Apart from tea, if there is anything else that characterises Assam as much, it has to be the one-horned rhinocerous, called ‘gaur’ by the locals. People from all across the globe throng Assam’s national parks like Kaziranga and Pobitora to sight this majestic beast. And you are almost always in luck to spot the rhinos grazing in the grassland, or taking a plunge in the little ponds and marsh areas.
Come Bihu, and you will find different varieties of pitha being lovingly prepared by the womenfolk across the state and beyond. Pitha is a generic term used to describe a range of Assamese sweet treats, mostly made using rice. Since Assam is a rice producing state, this humble ingredient forms an integral part of the culinary lineage of the people, being used in myriad ways to create spectacular delicacies. To pick the first from the platter of pithas, we have ghila pitha, also known as tel pitha, which are sweet fritters made using rice flour and jaggery. Continue reading “Ghila Pitha”
A drive through the meandering roads of various districts in Assam and you are bound to come across old, colonial-style bungalows, still withholding their charm. You will notice them amidst tea gardens or in certain parts of the towns. It’s almost as if time instantly slows down in the vicinity of these magnificent structures, luring you into the spell of their vintage beauty, and also tales of ghosts and past incidences. Continue reading “Chung Bungalow”
It’s hard to imagine an Assamese meal without Masor Tenga being served at the table. The light fish curry has many versions and is a beloved comfort food of the Assamese people. ‘Tenga’ meaning ‘sour’, is added to the curry using a variety of souring agents such as kazi nemu (an elongated lemon, known as Gondhoraj in Bengali), pati nemu (small, round lemon), thekera tenga (kokum or mangosteen), ou tenga (elephant apple), kon bilahi (resembling cherry tomatoes but very sour in taste), and certain indigenous herbs like shuka xaak, tenga mora and tengesi. Continue reading “Masor Tenga”