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......

DISCLAIMER

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 !!!!!

Assmese Pork Recipes




This time, I want to share a few very popular dishes from Assam with you in a different way. Basically, I was thinking, to make this post a bit personalized rather than just sharing only the recipe.

By this time you might have formed some idea, that Assam is really a land of rich amalgamation of many cultures, tribes, customs and food habits. Over a period of time, the typical dishes of many communities/ tribes have influenced and have got influenced by various cooking methods and styles of other communities. The popular dishes from Assam at the present day therefore reflect this trend and you can not really separate one from another, with respect to authenticity and origin. Having said that, I again would like to put the disclaimer, that, every cook has her/his own style and trademark preparation method.

Now, coming to pork dishes, I really find it very amazing, how pork has taken the place for most favorite meat in recent times among the people of Assam. Originally, not many communities used to consume pork as their main non-vegetarian side dish due to various religious and social restrictions. But, of late, more and more people have started having pork, either as a family habit or by discovering the awesome taste of the ingenious authentic pork dishes which different tribes of the region have been cooking. Today, if you ask any youth from Assam, what’s your favorite meat, 70% chances are there that the answer will be Pork.

In Assamese, we call it Gahori. It has many other names though e.g. Assam Tractor. I really don’t know what the origin of this name is or who coined it first, but I guess, you can really make out, why it is called so. Whatever you may call it, I am sure, you would definitely enjoy the following dishes which I am going to talk here today.

Although, there are many popular pork recipes which people of Assam and NE India prepare and serve, I am going to talk about mostly about three very must have dishes. They are:

Pork Curry with Lai Xaak (Mustard spinach/ tendergreen)
Pork with Gaanj Tenga (Chilly Pork Curry in Bamboo Shoot)
Chilly Dry Fried Pork

There are some basic things with pork dishes if you really want to taste it in the Assamese way.

First, you should get the most appropriate type of pork meat. I am not an authority on pork, but I have heard the meat from lower neck and lower belly part tastes the best. Then you need to get the meat cut down into smaller pieces so that you can cook it well it in a curry form. An ideal pork piece can be cut in such a way, where you get both fat and little bit of meat with the skin. (See photo)




Second, the usages of spices in Assamese pork dishes. As mentioned in many places throughout various posts in this blog, Assamese dishes do not require much of spices, and its especially applicable for pork dishes. You don’t have to use any of the garam masalas which you might have used for mutton or chicken. What you need for pork dishes are only garlic, ginger and green chilies.




Third thing is, if you get some tender pork meat, then its very good. Otherwise, make sure, you cook the meat till its soft and tender. If the pieces with skin is soft, then you can assume, its done. You also need to make sure; you wash and clean the meat properly before cooking to avoid hygiene issues.

Fourth, you don’t have to use any additional oil to make the curry. You can make the curry in the pork fat itself.

Before getting into the details of the recipes, let me mention a few names without whom my pork fiesta would not have been completed. They are the guys who really helped me to taste, appreciate, understand and experiment pork at various point of time by sharing their ingenious trademark recipes.

Thanks Ghananil for your special dry fried pork. Thanks Debajyoti for your pork and laai xaak recipe. Thanks Jeet for your naga style bamboo shoot pork recipe. Thanks Utpal, Parashar, Anupom, and Himangshu et al for tolerating my experiment with pork and for your praises.

Thanks to all those buddies with whom I had the chance to have Assam tractor licking my fingers on so many occasions.

Thanks to my better half too for letting me cook pork the way I want.

20 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic introduction. A nice way to raise appetite. My mouth is already filled up with juices. I would like to say a few words regarding the name "Assam Tractor". In the villages of Assam, pigs are reared naturally. They are allowed to roam everywhere. If they are able to find a damp/moist place then they are able to turn that place into muddy area just like a tractor does to a paddy field. From this concept the name "Assam Tractor" came, but the person who coined it is still unkonwn to me as well.

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  2. Bora dampatti'r aiya ati praxangxaniya prasesta.

    aaru bahu aaxare...

    -anupom

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  3. This is a nice piece of information indeed. As a matter of fact, the 2 Dishes that you had mentioned made me hungry. Well, sadly, I don't get the chance to relish on my favourite dish here in Delhi, as the meat does not meet our "kasuwani standard". But i do make it a point to gorge as much as i can during my vacation. After all, there is nothing better than Bhaat...olop Haaj... laaihaakor logot gahory fry....ki koi dada!!!!

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  4. Looking for assami recipe for long time. thanks.

    Ruchika Singh Anup Baruah

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  5. Aapunar Recipe tu parhi hosakoiye bahut bhal lagil. Agoloi aru porhar akhare..

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  6. @RSAB....
    Ejon Akhomia manuh hoi Akhomia manuhok Assami koboloi nidile bhal...Assami mane Adalotor bhakhat ki hoi aapuni hoitu jane?

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  7. nice recipe,i m going to prepare it...hope it comes like u.

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  8. wow!! just what i was looking for!! thanks a lot!!

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  9. a better way to expose Assamese culture to the world....what can be more tempting then the mouth watering assamese delicacies!!!...a wonderful attempt...keep it going and hope to seemany more things....

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  10. Thank you all. Your continuing support and encouragement would definitely help us going on :)

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  11. great dude,,,you can post recipe videos too to make pepole understand the process in a easier way....

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  12. Hatz off to u dude !!

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  13. cheaper electricity melbourne

    I've been looking for some nice blogs lately and this one just caught my eyes. Have a good day ahead. Such interesting content you have.

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  14. I feel proud to get the site, as I am an tipical Assamese(Dhekeri. I am a professional Food & Nutritionest working outside Assam. I have written so many article on Assamese Food like KOLA KHAR, MAH KORAI, THEKERA TENGA etc. I shall be more happy if you connect me in your MISSION....my Facebook Id is drhkb145906@gmail.com...Thank you

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  15. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Post some videos too. I love cooking too.

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  16. Amazing Contents!! I just like it!!!
    Please visit another blog about Assamese Entertainment
    www.magicalassam.blogspot.in

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  17. Awesome recipes. I like this.

    -AssameseMasterchef

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  18. I've been looking for some nice blogs lately and this one just caught my eyes. Have a good day ahead.

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