The tribes of Assam usually adhere to their traditional culture, lifestyle and culinary techniques. The invasion of modernity and exposure to western civilization has not really made drastic changes in their life. The Bodo Kacharis are among major tribes in Assam. They have distinctive culinary methods and some of their dishes are absolutely yummy.
The nuances of Bodo Cuisine
Interestingly, the Bodos adhere to ancient culinary techniques including smoking even in recent times. They store smoked meat or fish in hollow bamboo stems. While they consume a lot of meat and fish, rice and vegetables are also used to make numerous dishes in Bodo households. They use some rarely used herbs and plants too. For example, Narzi is prepared from jute leaves. Apart from boiling rice, they also grind rice in stone pestle to make desserts. They prefer eating pork and chicken amongst meat. They often use napham, a type of fermented fish chutney to spice up their meals.
Top Bodo recipes one should savor
Kharokhandai Bibaar Ewnai
Kharokhandai is a type of nutritious and delicious edible flower. This is said to have medicinal properties too. Also called the Indian trumpet flower, this is used by the Bodos to make several recipes. You will need 2 dozen Kharokhandai Bibaar to make this dish. The flowers have to be slit and stamens soul be removed and then you can wash them. You will also need 2 chilies, a sliced onion, salt, turmeric and mustard oil.
At first, you have to boil the flowers in water until they become tender. Then squeeze water to diminish the bitter taste. Now, heat oil and sauté fry chilies and onions. Add the boiled flowers and fry. Add the other ingredients and stir fry. For variation, you may add 3 beaten eggs to the fried mixture and stir on low flame.
Sobai Jwng Daau Jwng
A major part of traditional Bodo cuisine is non-vegetarian. However, they often use vegetables to make non-vegetarian recipes. This dish is a hit in Bodo villages. You will need 500 grams country chicken (diced), a cup of black lentil, paste of garlic, ginger and one onion. You will also need a spoon of Khaari (made from sundried banana peels and trunk pieces, burnt), salt, bay leaves, turmeric, and chopped fresh Coriander, mustard oil and green chilies.
Related: Yummy Lentil Recipes of Assam
At first, you have to cook the Black Lentil in 3 cups of water, turmeric and salt until it is semi boiled. Then, heat oil in another pot and fry chicken pieces with other ingredients barring coriander leaves. Now, pour the cooked Black Lentil atop fried Chicken and cook under lid. The gravy should turn thick. You may add some water and then add khari to it. Sprinkle fresh coriander leaves before servings with rice.
Daau Jwng Kumra Jwng
This is another example of how meat can be cooked with vegetables and taste delicious. You will need 500 grams diced chicken to make this dish. The other ingredients are 2 cups of chopped ripe pumpkin, paste of an onion, ginger and garlic pods, Bay leaves, salt, turmeric and powdered clove, cinnamon and cardamom. You will also need oil, green chilies and some chopped coriander leaves.
Related: Tasty Xaak Recipes from Assam
At first, you need to fry the chicken pieces in oil till they are brown with all ingredients barring Coriander leaves. The chicken and chopped pumpkin will be cooked but no water should be added. You will have to stir the items sometimes. Check salt and sprinkle chopped Coriander before serving with steamed rice.
Bwrma Bedor Wngkhree
This is a popular Bodo style mutton curry. You will need 500 grams of cubed mutton, 1 cubed potato, paste of ginger, garlic pods and two onions, paste of clove, cinnamon and cardamom, salt and turmeric. You will also need green chilies, mustard oil, chopped fresh coriander, bay leaves and jabrang powder.
Related: Yummy Jackfruit Recipes from Assam
At first, heat oil in a deep pan and fry all ingredients except potatoes and mutton. Then add the mutton and potatoes and fry for some minutes. Now, add 2 cups of water and put everything in a pressure cooker. Use salt as desired and ensure the gravy becomes thick. Before serving garnish the dish with chopped coriander leaves.
Oma Gwran Jwng Aloo Jwng
Pork is a favorite meat with Bodos and this is one of their popular pork dishes. You will need 500 grams of smoked pork, 4 peeled potatoes, paste of an onion, ginger and garlic pods. You will also need green chili, salt, fresh coriander leaves, bay leaves, turmeric and mustard oil. Other ingredients are paste of cinnamon, clove and cardamom. The smoked pork should be washed in lukewarm water.
Related: Delicious Mango Recipes of Assam
At first, you need to fry every ingredient except potatoes, smoked pork and chopped coriander leaves. Then add the pork and potatoes in the pan. After frying, put everything in a pressure cooker and cook until meat is soft. You will have to add 2 cups of water. Then, pour the dish into a pan again and cook until gravy thickens. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with rice.
Maitha Jwng Naa Jwng
This is one delicious Bodo fish dish which is cooked with Maitha, their favorite sour tasting vegetable. It is prepared mostly in summer months. You can use any fish but Stripped Dwarf Cat Fish taste very nice. You will need 250g fish (cleaned and dry), a bunch of cleaned Maitha, crushed garlic pods, turmeric, chilies, mustard oil.
Related: Yummy Pitika Dishes of Assam
You should coat the fish with turmeric and salt at the beginning and then fry the pieces. Then heat oil and sauté fry the chilies and garlic on low flame. Now add the Maitha with salt, turmeric. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add some water and simmer for a while. Now, add the fried fish and cook. Serve it with hot rice.
Nathoor Jwng Aloo Jwng
This is a delicious Bodo dish made with smoked shrimp and potatoes. The shrimp has to be cleaned washed and sun dried for an hour. Then it has to be smoked over flame on a bamboo sieve. You will need a cup of smoked shrimp, paste of garlic pods, onion and ginger, turmeric, chilies, salt, mustard oil. You will also require chopped tomatoes, 2 cubed potatoes and chopped coriander leaves.
Related: Sesame Seed Recipes Of Assam
At first, you should fry the shrimp in a small amount of oil with turmeric and salt. Set the fried shrimp aside. Then, fry the chilies and paste. Add the tomato, turmeric and salt. Then add the peeled potato cubes. After a while, add some water and cook under a lid. When potato gets half boiled, pour the fried shrimp. Ensure the gravy is thick. Before serving, garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
This is delicious chutney made with crabs that is served as a side dish in Bodo houses. You may use common river crab or any favorite variant. You will need 250 gm crab, green chilies, garlic pods, sliced onion, turmeric, mustard oil and salt.
Related: Top Street Food from Assam
The crab pieces should be peeled and washed well before cooking. Then heat oil, and fry crab with turmeric, salt and onions. Cook and stir until the crab meat gets tender. Grind chili with some fried onion using a mortar and pestle. Add the fried crab mix and make a fine paste.