a refreshment.

Comments

Most Popular Posts

Alpine Retreat : Best Homestay In Guwahati : A Review

 If you are looking for a best homestay in Guwahati, then I will highly recommend to check out the  Alpine retreat homestay, a lovely urban apartment at the right of the  heart of the area.  During our last visit to Guwahati, we had decided to stay at a homestay instead of staying in a hotel. The reason of choosing a homestay over a hotel is that we wanted a homely atmosphere and a homestay is a kind of accommodation where tourists are treated like guests, not clients and they are given rooms to stay together with the host family in the same house. A homestay is after all someone's home. In homestay we don't have to confined in a single room just like in a hotel. As the American novelist Edgar Watson Howe beautifully quoted  "To be an ideal guest, stay at home. ".  Alpine retreat is a lovely urban apartment that provides homestay with patio. Just 4.5 km from Paltan Bazar railway station, located on the G.S road,  Alpine retreat is easily accessible and surrounded by

List of Vegetables used in Assamese Cuisine with their English name.

Here is a list of 50 leafy and non-leafy vegetables used in Assamese cuisine with their English name.         Assamese name = English name  Lai xaak(লাই শাক)= Mustard green  Paleng xaak(পালেং শাক)= Spinach  Horiyoh xaak(সৰিয়হ শাক)= Mustard plant  Dhekia(ঢেকিয়া)= Fiddlehead ferns  Meethi xaak(মিথি শাক)= Fenugreek greens Mati kaduri(মাটি কাডুৰি)= Sessile joyweed  Lofa xaak(লফা শাক)= Chinese mellow   Bor-manimuni(বৰ-মানিমুনি)= Asiatic pennywort  Sofguti(চফগুটি)= Fennel  Dangbodi(ডাংবদি)= Yard long been  Kolmou(কলমৌ)= Water spinach  Titamora(তিতামৰা)= Jute plant  Tengamora(টেঙামৰা)= Roselle  Bhekuri(ভেকুৰী)= Indian nightshade  Squash(স্কচ্)= Chayote squash  Bahgaj(বাহঁগাজ)= Bamboo shoots  Betgaj(বেতগাজ)= Rattan shoots  Sojina(চজিনা)= Drumstick  Maan-dhania(মান ধনিয়া)= Long coriander  Mosondori(মচন্দৰি)= Heart leaf  Bhedai lota(ভেদাইলতা)= Skunk vine  Zilmil(জিলমিল)= White goosefoot  Moricha(মৰিচা)= Amaranth  Khutura(খুতুৰা)= Green amaranth  Oolkobi(ওলকব

List of Fruits found in Assam with their English Names

Here is a list of fruits found in Assam with their English names.  Assamese Name = English Name  Kordoi (কৰদৈ) = Starfruit (Scientific name : Averrhoa carambola) Lichu (লিচু) = Litchi (Scientific name : Litchi chinensis) Matikothal (মাটিকঠাল) = Pineapple (Scientific name : Ananas comosus) Komola (কমলা) = Orange  Noga Tenga (নগা টেঙা) = Rhus srmialata Ahom Bogori = Peach (Scientific name : Prunus persica) Kothal (কঠাল) = Jackfruit (Scientific name : Artocarpus heterophyllus) Siral (চিৰাল) = Mouse Melon (Scientific name : Melothria scabra) Torbuj (তৰবুজ) = Watermelon (Scientific name : Citrullus lanatus) Bogori (বগৰী) = Jujube ( Scientific name :  Zizyphus jujuba) Modhuri (মধুৰী) = Guava  Jamuk (জামুক) = Malabar Plum, Java Plum or Black Plum (Scientific name : Syzygium cumini) Aam (আম) = Mango   Mouchumi (মৌচুমি) = Sweet Lime (Scientific name : Citrus limetta) Lataku (লেতেকু) = Baccurea (Scientific name : Baccurea sapida) Dalim (ডালিম) = Pomegranate (Scientific

