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My Visit to Chalapathar Shyam Gaon : a Hundred and Fifty years old Village


Have you ever visited any Indian village.  The soul of India lives in its villages.  So if you haven't seen any Indian village,  you haven't seen India. Well India has nearly 6.5 lakh villages and  about 60% of the Indian population lives in villages.  In Assam alone there are 2489 village panchayats covering about 26249 villages. Villages of upper Assam  may not be as similar to those of lower Assam. There are differences in geographical environments, cultures, traditions etc. Yet in spite of various differences, India is a country of unity in diversity.

Today's generation kids like to visit amusement parks or to attend any summer camps during their school summer vacations.  But in our time visiting grandma's house was every child's favourite destination during summer vacations. I too visited either my maternal grandmother's house or paternal grandmother's house during summer vacations together with my parents and my younger brother, in the late eighties and early nineties when I was in school. Both my grandmothers' houses are situated in two different Indian villages. One is in upper Assam and the other is in lower Assam. Both my grandmothers are no more now and after my marriage I hardly get time and opportunity to visit those two villages which are very close to my heart. But last month I got an opportunity to visit my maternal grandmother's village to attend a function of its 150th years of establishment. So today let me take you to my maternal grandmother's village which is now a hundred and fifty years old village situated in the Charaideo District of Assam .

Chalapathar Shyam Gaon is a village established before independence surrounded by at the east- Safrai River and part of Khona Tea Estate,  at west- Lakwa Tea Estate,  at north- Dichang River and at the south- beautiful Chala Reserve Forest. 


You can enter this village from three different sides.  From east,  west and south.  As we entered from east side through Khonamukh,  the evergreen elephant apple trees welcomed us. As we entered the village my mind took a trip down my memory lane.  Among various memories of my grandmother I  recalled the holly words that she uttered while tying a holly white thread around my wrist.  After we crossed a bridge over Safari river,  we entered the village . This entering route to this village is very quite and free of pollution. You'll find no houses or shops nearby and sometimes you may encounter a tiger roaming around. But don't be so afraid, a tiger will not attack any stranger right.  Ha ha.. just joking.  I visited many times through this route but never encountered any tiger. The old name of this village is schu la in tai language, means - "roaming place of tiger ". 



There is a beautiful Buddhist monetary at the heart of this beautiful village. The people of this village practices Buddhism as religion and they are known as  Tai Khamyangs. The Tai Khamyangs are popularly known as Nora. As many Khamyangs historically used 'Shyam' as their surname, so Tai Khamyangs are also popularity known as Shyam. 
Tai Khamyang is a subgroup of the greater Tai community of Assam. They are numerically a small group of indigenous Assamese community. The word 'Khamyang' is a Tai word which means 'having gold'. 'Kham' means - gold and 'yang' means - to have.  Tai Khamyangs are found in undivided Sivsagar, Tinsukia,  Golaghat and Jorhat Districts of Assam and in few places of Arunachal Pradesh. Among all the Khamyang villages Chalapathar Shyam gaon is the village with highest number of population of Khamyang people. According to source there are 127 Khamyang families living in this village with total number of 527 people .

Chala Shyam gaon Buddhist monetary 


Khamyang community has their own khamyang language but only a few can speak their language. They use Assamese as their language for communication. They even have their own costumes and attire which they wear with proud during any celebration. During my visit to this village when I was a kid, I saw few Chang ghars, houses build with wood and other materials with a raised platform. But now you'll find only modern houses build with bricks and concrete.

Glimpses of the Closing Ceremony 





As we entered the village  we saw a welcome gate and as we proceed through the gate we entered  the place where the villagers were celebrating their closing ceremony of 150th years of establishment of the village. We were served breakfast . A triangle shaped steamed rice cake wrapped in banana leaf (tong-tap), sticky rice cooked in bamboo hollow (khaulam) etc. with a cup of tea. And at lunch we were served steamed rice wrapped in ko leaf (khau-tak) together with pork and other recipes.

*To know more about the Cuisine of Tai Khamyang community click here


With the growing demand of rural tourism,  many villages in India found a map in the tourist map.  Chalapathar has also the potential to occupy a place in rural tourism as well as food tourism in India. It has a tremendous natural beauty to showcase. The handloom and textile art of these indigenous people are quite attractive and the food off course is quite unique and delicious.

As the sun sets in the evening we headed back to the concrete world again with more memories to keep alive in our hearts and with a hope to visit again.

