Foods in Assam have a very huge variety. Unlike what mainland India seems to think, Assamese foods are way beyond “Aloo Pitika”, “Bhoot Jolokia”, and “Pork with Bamboo Shoots”.
Whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, there is something for everyone.
Here are 7 must-try dishes from various corners of Assam.
Assamese cuisine and Omita Khaar are almost inseparable. It is an alkaline concoction prepared out of unripe papaya and something known as "Khaar". Although Khaar is consumed in other ways too, this is the most common way of having it.
To prepare Khaar, one has to burn dried banana leaves and mix the ash with water. This is then mixed with boiled unripe papaya to prepare the magical palate cleanser, which is the first thing that should be eaten from an Assamese thali. Next time you're confused, just pick this amazing neutralizer.
Banana Flower is a much-loved ingredient among the Assamese people. It is a pretty versatile food item, and quite delicious when prepared with meat.
The iron-rich and nutrient-dense food work great when paired with duck or chicken meat. Depending on how experienced a cook is, this dish turns out absolutely heavenly.
Fiddlehead Fern is one of the most famous foods of Assam. It is a simple inexpensive ingredient that when paired with thinly sliced elephant apple tastes sublime. The fern is stir-fried with pure mustard oil, and a little amount of onion is used as well.
The dominating taste will be that of the elephant apple, but the rustic flavor of the fiddlehead fern will come through as well. Overall, it accounts for a very appetizing meal.
However, it is best to use elephant apples in moderation. Water is used very minimally while cooking this dish.
Duck meat and Ash gourd is a match made in heaven. Almost every Assamese loves this dish, and it is served at community feasts as well. Ash gourds have two different varieties. The fragrant one, locally known as "Joha Kumura '' is preferred more than the other. Some people like to cook this dish in a stewy or gravy form, while others prefer it dry.
For many natives, Spinach and small fish curry with elephant apple are one of those famous foods of Assam, which will bring back many childhood memories.
Despite being non-vegetarian, this dish is extremely light on the stomach.
Black lentils are very commonly used in Assamese households. It certainly deserves a place on this list, as we are talking about the most famous foods of Assam. Contrary to some other parts of India, Black lentils are cooked in a very simple way.
The lentils are partly crushed and soaked for some time before cooking. It is boiled in a pressure cooker and then added with freshly crushed ginger-garlic paste.
This particular Assamese side dish deserves equal fandom and recognition as Mashed potatoes. It is an awesome addition to one's meal. Unlike "Baingan ka Bharta", the roasted tomatoes and brinjals aren't cooked for the second time in this dish.
These two are just cut into smaller pieces and combined with king chili, onion, salt, ginger-garlic, and pure mustard oil.
So, how many of these have you tried before? The truth is, this list can go on and on! Hopefully, this post has inspired you to explore more local Assamese delicacies.
Each region has its own way of cooking the same ingredients. Nevertheless, Assamese dishes are bound to catch you off-guard with their taste, despite being cooked with simple ingredients and minimal spices.