Assamese cuisine is unlike what you experience in the rest of India, to say the least. The diversity and rage of flavors in Assamese dishes can be amazing. What seems most intriguing to others is the way Assamese tribes make use of rarely used herbs and produce to make lip smacking dishes. While they are voracious rice and meat lovers, Assamese people also make use of plenty of vegetables and fruits, which are not used so much in cooking outside the state. One example is Ou Tenga, or Elephant Apple. Known for its numerous health benefits, this hard shelled fruit is harvested mostly in North east India.
Tasty Ou Tenga Dishes of Assam
In Assam, this fruit is cooked in various ways with other vegetables, fish and even lentils to make tasty dishes. Below listed are some such yummy Ou Tenga recipes, from Assam.
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Ou Tenga Maasor Jhol
This is basically a tasty fish curry made with Ou tenga. It can be made with prawns and small fish types. You will need a chopped tomato, one ou tenga fruit cut in small pieces, chopped onion, salt, chilies, mustard oil and prawns, washed and peeled.
Heat oil in a pan and then you need to sauté fry onions and tomatoes for a while. Then, add the Ou tenga pieces and make everything into a pulp. Add the salt and chilies. Then add some water and make gravy. At last, add the prawns and cook until the fish is soft and gravy gets thickened.
Ou Tenga Dhekia aru Maasor jhol
This is a variation on Ou Tenga fish curry where edible Fiddlehead Ferns (Dhekia xaak) are used to lend a distinct flavor. You may use 200 grams of freshwater fish such as Bhangon fish. Other ingredients are ½ Ou Tenga, Mustard oil, some Fiddlehead Ferns, turmeric powder, mustard seed, rice flour, whole green chili and salt.
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At first, wash and clean the fish and sprinkle slat and turmeric. Fry the fish pieces in oil and set aside. Then wash Dhekia xaak and shop in small pieces. Boil the ou tenga after cutting in small pieces and using salt and water in a pressure cooker. In a pan, heat oil and fry mustard seeds, chili, salt and turmeric powder. Then add the Ou tenga pieces and boiled water. Next, add the rice flour mixed in water to it. Then add the chopped dhekia xaak and cook for a while. After some time, add the fried fish and cook for a few minutes. Serve the dish with steamed rice.
Ou Tenga Dal
When you see an ou tenga fruit, you may not think of using it to make lentil dishes but that is exactly what Assamese people do! This fruit can be used to make tangy and tasty daal, which can be served with rice. You will need ½ ou tenga, chopped green chillis, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, salt, mustard oil and 250 gm lentil (masoor daal).
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At first, cut the fruit in pieces and then crush them well. Wash the lentil and cook in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder, salt and ou tenga pieces. Let it boil properly. In a pan, sauté fry green chilui and mustard seeds in oil. Then pour the boiled daal into it. Cook for a few minutes and serve hot.