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Simple Pizza base Recipe made on Tawa (অভেন ব্যৱহাৰ নকৰাকৈ বনোৱা পিজ্জা বেচ)

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Simple Pizza base Recipe made on Tawa ( অসমীয়াত ৰেচিপি তলত পাব)

📎Course : Main Course  📎Cuisine : World  🔪Preparation Time : 15 minutes ♨Cooking Time : 20 minutes  🕞Total : 35 minutes
🍴Servings : 4

INGREDIENTS:


2 cups maida (all purpose flour) ( 2 কাপ মইদা)1 teaspoon yeast ( 1 চাহ চামুচ ইষ্ট)1/2 teaspoon salt (1/2 চাহ চামুচ নিমখ)1 teaspoon sugar (1 চাহ চামুচ চেনি)2 tablespoons semolina (2 চামুচ চেমলিনা)1 tablespoon olive oil / vegetable oil (1 চামুচ তেল)1 cup lukewarm water (or as required) (1 কাপ কুহুমীয়া গৰম পানী)
METHOD:
In a bowl take maida, yeast, salt, sugar, semolina and oil. Mix well. Add lukewarm water and make a soft dough. …

Cheese Corn Toast Recipe

Cheese Corn Toast is a simple breakfast recipe that can be prepared within just 5 minutes. This cheese corn toast is my daughter's favorite.  I made this last Saturday.  If you are a follower of me on Instagram , I'm sure you have seen this pic.  With the similar idea I made Roti Pizza (Indian flat bread pizza) last Sunday.


As my daughter doesn't like onion and capsicum, I haven't added these two veggies on the toast. But if you like, you can add. I'm using ready to eat sweet corn here to save time. It's a no oven recipe.  I made it in a flat pan (Tawa). 
Cheese Corn Toast Recipe 
📎Course : Breakfast
📎Cuisine : World 🔪Preparation Time : minutes ♨Cooking Time :  minutes 🕞Total : 5 minutes
🍴Servings : 2

INGREDIENTS:

4 slices of bread 1/2 cup sweet corn 1/2 cup grated cheese 1+1  tbsp butter Pinch of black pepper Pinch of salt METHOD: Take out sweet corn from the refrigerator and in a saucepan take the sweet corn and add 1 cup of water.  Put it on the gas top on hi…

Paneer Tikka (Grilled Cottage Cheese)

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Assamese Anguli Pitha Recipe

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Fish and False Roselle leaves Curry

The false roselle or Hibiscus acetosella is a similar plant like roselle. The difference is that the leaves of false roselle are red in colour and roselle leaves are green in colour. The false roselle leaves has also sour taste just like the roselle leaves.  So like fish and roselle leaves curry  we can also make fish and false roselle leaves curry. 

Fish and False Roselle leaves Curry 
📎Course : Main Course  📎Cuisine : Assamese 🔪Preparation Time : 5 minutes ♨Cooking Time : 20 🕞Total : 25 minutes
🍴Servings : 3

INGREDIENTS: 3 pieces of fish (any) 1 bunch of false roselle leaves 3 big pieces of taro 2 tbsp red lentil 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds1/2 + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 2 green chillies chopped 2 tbsp oil Salt to taste METHOD: Wash the fish pieces under running water. Rub fish pieces with 1/2 tsp of turmeric and salt. In a pan heat oil. Fry fish pieces and keep aside. Don't throw the remaining oil. In the meantime rinse red lentils. Break off the false roselle leaves on its base. Wash a…

Fish Egg Bhurji | Scrambled Fish Egg and Bamboo shoots

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Fish usually lay eggs during monsoon season. Therefore there is a ban on fishing during monsoon in local rivers and ponds in Assam so that the local fishes do not get extinguished. The exported fish and fish from the fisheries are available in the market and fish roe or fish eggs are also widely available during the season. It is usually served as fritters, or as deep fried or shallow fried. Making scrambled fish eggs is very easy and it tastes very yummy.

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Fish and Roselle leaves curry

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Fish and Roselle leaves curry 
📎Course : Main Course  📎Cuisine : Indian(Assamese) 🔪Preparation Time : 5 minutes ♨Cooking Time : 20 🕞Total : 25 minutes
🍴Servings : 2

INGREDIENTS: 2 pieces of fish (any) 1 bunch roselle leaves 2 tbsp red lentil 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds1/2 + 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 2 green chillies chopped 2 tbsp oil Salt to taste METHOD: Here you can use any fish.  I'm usi…

Banana Flower Fritters

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Banana Flower Fritters :

📎Cuisine : Indian 🔪Preparation Time : 10 minutes ♨Cooking Time : 15 minutes  🕞Total : 25 minutes




INGREDIENTS:
 1 cup banana florets  1/2 cup chickpea flour  1 tbsp rice flour  1/4 tbsp cumin powder   1/4 tbsp coriander powder   1/4 tbsp red chilli powder  salt to taste  oil to fry

METHOD:


Remove the outer pink coloured layer.  Take out some banana florets which are edible. Now take out the middle stems from each florets and soak those banana florets on salty water.For batter take a bowl. Add chick…

Semolina and Coconut Ladoo | Suji and Coconut Ladoo

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Semolina and Coconut Ladoo | Suji and Coconut Ladoo 

📎Cuisine : Indian 🔪Preparation Time : 10 minutes ♨Cooking Time : 30minutes 🕞Total : 40 minutes
🍴Servings : 20

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup semolina or suji 2 cups of fresh shredded coconut 1 cup sugar 1 cup milk1/4 cup ground nuts 1/2 tsp cardamon powder METHOD: Dry roast ground nuts in a pan. Remove from heat and with the help of the palm of your hand remove the skin of the ground nuts. Keep aside. Dry toast semolina in a pan on low heat for 3 minutes. …