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What to Eat in Assam
It is a style of cooking that is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favor.
1. Rice
Rice is the most important ingredient in this cuisine. The large varieties of rice found in the region has led to speculation that the grain was first domesticated in the Assam- Yunnan region. Both the indica as well as the japonica varieties are grown in Assam. The most popular class of rice is the joha or scented rice. As a staple diet rice is eaten either steam boiled (ukhua) or sundried (aaroi). Some very fine quality of rice namely, Karaballam or kauribadam etc. are available in Assam only. Rice is eaten as snack in many different forms: roasted and ground (xandoh), boiled in its husk and flattened (chira), puffed (akhoi). There also grows a variety of rice that can be just soaked and eaten (kumol saul). Rice is a part of all meals in Assam. A traditional breakfast consists of chira with yogurt and jaggery. Farmers eat cooked rice soaked overnight (poita) garnished with mustard oil, onions, etc. Snacks would be xandoh, kumol saul or bora saul, a sticky variety with milk. For other major meals, rice could be boiled, steamed or wrapped in leaves and roasted. A special class of rice preparations, called pithas are generally made only on special occasions like the Bihu. Made usually with soaked and ground glutinous rice (bora saul), they could be fried in oil with a sesame filling (xutuli pitha), roasted in young green bamboo over a slow fire (sunga pitha) or baked and rolled over a hot plate with a filling (kholasapori pitha).
2. Fish
The next most important ingredient is the fish, harvested from the many rivers, ponds and lakes in the region. There is no traditional ethnic community in Assam that does not eat fish. Most traditional rural households have their own ponds for pisciculture. Some of the most popular big fishes are the rou, ilish and cital (big), khoria (medium) (Chitala chitala), maagur, Xingi, borali, bhokua, Xaal, Xol, etc. The small varieties of fish available and eaten in Assam like puthi, borolia, mua, ceniputhi, tengera, lachin, bhagun, pabho, etc. The discerning gourmet would be able to tell which region of Assam is known for which variety of fish. Puthi maas (Ticto barb) The most popular dish from Assam, the tenga (fish sour), is an indispensable part of a proper meal in Assam. The most popular tenga is made with tomatoes, though ones made with kajinemu (thick skinned elongated lemon) and thekera (dried Mangosteen,) are also popular. Another favorite is small fish roasted in banana leaves (paatotdia). Hukuti is a special fish dish prepared from dried small fish (puthi maas) pounded with arum stem and dried and stored in bamboo tubes. Variations of this exist among the ethnic communities of Northeast India in general and Assam in particular, are dried and fermented small fish puthy mas (Ticto barb), three to four in numbers are roasted along with lavish amounts of green chillies, tomatoes, ginger and garlic (all roasted). The ingredients are then pounded in a mortar to make a coarse paste and served with rice.
3. Meat
The Assamese meat and fish dish are characterized by low amount of spices and oil, higher quantity of ginger, norosingho paat (Curry leaves) and lemon juice. This is quite different from Bengali dishes in taste. Pork and Beef are not taken by the majority of Assamese as they practice Hinduism however, beef is eaten by the people of Islamic faith primarily, Assamese Muslims, although a few Assamese communities such as Ahoms and to an extent Kalitas may also have pork, but that is not taken by the Assamese Muslims and Brahmins of Assam Valley (the Indo-Aryan community). The basic cooking method is boiling. Onla, of the Bodos, is made with ground rice and special herbs, and constitutes a complete meal in itself. Other meats include squab, duck, chicken, mutton, venison, and turtle although venison and turtle meat are legally prohibited. The combination of duck
4. Vegetable
In culinary terms, a vegetable is an edible plant or its part, intended for cooking or eating raw.In biological terms, vegetable designates members of the plant kingdom[according to whom?. The non-biological definition of a vegetable is largely based on culinary and cultural tradition. Apart from vegetables, other main types of plant food are fruits, grains and nuts. Vegetables are most often consumed as salads or cooked in savory or salty dishes, while culinary fruits are usually sweet and used for desserts, but it is not the universal rule. Therefore, the division is somewhat arbitrary, based on cultural views. For example, some people consider mushrooms to be vegetables even though they are not biologically plants, while others consider them a separate food category; some cultures group potatoes with cereal products such as noodles or rice, while most English speakers would consider them vegetables.
5. Khar
The khar is a signature class of preparations made with a key ingredient, also called khar. The traditional ingredient is made by filtering water through the ashes of a banana tree, which is then called kola khar (The name derived from the locale term of Banana, Kol or Kola). A traditional meal invariably begins with a khar dish, made of raw papaya, pulses or any other main ingredient. X


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