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13 Traditional Food Items of Assam You Need to Try on Your Next Vacation

9 mins. read

Assam is a state known for its natural beauty, exotic fauna, and tribal heritage. Every person who loves tea in its authentic form would know how dedicated Assamese tea gardeners are to its preparation. Besides this, the general allure of the silk bazaars, historical sites, and wildlife sanctuaries are reasons to make it your next vacation destination. While there are several places to visit in North East, Assam is one state that sets itself apart from the rest. Home to the breathtaking Nilgiri Hills and the mighty Brahmaputra River, this state is truly special. That’s not all! The food of Assam will further make your vacation splendid. From vegetarian delights to hardcore non-vegetarian fare, the traditional foods of Assam are a must-try. Here are 13 Assamese food items that you should devour on your next vacation:

1. Khar

One of the most unique Assamese dishes that the locals love to devour on a regular basis is Khar. It is basically a dark liquid with an astringent aroma that is made from sundried Bhim Kol or feather-back banana peels. This famous food of Assam is best enjoyed with raw papaya, lentils, different types of gourds, and spices. Every tribal family has its own version of Khar that is mouth-wateringly delicious. Make sure to try this food item at a traditional street-side joint in Assam on your next vacation!

2. Masor Tenga

Masor Tenga

If you are a true blood pescatarian, then trying out some piping hot Masor Tenga should be on your bucket list! The people of Assam love fish, especially rohu and catla. This is one dish that celebrates the taste of these fish in their purest form. A curry made with ridge gourd, rohu/catla, tomatoes, potatoes, and kokum, Masor Tenga will make your palette dance with joy! It is one of the main foods served in an Assamese thali, so order one up as soon as you reach the land of “Blue Hills and Red River”.

3. Pitika

Literally meaning “mashed”, Pitika is one of the most beloved food items in Assamese cuisine. This is because of the pure comfort it gives you in every bite. Prepared using a variety of vegetables like potatoes, eggplant, pumpkin, etc., it is flavoured with fresh coriander, green chillies, onion, and mustard oil. Some folks may even call it the northeastern equivalent to Chokha eaten in Bihar and Jharkhand! It is among the most famous dishes of Assam, so you will get to try it even in the remotest locations.

4. Paror Mangxo

Paroro Mangxo is a curry made with pigeon meat. It might sound too exotic for your liking but if you are a true foodie, then eating unique dishes is in your blood! Ideally, this pigeon meat is cooked with banana flowers and peppercorns. It is believed that the heat in this traditional food item of Assam provides a lot of warmth in the cold winter months. You need to remember that the cuisine of Assam is very distinct, so getting a little adventurous should be your prerogative.

5. Haah Joha Kumura

Haah Joha Kumura

In Assamese, Haah or Haa means duck which is highly popular among the local population. Haah Joha Kumura is part of every feast being organized in Assam. Be it a housewarming party or a wedding, this duck-based curry is a staple. Since it is a heavily spiced dish with duck meat, ash gourd, and a variety of other ingredients, you should have it with some Joha rice. All in all, this famously loved food of Assam should be tried out at least once!

6. Ou Khatta

Another unique Assamese dish that will make your world go round is Ou Khatta. Simply speaking, it is a sweet-and-sour chutney, made from elephant apple and jaggery. Even though it sounds like a fairly simple dish, the flavour of this dish is lip-smackingly amazing! In Assam, it is one of the main food items served along with curries and rice. You can try out Ou Khatta in any local food joint and fall in love with the cuisine of Assam even more!

7. Pani Hamuk

Assam is a state that loves to experiment with its food choices and how! To make their case stronger, here is another exotic dish that you should try on your next trip. Pani Hamuk is a tribal dish made of water snails, pumpkin, and potatoes. That’s right! It may sound a little risque but it is genuinely of the most awe-inspiring that you can enjoy on a North east tour packages.

8. Baanhgajor Lagot Kukura

A refreshing chicken-and-bamboo preparation, Baanhgajor Lagot Kukura is light, easy to digest, and pretty darn delicious! You can get lured just by the aroma of bamboo shoots at an eatery serving this dish because it is very distinct and sharp. Just like you enjoy a plateful of chicken and rice, this is just an Assamese version of the same! If you are lucky enough to be invited for a home-cooked meal by an Assamese family, expect bowls of Baanhgajor Lagot Kukura and many others circulating around you.

9. Doi Chira

One of the most famous Assamese New Year festivities or Bihu food items served is Doi Chira. As part of the many mini-meals or Jolpan eaten at breakfast during the winter months, Doi Chira is the epitome of comfort food in this state. Prepared with beaten rice (poha), yoghurt, cream, and jaggery, this is one sweet dish you need to gorge on. Even if you aren’t able to experience Bihu celebrations, a kind tribal aunty would definitely satiate your sweet tooth with some homemade Doi Chira!

10. Khulasaporir Pitha

When it comes to breakfast items, the Assamese people make no compromises whatsoever. Khulasaporir Pitha is yet another morning meal consisting of a rice pancake that is typically served with some red tea. For relatability, you can call it an Assamese counterpart of Appam prepared in the south. The red tea, however, is simply beyond comparison. So, you need to sip on it to know its flavorful taste. The best way to devour this meal is at a hole-in-the-wall food joint in Assam on a chilly morning. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

11. Lai Xaak Gahori

Pork, mustard greens, Bhut Jolokia - three ingredients that can an Assamese weak in the knees! Such is the power of Lai Xaak Gahori. A local dish packed with so many flavours that your tummy will thank you for taking a vacation in Assam! What’s more? It is a completely oil-free dish, so you cannot complain about putting on any weight. Assamese are maestros in preparing pork-based dishes; you can enjoy spoons full of this dish with some rice or bhaat without any worries.

12. Patot Diya Maas

If the sound of tiny river fish marinated in a bunch of spices, wrapped in banana leaves and then steamed makes your mouth water like Niagara Falls, then Patot Diya Maas is the dish for you! This food item has a special place in the hearts and tummies of the localities. Prepared with freshwater fish, coriander, chillies, mustard oil, and chopped onions, Patot Diya Maas is best enjoyed on its own or with some steamed rice.

13. Gooror Payas

Payas happens to be among the most famous sweets in Assam because it is simple, pure, and yummy! Every bite of this sweet dish will make you appreciate your life, this universe, and everything beyond it. Gooror Payas is prepared with Joha rice, milk, jaggery, dates, cashew, and bay leaves. If you are a Rabdi person, then your love affair with Gooror Payas is going to happen. Do not resist it! Fall in love with this sweet dish and always go back for more.

If you are planning to curb your cravings for some authentic Assamese food, think again. A well-planned trip to this beautiful state will be perfect for satiating your soul with some delicious food!

January 07, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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