Aakhol Ghor, the Assamese Cuisines and Foods from Assam

Its all about Food and Food Habits from the land of blue hills and red river, Assam.

Aakhol Ghor means Kitchen in Assamese. Assamese traditional Kitchens normally has two parts. First the dining area plus a small cooking space for tea etc. And the next bigger and more functional room is the actual kitchen with at least two earthen fire places (chowka).If you are a food lover you can hope to see a lot of authentic Assamese Recipes in this place......


Some famous Chef of India once said, " India is so unique, one can find three different recipes for the same chicken curry in the three houses lined in the same row. Every kitchen and every cook in India has it's own cook book, unlike rest of the world."
I personally feel it is so well said. Even in my case, you might find small to big differences in your known method of cooking and the ones posted here. I call them true Assamese for two main reasons, one: because of the spices used, and two: my granny knew nothing beyond her village ( she did not believe that cauliflower can be green, which is Broccoli). So whatever she cooked was passed on over generation. And my Mom finds it hard to believe anything can be cooked beyond her traditional methods( she is best at it, though she makes excellent Indo - Chinese things, invented). So please feel free to put in your comments / correction. One thing I can assure is I have cooked all these ( everything) myself with my own hands at least once. So whatever is here is tried and tested. You are always welcome to do your bit of experiment !!!!!

Maas aaru Thekera Tenga

Well, THEKERA I think is again patented to the land of Assam. Though I could find out the English Name, it has a scientific name. It is green at the beginning, get deep purple when ripe and turns deeper purple or almost black when dried.It is a souring agent.

Thekera - Garcinia Mangostana of
Garcinia indica Family.

SO if you manage to import Thekera from Assam, great !!! Or else you can use other souring agents. But I like it with Thekera only.


1. Fish - 1 cleaned catfish, cut to about 3/4 inch pieces.
2. Turmeric - Half Teaspoon
3. Green chilies, Chopped - according to taste
4. Panch Foran
5. Mustard Oil
6. Salt to taste
7.The most important thing - Thekera


Put the "thekera" in a cup of water. A piece of thekera will give you one bowl of curry to serve one person.SO soak as much as you want. Keep for about 1/2 hour.Mix the turmeric and salt with the fish. Fry the fish in oil lightly. Remove from pan.

In the same pan, Remove the extra oil, leaving about a table spoon behind and add panch foran. Put green chillies. When fried, put the cup of water with "Thekera". Add extra cups of water (depending on the number of "Thekera" used). When it comes to boil, add fried fish and reduce flame
Let it simmer for some time (10-15 minutes), till the juice gets cooked and a tangy flavor comes out.

Serve with steamed rice.


  1. Replies
    1. Also locallyknown as 'Kokum' in the coastal belt of India

    2. In Bengali it's called as "Thoikol" dried Thoikol is very useful to cure in chronic dysentery.

    3. Thekera belongs to the family of mangosteens you are right but the English name for thekera is not mangosteen. It only has a scientific name Garcinia penduculata.

  2. Great work.. Waiting to see more. BTW Uddipana Goswami is a great writer on Assamese food, so she can give you some more tips. What about some pork recipes Devasish?

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    Uddipana, well we did some googling initially and the photos which we came across and the scientific name.. most of the places we found out to be mangostana... I'll verify it once again.. thanks for pointing that out...

    Kaushik.. well, my wife says's she's not at all a pork dish expert... I'm thinking of getting some inputs from Manash Baruah for that..

  4. WOW..amazing blogs..jibhaar paani ulaaise bujise Devasis da!!!..Great stuff!

  5. Dear Dev and Lavi,
    I must say that you have created an excellent blog. It's simply wonderful. Keep it up. I'll refer your blog to all my friends. I have also uploaded a video in YouTube on 'How to prepare Masar Tenga'. You can watch the viseo:


    Udoy Bhaskar

  6. very nice n authentic recipes.....keep up the good work

  7. i have never seen or tasted thekera as a whole fruit so i do not know much about it.even then i think thekera is one of the species of Garcinia genus but is not mangosteen(Garcinia mangostana)because mangosteen is sweet.in other words thekera may be a cousin of mangosteen.i have found the following in wikipedia:

    The genus Garcinia, belonging to the family Clusiaceae, includes some 200 species found in the Old World tropics, specially Asia and Africa. Out of the 35 species found in India, 17 are endemic. Of these, seven are endemic to the Western Ghats region (lying along western coastal India), six in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and four in the North-Eastern region of India.