Feast From The North-East

Assam’s cuisine is relatively unknown. Fresh and natural, its flavours reflect the simple lifestyle of its people

5/8/2017 1:41:48 PM
written By : Runima Borah Tandon Print

Spring is that wonderful time of the year in Assam when the trees wear a fresh coat of green leaves, colourful orchids blossom and the air is redolent with the lilting song of the cuckoo bird. It’s a time for fun, feasting and festivity to celebrate Rongali Bihu (Assamese New Year). The festive atmosphere in the entire state is filled with the sound of Bihu songs, dhool (drums), pepa (flute made of buffalo horns) and gogona (a mouth organ made of bamboo). The Assamese are known for their hospitality and exhilirating arts and culture. This is reflected in their delicious and unique cuisine. 

Rongali Bihu shares some similarities with Chinese New Year, which is also a time for reunion with families and paying respect to parents, grandparents and elderly relatives. Duck Curry (Patee Hanh) cooked with Potato and White Gourd, Chicken Curry (Murgir Manxor Jhool), Fish Curry cooked in lemon (Masor Tenga), Khar and different varieties of leafy vegetables are some of the dishes cooked during the festive season along with a variety of sweets such as Til Pitha, Ghila Pitha, Kettle Pitha etc. made from rice flour. 

 

Ghila Pitha3 (1)

(Rice flour and jaggery fritters is another popular Assamese sweet prepared during Bihu.)

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup of sticky rice
  • 1 and 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2-3 cardamom, powdered
  • A pinch of salt
  • Water enough to make a thick batter
  • Refined oil to deep fry

METHOD

1. Mix all the ingredients together very well. Then mix 1 cup or little more water so that you get a thick batter.

2. The texture of the mixture should be of such consistency that you can make a round pitha from it. It should not be watery. Now take a deep pan and heat enough oil to deep fry.

3. Take a deep spoon and with each serving add batter to the oil and fry round Pithas from it. You have to fry them well from both sides till they become golden brown. Keep the flame at low-medium.

4. Serve them hot with tea or coffee.

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