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Namsing : A Mishing Delicacy

Namsing cooked with eggplant and served with sticky rice

 Mishing are an ethnic community living in parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Unlike other Assamese cuisines, Mishing cuisine is also unique of its kind. Mishing people are mainly non-vegetarian and rice is their main food. They eat different greens and herbs as vegetable together with fish, pork, chicken, duck meat etc. Namsing is a very popular dish among Mishing people. Namsing is nothing but dry and grounded fish. Dry and grounded fish is equally popular among other ethnic groups of Assam also but they call it hukoti

The method of preparation of namsing is little different from hukoti. In preparing namsing Mishing people also add few herbs like colocasia leaves, long coriander etc. Small river fishes are used to make namsing. At first they clean the fishes and then dry them under sun or on smoke over stove top. After that they grounded the dry fishes together with different herbs in husking pedal (dhaki). They use bamboo tubes and filled the tubes with the grounded mixture and tightly close it's mouth. Then they kept the tubes for fermentation for 2-3 weeks. After 2-3 weeks namsing becomes ready to use. 

Namsing has a very pungent smell for which some people may not like it. Namsing is generally cooked in bamboo leaf (patot diya) and then can be eaten by making chutney by adding chopped onions and chillies. It can also be added to smoked mashed potatoes or brinjal. It can also be fried with brinjal and potatoes. Some people like to add it to fried rice (mostly leftover rice). 

Fermented ground dry fish

I received a bottle of namsing last month which I'm absolutely enjoying. So, today I'm going to share two simple recipes of namsing which I cooked and enjoyed eating. The first one is stir fried namsing with brinjal or eggplant which I served with sticky rice and the second one is namsing with mashed potato. So,  let's go to the recipes now. 

Stir fried namsing with brinjal or eggplant :

 In this recipe namsing is stir fried with eggplant together with onion, chillis and coriander leaves. Serve it as a side dish with steamed rice at lunch or dinner. 

INGREDIENTS :
  • 1 eggplant 
  • 3 tbsp of namsing
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped tomato (optional) 
  • 2 chopped green chillies 
  • 3 tbsp mustard oil 
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder 
  • Salt to taste 
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves 

Stir fried egg plant or brinjal with namsing

METHOD :
  1. Wash eggplant under running water and make pieces. 
  2. In a pan heat oil. Add chopped onions and fry till golden brown.
  3. Add turmeric powder. 
  4. Add chopped eggplant, chopped tomato and chopped green chillies. Mix well and cook for sometimes in medium heat by covering the lid. 
  5. Add salt and cook until eggplant becomes soft and tender. 
  6. Add namsing and mix well with the eggplant. Again cover the lid and cook for 4-5 minutes. 
  7. Add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and remove from heat. 
  8. Serve hot with steamed rice. 

Namsing with mashed potato :

In this recipe you can precook namshing in banana leaf before adding it to mashed potato. But I being a lazy cook used a very simple method to make this recipe. Serve it as a side dish with steamed rice in lunch or dinner. 

INGREDIENTS :
  • 1 big potato 
  • 2 tbsp of namsing 
  • 1 finely chopped onion 
  • 2 finely chopped green chillies 
  • 1 tbsp of mustard oil 
  • Salt to taste 

Namsing with mashed potato

METHOD:
  1. Boil potato, peel and mashed it properly. Keep aside. 
  2. In a pan heat mustard oil. Add chopped onions and fry till golden brown. 
  3. Add chopped green chillies and namshing. Mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour everything from the pan into the mashed potato. Mix well. 
  5. Serve with steamed rice. 

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