If you think Assam has always been about the one-horned rhinos of Kaziranga, the Ambubachi Mela in Kamakhya, or the majestic man-made lakes of Sibsagar then you might just have to head straight to an Assamese restaurant or pay a visit to one of your Assamese friends to taste some of the ethnic Assamese cuisines. Traditional Assamese dishes like the pithas, the O tenga jhul, the khorikat dia mangso and every other dish that have their roots in Assam have often featured in the food bucket lists of most people.
The famed Assamese cuisines have a league of their own and they are never going out of style. The geographical diversity of Assam clearly rings a bell with the varied dishes that are laden on the Assamese dining table at any given time. Starting from the unique sweet dishes, the evergreen tel pithas, the fish and the chicken curries, the magical dishes made out of the bamboo shoot, and finally, the standalone desserts are sure to give any cuisine a run for their money.
A regular-sized bowl full of rice or bhaat and chicken curry or mangso jhul with lemon and pickle are a common sight in any Assamese thali. These seasoned ethnic dishes like duck meat curry, khaar, masor tenga, and even egg curry made with finely chopped coriander leaves always keep the food bloggers and the food enthusiasts insatiable and yearning for more. So why not find out more about some of the tastiest and mouth-watering Assamese dishes you’ll ever be served on your dining table.
The following dishes are a must-try among both the first-timers and the regular food connoisseurs.
1. Masor tenga - A light and sour fish dish made with yellow mustard, Kazi nimbu ( large lemons peculiar to the regions of Assam), ginger, tomatoes. A cool preparation consumed during the harsh summer afternoon. The fish used here is a fresh catch Chonak and it's absolutely scrumptious with a riot of flavours.
2. Assamese style duck curry - Duck curry made with Kumura(White Gourd) is a scrumptious must-have during winters.
3. Dhekia Xaak aru Buto'r Bhaji - Fiddlehead fern with whole black chickpeas fry.
4. Pork with Elephant Apple - It's a light sour in taste as the sour fruit brings out the subtle sour taste in this dish.
5. Pani Hamuk(Assamese) or water snail boiled with pumpkin.Yes, you show it correctly. Assamese and other North Eastern people eat snails. This kind of snails are collected from paddy field and may only be found here. You need to suck out the snail of its shell.
6. Chicken with banana flower. This unique dish of Assam is as tasty as any other chicken dishes.
7. Poita Bhaat - left over rice soaked in water with onion , chillies and raw mustard oil on top. Served with aloo pitika or mashed potato and Khorisa or Fermented bamboo shoots . It is most favorite dish in hot summer days.
8. SilkWorm - Most people outside northeast may find this dish weird but its truly a delicious one.
9. Posola is a distinctive part of Assamese cuisine. It is the tender edible pith found in the trunk of a young banana plant and it is used to make a number of dishes including alkaline dishes called Khar.
10. Alu Pitika(mashed potatoes) is probably the most popular pitika or mash in Assam.However Assam has many different types of mashes made from different vegetables. It is served as a side dish with rice and lentils.
11.Chicken with Fiddlehead fern. - Assamese dishes revolve around its fresh and unique vegetables which are more tastier and healthier then any other dishes.
12. Fish cooked in banana leaf - It is cooked along with little mustered oil, turmeric. And After cooking served with onion, coriander, chilli and ginger.
13. Pork with Bamboo-shoot - Bamboo-Shoot gives a unique flavor to this dish.
14.Assamese fish stew with bamboo shoots and spices.