Bio Tableware By Mrinaljyoti Rehabilitation Center

  * This post is not a sponsored post. Disposable tableware have become indispensable in wedding, picnic and birthday parties. Usually paper plates are most commonly used. Paper plates can be composted after we eat on these plates,  as the food contaminates those. These plates also can be recycled if we don't eat on it. But all paper plates are not always bio-friendly. Some paper plates come with polythene sheet coated to make leak proof. These types of paper plates cannot be composted if we eat on it and cannot be recycled if we don't eat on it. Moreover trees are need to cut to make paper tableware.  There are several types of bio-friendly tableware. One of such is disposable leaf plates and bowls made from sheath of betel-nut tree. Betel-nut trees are abundantly grown in Assam. The sheath which primarily protects the betel-nuts in the tree, falls naturally once it is dried. These sheath are used to make tableware.  In making these no addictive are used and the colour of the

10 Food Quiz Questions and Answers To Test Your Knowledge On Indian Food

Test your food knowledge on Indian food. Get the answers on the bottom of the post. A.  Litti chokha is a famous food of which State Assam  Bihar  Maharashtra  Gujarat  B. A burger like fast food dish of Maharashtra Kathi roll  Samosa  Vada pav Dhokla  C. Which state is the largest producer of rice Assam West Bengal  Punjab Maharashtra  D. Which is not a sweet dish  Ghevar  Chikki  Shrikhand  Medhu vada  E. Which is not an Indian bread  Phulka  Parantha  Chapati  Concha  F. Rogan josh is a signature recipe of  Assamese cuisine  Kashmiri cuisine  Mughlai cuisine  Goan cuisine  G. Which of the following  is not a Bengali dish Misti doi Samosa Roshogolla  Sambar vara  H. Which of the following is not a south Indian dish  Sambar Upma  Dal makhani  Sevai  I. Who was the winner of MasterChef India season:1 Kirti Bhoutika  Pankaj Bhadoirua Nikita Gandhi  Abhinas Nayak 

Green Tomato Pickle

Hey there!  here I'm back with another pickle recipe.  Sweet, sour and spicy green tomato pickle is very easy to prepare. Green tomatoes are the unripe tomatoes which are firm and sour. If you have green tomatoes and searching for recipe ideas than I have got two simple green tomato chutney recipes for you >  click here I love eating green or raw tomatoes.  Red tomatoes are available throughout the year but green tomatoes are quite seasonal. Today I got a basket of green tomatoes from my father and so I decided to make this pickle recipe. Green Tomato Pickle  📎 Course :  Pickle 📎Cuisine :  Indian INGREDIENTS: 7-8 green tomatoes  1/2 tsp cumin seeds  1/2 tsp coriander seeds  1/2 tsp mustard seeds  1/3 tsp fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp fennel seeds 1/2 tsp hing or asafoetida 1/2 tsp nigella seeds  1 tbsp red chilli powder  2 tbsp sugar  1/2 tbsp salt  1/2 cup mustard oil  1/2 tbsp white vinegar METHOD: Wash the green tomatoes under runnin

Kuji Thekera : How to Consume and Preserve

Kuji thekera (কুজীঁ ঠেকেৰা)  is a wonder fruit of Assam belongs to the garcinia  family. It's English name is gamboge . There are hundreds of species of garcenia. Kuji thekera is one of the variety of garcinia found in Assam. There are two more varieties of garcinia found in Assam : Bor thekera and Rupohi thekera. Among these three varieties of garcinia, it is believed in Ayurveda that, kuji thekera has more medicinal value. The scientific name of kuji thekera is  Garcinia morella (Gaertn.) Desr.  Kuji thekera  Kuji thekera fruit becomes yellow when ripe.  The fruit has seeds inside and is very sour in taste. The ripe kuji thekera fruits are de-seeded, sliced and then sun-dried. The sun-dried kuji thekera slices are then stored in a container and used as a medicine in the treatment of gastritis and dysentery. I think in every household in Assam, sun-dried  kuji thekera is stored and used for the treatment of stomach related problems. Kuji thekera slices  How to P

