In Assam, a number of indigenous tribes co-exist while adhering to their cultural nuances and traditions. From festivals and cuisine, these tribes maintain their unique norms over the years. The Dimasa Kachari tribe is among the most important and ancient tribes residing in Assam and they also stay in Nagaland. They are mostly found in Assam’s North Chhachar Hills region. They also live in Assam’s Nagaon district. The cuisine of this tribe is quite enticing and diverse in nature too.
Top dishes of Dimasa cuisine
The Dimasa Kacharis make use of several indigenous herbs, vegetables, spices, fish and animal meat to make some mouthwatering dishes. These dishes are also quite healthy and some of them also do not require any usage of oil.
Below listed are some of the popular Dimasa recipes:
Fried Rice with Manglai Maiju
The Dimasa tribes prefer cooking rice with numerous vegetables including corn. Manglai maiju is one type of sticky corn. The ingredients are cooked rice, turmeric powder, salt, chopped green chilies, oil, ginger garlic paste, chopped onion, boiled corn (1/3rd of rice), coriander leaves.
At first, you have to fry the onion in oil. Then add ginger garlic paste, turmeric and chopped green chilies. Sauté fry for a while and add boiled corn along with cooked rice. Keep cooking for a few minutes. Add salt and sprinkle coriander leaves on top. Serve it hot with side dishes.
Dimasa Chicken Curry
This chicken curry tastes unique owing to usage of rice flour and onion pulp. It is also thick and has a gelatinous texture. You will need a small chicken (cut into pieces), grated onions, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt, mustard oil, rice flour, finely chopped cilantro land water.
First of all, rub chicken pieces in turmeric and salt well. Then heat oil and fry the chicken pieces well on all sides. Set the fried chicken aside. Then, fry onions and chilies in oil and keep stirring. Next, add chicken, water and ginger garlic paste. As the curry starts boiling, stir occasionally. Make a mixture of rice flour, cooking liquid and water in a cup. Stir this mixture in the curry. Add salt as per taste. Then add cilantro and mix well. Remove from flame and let the dish sit for a while before serving with rice. However, do not wait till the dish gets cold.
This is one tasty Dimasa dish made with bottle gourd and a number of other vegetables. It can be served with rice and lentils. You will need ingredients like chopped bottle gourd, hyacinth beans (half of chopped gourd), green chilies, a few lettuce leaves, toasted and ground perilla seeds, crushed garlic, salt and a cup of chicken stock.
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If the bottle gourd is tender, you need not peel off the skin. Just scrape it lightly. Next, chop into small cubes and chop the beans. Heat 1.5 cup of water and pour the cubed gourd pieces. After some minutes, add chicken stock, chilies, and beans. Cook until beans become tender and then add salt. Wash the lettuce leaves well and cut into small pieces. Add the lettuce to the pan and cook for some more time. Then add the perilla seeds and crushed garlic. Serve it hot after garnishing it with fresh coriander leaves.
Dimasa Dal Khari
The Dimasa Kacharis prepare lentil in numerous ways. They also prepare Daal in khari form. Along with leafy vegetables, Bamboo shoot, they also use dried fish and smoked meat in these dishes. You will need ingredients like 150 grams Masur daal, 3 Fermented fish, chilies, khari or Soda bicarbonate, Salt. You can sue vegetables of your choice as well. No oil is required to make this dish.
At first, wash the daal and boil in a pan using water. When the lentil is semi boiled, add salt and chilies. Later, add the soda bicarb and fermented fish. The daal should become semi thick. You can use herbs that you want for garnishing including coriander leaves.
Smoked Meat in Daal
This is a rustic Dimasa recipe. This dish has smoked meat which lends a unique flavor. You will require ingredients like 125 grams Masur daal, grated onions, 10 smoked pork pieces, chopped chilies, coarsely grated ginger, chopped garlic, turmeric powder, oil, salt, Chopped tomatoes.
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At first wash the lentil well in water and set it aside. Heat oil and fry the meat with grated onions. Then add the ground spices. Stir fry and add salt and turmeric. Also pour in the tomatoes. Now, add the drained lentil and mix well. Cook for a while and add hot water. Cook the mixture in pressure cooker and it will be a mashed pulp. Serve it hot with fresh ginger leaves.