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 !!!!!

Pork Curry with Lai Xaak (Mustard spinach/ tender green)

Serves 6 - 8

Ingredients:

Fresh Pork Meat (cut into small pieces as shown in the photo) 1 K.G.


Laai Xaak (Mustard Greens) [BTW, this was home grown :), straight from Assam]
Fresh Lai Xaak (Mustard spinach/ tender green) 1 bunch


Garlic 8 cloves
Ginger 1 inch
Green Chilies 5 nos
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Red Chilly Powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder half tsp
Onions 2 nos
Salt to taste


Optional:

Medium sized tomato 1 no
Big sized potato 1 no

P.S. Most of the Assamese non-vegetarian dishes traditionally contain potato as one of the mandatory ingredient.

Preparation:

Wash the meat properly and keep a few fat pieces (5-6 medium sized) aside from rest of the meat
Take the garlic cloves, remove the skin, and then crush them to a coarse paste. Need not be a fine paste.
Crush ginger and mix it with the garlic
Cut the onions in thin slices
Slit the green chilies lengthwise in two halves
Cut the tomato in 4 halves
Cut the potato in 8 parts


Cooking:

Put a wide pressure cooker on stove and heat it in medium flame till its complete dry and warm. Do not overheat the cooker.
Put the fat pieces which you kept separately after washing into the cooker and make sure they do not stick to the cooker. Keep stirring the pieces with medium flame one.
Oil will come out from the fat pieces slowly and the color of the fat pieces will turn from golden to light brown. (If you want to take out the oil from the pieces faster, then u put the flame to bit on the higher side and cover the cooker temporarily.)
Once sufficient amount of oil comes out, put the cut onions in the cooker and stir fry them till they become golden brown.
Then put the rest of the pork in the cooker and increase the flame.
Put turmeric and red chilly powder and little bit of cumin (jeera) powder if you like and mix them well with the pork. Leave it on medium high flame for 2-3 minutes
Once oil starts coming out reduce the flame and put the ginger garlic paste you prepared. Mix them well with the meat and cover the cooker and leave it for 2-3 minutes.
Uncover the cooker and put the cut potatoes, if you had done it and put the flame at medium heat. Keep frying them for sometime and then put the lid back and let it cook on low heat.
Once the meat is somewhat cooked, take the laai leafs and tear them into small portions by hand and put them in the pressure cooker. You can put small amount of leafs so that you can keep mixing them with the meat by stirring.
Put the lid back on the cooker and reduce the flame. Keep it covered for 5 minutes.
At this point of time, you should get the aroma of Laai xaak and the pork. Check if the leafs are starting to form a lump, then add the tomatoes in the cooker. Fry them in low flame till they start to melt.
Add the slit green chilies and salt.
Add a cup of hot water and increase the flame.
Once the curry starts boiling, put the lid clipped on the cooker and let pressure cook it for 5/6 whistles.
Take the cooker out of the stove and let it cool naturally. Once you can open the cooker, put it back on the stove and mix the curry and the meat properly. Sprinkle some fresh coriander over it and serve hot with rice. Here it would look like:


Gahori Lai Xaak: Home Cooked


We are adding this picture of home-cooked dish as an update on request from a few of you out there :)

14 comments:

  1. Pork with lai xhak is probably the most delicious Assamese pork dish. The taste of lai xhak becomes awesome. What a splendid discovery.

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  2. spinach = paleng xaak not laai xaak

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  3. its not only "spinach" its Mustard Spinach or "Tender Green"

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  5. before reading ur recipe, i used too cook gahori with laai xaak...... but when i tried ur recipe properly, it is much better than earlier!!!!
    thanks a lot to help me in making my favourite dish more delicious.......

    PRAJIT

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  6. Thanks a lot Prajit and do keep visiting and commenting.. bon apitite

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  7. whats the difference between normal spinach and mustard spinach? can i just use normal spinach for this?

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  8. @Above:

    If you are in India, then, spinach is palak. But for the dish which we are talking about you would need a different patta which is called 'Lai' and you would get this around winter. You can use Sarso ka saag in place of Lai as well

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  9. pork and lai xaak realy goes well.....the lai tastes so gud..bfore i ate it only on ethnic assamese restaurents,bt nw i m relishing it in my home..thanx to u guyz

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  10. i was really in need of d recipe...hope dis wud help 2 serve my guests well 2morrow!!! thnx so much...

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  11. nice job dude,,thanks.

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  12. For those who like the smell of (xorisa) bamboo shoot, when the pork is almost cook n the after the lettuce is added pour 1/2 cup of bamboo juice and add 3tablespoon sesame(til) powder seasoning... simmer for 5minutes n ur dish is ready:) taste great:)

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  13. Hello! Thanks for the recepie! I'm going to try making this next time. I was just wondering if I can use normal spinach instead of musterd spinach as I have difficulty of getting hold of the other one in Norway. I have been living in India for many years before and love the north eastern way of cooking the pork, but find it difficult to get recepies about how my friends make it. Thanks for a reply on this.

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