List of Spices(মচলা) with their English and Assamese names

 Here is a list of 25 spices (মচলা) with their English and Assamese names.  Assamese name = English name  Ada (আদা) = Ginger (Scientific name : Zingiber officinale)  Nohoru (নহৰু) = Garlic (Scientific name : Allium sativum)  Piyaj (পিয়াজ) = Onion ( Scientific name : Allium cepa)  Dhania (ধনিয়া) = Coriander ( Scientific name : Coriandrum sativum)  Jeera (জিৰা) = Cumin (Scientific name : Cuminum cyminum)  Ronga guri jolokia (ৰঙা গুৰি জলকীয়া) = Red chilli powder  Hukan jolokia (শুকান জলকীয়া) = Dry chilli  Kola nimokh (কলা নিমখ) = Black salt  Long (লং) = Clove ( Scientific name : Syzygium aromaticum)  Dalsini (দালচিনি) = Cinnamon  Elaichi (ইলাচী) = Cardamom  Kala jeera (ক'লা জিৰা) = Black cumin  Saunf (চ'ফ) = Fennel seeds ( Scientific name : Foeniculum vulgare)  Methi (মিথি) = Fenugreek ( Scientific name : Trigonella foenum-graecum ) Haldhi (হালধী) = Turmeric  Tejpat (তেজপাত) = Bay leaf  Jaluk (জালুক) = Pepper  Narasingha (নৰসিংহ) = Curry leaves  Til (তিল) = Sesame seeds ( Scientif

Assamese Papaya Khar Recipe / অমিতাৰ খাৰ

Khar  is an alkali prepared from sun dried skin of some varieties of  banana.  It is prepared by filtering the water from the burn ashes of the skin of the banana. This khar extract is preserved in bottles and then used to make khar recipes. A traditional Assamese meal begin with khar. There are many different khar recipes and among them Papaya khar is very popular. *To know how to prepare khar  click here Assamese Papaya Khar Recipe / অমিতাৰ খাৰ  📎 Course :  Side dish 📎Cuisine : Assamese  🔪Preparation Time :  5 minutes ♨Cooking Time :  15 minutes  🕞Total :  20 minutes 🍴Servings : 2 INGREDIENTS: 1 cup chopped papaya  3-4 chopped garlic cloves  1-2 tbsp Khar  1 tbsp mustard oil  Salt to taste  METHOD: Boil papaya in a pressure cooker for 1 or 2 whistles.  In a pan heat mustard oil.  Add chopped garlic cloves.  When crackling, pour everything from the cooker.  Add khar and salt  Mix well and in medium heat cook for few minutes until papaya

Kosu aru hukoti : Assamese style colocasia leaves with dry fish recipe

  Hukoti is ground dry fish. Hukoti is similar to namshing . Today I am going to share a simple Assamese style ground dry fish recipe : kosu aru hukoti . Tender leaves and stems of colocasia leaves are cooked with hukoti and served as a side dish with steamed rice. You can use namshing instead of hukoti and you will get the similar taste.  If you like colocasia leaves than you may also like : * Fish curry with colocasia * Dry fish with colocasia * Colocasia chutney Kosu aru hukoti : Assamese style colocasia leaves with dry fish recipe  📎 Course :  Side dish 📎Cuisine :  Assamese   🔪Preparation Time :  15 minutes ♨Cooking Time :  25 minutes  🕞Total :  40 minutes 🍴Servings :  2 INGREDIENTS: A bunch of colocasia leaves with stems 2 tbsp red lentil   1 big tomato or 10-15 cheery tomatoes 2 green chillies 1 tbsp mustard oil pinch of turmeric 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste  1 chopped onion  2 tbsp hukoti /namshing  salt to taste METHOD : Wash colocasia leaves with stems under running wate