Assamese cuisine is a mixture of different indigenous as
well as external influences with a lot of regional variations. It reflects the
culture of a specific society. Food is sacred and eating is ritual. The cuisine
reflects the inhabitant’s simplicity of lifestyle. Assamese cooking is a
mixture of different native style with regional variations. The food of
Southern Assam is spicier than Northern Assam.
Northern Assam has the oriental influence whereas the cuisine of Southern part
of Assam is influenced by
the cuisines from West Bengal and Bihar.
Assamese cuisine is unique and distinguished by its distinct
flavor of exotic herbs like the smell of lime (gol nemu), lemon (elachi nemu or
kagji nemu) and the sweet smell of joha rice.
Mother nature has give Assam abundant greenery, which helps
the people in having their own share of exotic delicacies like the Pupa of Eri
Silk worm (known as Eri polu), the tangy eggs of a species of red ant called
the Amroli paruwa, fermented
bamboo shoot, herb chutneys and khar.
Rice is the staple food of Assam and cooked in several ways.
The typical and traditional Assamese kitchen have fermented and dried bamboo
shoot, dried cocum (thekera), rice powder, lentils (mahor guri), kharoli, khahodi and chilly
pickle. Ghee is occasionally used. Non-vegetarian would enjoy as meat and baked
fish in plantain leaf is a delicacy. Fried small fish is a favourite side dish.
It is characterized by the use of simple ingredients which are at times very
flavorful and at times very pungent. Fermented food is very widely used, giving
it a very distinct flavor. Preparations are rarely elaborate.
Locally available green leafy vegetables known as Xaak are:
Spinach, "Lai" (a family of mustard greens), Mustard greens,
fenugreek greens. "Khutora". "Moricha", "Mati
Kaduri". "Mani Moni", Mint, Cabbage. Green vegetables are often
boiled with water to form a gravy or fried in oil with onions. Other locally
available vegetables are: cauliflower, beetroot, kolhrabi, curry bananas,
banana flower, banana stem, bell pepper, "potol". jeeka".
"bhool", snake gourd, bottle gourd, "ronga lao".