In Assam the various tribes celebrate their traditional festivals with fervor and diligence. There are some festivals that are celebrated by nearly all tribes. The Bihu festival is a major festival of Assam which is related with harvest. During the various Bihu festivals such as Rongoli Bihu and Magh Bihu, the Assamese tribes indulge in merry making and perform their age old rituals associated with this festival. However, they also prepare some mouth watering dishes for Bihu.
Below listed are some typical delicious Bihu Dishes:
Jolphai jola aru mitha aasaar
This is a type of mouthwatering chutney made with Indian olive and jaggery. You will need ingredients like 400 grams of jolpai, roasted and ground coriander and cumin seeds, mustard oil, paanch phoron, salt, bay leaves, 2 cup grated jiggery and red chili powder.
At first, you will have to boil the jolphai for 12 minutes or so. Then, cut out flesh and discard the stones. Some people retain them with bits of flesh on. Heat oil in pan and add the paanch phoron and bay leaf. Add the jolphai and other ingredients to it and mix well. Stir cook on low heat for 12 minutes or so. It will become sticky. After it is cool, store the chutney in a tight glass jar.
This is one tangy fish curry Assamese people love gorging on. Usage of lemon juice and diverse spices lend the dish a unique flavor. You will need a few pieces of Rohu fish to make it. Other ingredients are chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, Green chillies, Lemon juice, Coriander leaves and mustard oil. You will also need spices like Turmeric powder, Panch phoran, Salt and Yellow mustard paste.
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At first, wash the fish pieces and marinate them with turmeric and salt. Set them aside for some time. Fry the pieces in mustard oil till they are brownish and set aside. Now fry the paanch phoron in oil and chopped vegetables with chilies. After a few minutes, add the turmeric powder and mustard paste and cook. Finally, pour in salt and lemon juice. Now pour in fried fish pieces and cook for a few minutes. After garnishing with chopped coriander leaves, serve the curry with rice.
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Pumpkin is deemed as a bland tasting vegetable by many. However, your view would change if you taste this delicious side dish prepared in Assam during Bihu. You will need half kg of boiled and mashed pumpkin. The other ingredients are diluted Tamarind Water, ½ cup grated Jaggery, Lime Juice, Dry Red Chilies, Raisins, Mustard Seeds, Salt, a bay leaf and mustard oil.
Mix the tamarind water to mashed pumpkin well. Now, fry the mustard seeds in oil. Add the bay leaf and slit chilies. After a minute, add raisins and stir fry. Now, pour in pumpkin-tamarind mixture and stir fry for a while. Add the jaggery mixture and mix well. Finally, pour in the lemon juice. Before serving, you may discard the bay leaf.
Dhekia Xaak Bhaji
This is one type of edible fern, used for cooking in numerous ways in households of Assam. Dhekia xaak fry is delicious and the fern can be found growing wildly by river side and unused lands in abundance. You will need 3 bunches of Dhekia xaak, green Chilly, 2 duck eggs, garlic pod, mustard oil and salt.
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At first, you need to wash and chop the xaak. Ensure you pick the tender stems only. Fry the crushed garlic pod in oil and then add the xaak and chilly. Add salt and stir fry. When the xaak is tender, add the eggs. When the egg gets blended well with the xaak, remove from heat. Serve the dish with rice.
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