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 !!!!!

Xukan Machor chutney (Dried fish chutney)

This is not a typical Assamese side dish as a matter of fact. This particular preparation is a derivation of its famous Manipuri cousin called Irumba. In fact we have taken the liberty to change to cater to your taste bud by modifying it a little. Though many tribes and communities do prepare variety of dried fish recipes, in Assamese food habit dried fish dishes are not very common.


In this post, we are going to share a kind of chutney, a side dish which you can have along with your main course or simply with steamed rice or even roti. We would also share another dried fish preparation, a spicy curry with brinjals in our subsequent posts sometime soon.

For you to enjoy this dish, the primary qualifying criteria would be you should be able to bear the "smell" of the dried fish and the other important one is you should be able to bear the "heat" of the recipe as it is nth degree hot.

Ingredients:

250 gm of dried fish. You can take some 10 small dried fish or 5-6 medium sized dried fish. You can take what Bengalis’ called Shutki. Normally for this recipe, you would not use chunks of big dried fish.


1 medium sized potato

1 tomato

1 medium sized red onion

15 green chilies (yes, that’s right)

5 dried red chilies (again correct, if you can get hold of a dried Bhut Jolokia, then that’s best)

5 cloves of garlic

1 inch ginger

A bunch of fresh coriander leaves

Method:

1. Peel the potato and boil the potato and green chilies thrown together in a sauce pan with water covering half of the potato. Do not over boil as we need the green chilies to be intact in shape. Use potable water to boil as we need the water in which you boil the chilies.

2. On a pan put the dried fish and the dried chilies and pour a little water so that the fish and the chilies do not get burnt. Keep the pan on flame for amount 10 minutes on medium low heat.

3. On your gas stove, or electrical ring, place the tomato directly and keep turning it on all sides so that it gets roasted uniformly.

4. Chop the onion into fine chunks. Peel the garlic, cut the ginger into small slices.

5. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and add some salt and little bit of mustard oil. Throw in the fresh coriander leaves to the mixture and using a round ladle or your hand mash all the contents to a homogenous paste. You can put the mixture into a blender or a grinder, if you want, but do not grind it to a liquidy paste. Leave it in a mashy form.

6. Serve it with steamed rice or roti.

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