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Khorisa is an ethnic ingredient used in Assamese cuisine. Essentially, it is grated bamboo shoots in raw, fermented or pickled form.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Green Gram Fritters (Mogu-r Bor)

One day I just experimented with some leftover soaked green grams (green moong dal) and I was surprised by the result. Nowadays these fritters are a regular serve when guests come visiting…


• About 100 gm green moong dal (soaked overnight)
• About 1 tablespoon gram flour (besan) or just enough to cement or hold the dal paste together
• Half a teaspoon rice powder (this makes the fritters crispy)
• 2-3 onions finely chopped
• 6-7 green chilies
• Plenty of coriander leaves
• Salt
• 2-3 tablespoons of Mustard oil

After soaking the dal overnight, drain off the water and let it dry. Grind the dal and the green chilies, preferably in a pounder and not a mixie. I feel the coarseness adds to the taste; but it’s up to your discretion. In a bowl, add the dal mixture with salt, gram flour, rice powder, onions and chopped coriander leaves. Mix them together with some water; make the paste thick so they hold together when you fry them. Serve hot with green chutney or any sauce of your choice!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pork Dry Fry

This serves as a great starter and the perfect accompaniment for your wine, beer or whisky!


• About 300 gm fresh & tender pork (cut into pieces - small or depending on your preference) washed well
• 1 onion
• About 10 cloves of garlic
• ¼ inch garlic
• Chili powder
• Salt to taste
• One tablespoon mustard oil
• One pinch turmeric powder
Make a ginger-garlic paste and keep aside. In a cooker, add about half a cup of water and the pork pieces along with chili powder, approx. half the ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder; mix well. Pressure cook for about 5-6 whistles, if the meat’s tender. Or else, put it on for two more whistles. When it cools, take off the pork pieces.
Take a round bottom pan and heat about one tablespoon mustard oil. Add the rest of the ginger-garlic paste, followed by the pork pieces. Fry till they get a golden hue. (you may even choose to cover it with a lid). Serve hot!
Stay tuned for some more Pork recipes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mashed Potato with Dried Fish (Hukan Maasor Logot Aloo Pitika)

It’s amazing to think how food unites people across different cultures – I realized how our own ‘hukuti’ (Assamese chutney prepared by pounding dried ‘puthi’ fish and dried red chilies) resembles a ready-to-eat dried fish chutney powder (again prepared from dried fish and red chilies) that’s very popular in Thailand (see image).

This weekend, I used this Thai dried fish mixture to prepare a ‘pitika’, an offshoot of my previous post (Dried Fish Chutney – only difference is I’ve used a readymade mixture here.

How to get your ready-to-use mixture? Well, just take about 100 gm dried fish (washed and then dried again) along with 9-10 dried red chilies (or depending on your taste) and grind in a mixer grinder. Store the mix in a container.
Here’s how to prepare mashed potato with this mix.


• About 4-5 teaspoons of dried fish and chili mixture
• Two medium-sized potatoes
• One medium sized onion
• Three-four green chilies
• A dash of mustard oil
• Salt to taste
• Coriander leaves


Boil/roast the potatoes. Chop the onions, chilies and coriander leaves – keep aside. In a vessel, take the boiled/roasted potatoes, dried fish mixture, a dash of mustard oil, salt and all the chopped ingredients and mash together. And fisho, your healthy delectable side-dish is ready! This serves about two-three people.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pork with Bamboo Shoot (Khorisar Logot Gahori Mangxho)

Talk about pork and any Assamese guy is sure to go weak at the knees. Even though I was never an avid pork lover, I developed a taste for it gradually - the ‘Pork Raja Mircha’ that one of my friends (ironically not from the North East) introduced me to a few years back at Nagaland Stall (Dilli Haat) was the turning point perhaps. Now my kitchen emanates the flavors of Pork dishes – this time pork with bamboo shoot!


• 300-500 gm fresh pork (cut into small pieces)
• 6-7 cloves of garlic
• 7 dried red chilies (or one bhoot jholokia – a fiery red hot chili - if you have it)
• One pinch red chilli powder (optional)
• One pinch turmeric powder
• One tablespoon sour bamboo shoot (I have used bamboo shoot pickle)
• One large onion
• Salt to taste
• Coriander leaves (optional)
• One cup of water (or depending on how thick you want the gravy)
Wash the pork well and boil it in a pressure cooker to rid all the dirt; remove after a hoot. Drain the water. Make a paste of onion, garlic, ginger and chilies and place it in the cooker along with all the other ingredients - bamboo shoot, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and about a cup of water. Remove after four-five hoots if the pork is tender. Else, keep it on for some more time.
Note: Avoid oil as pork oozes oil.
There are more elaborate ways to cook pork with bamboo shoot. Perhaps I’ll take a dig at them later on. Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ambarella Soup (Omorar Jhool)

My main intent behind starting this blog was to dish out some ‘healthy and authentic fare’ – and keeping that spirit in mind, here’s raising a toast to this health-enriching ambarella soup (omorar jhool)!

This simple yet effective soup has helped my father lead a better life when all medicines for chronic dysentery failed to provide any relief.The great thing about it is that it increases your resistance to diseases. Now he makes it a point to keep this fruit handy; but since it’s seasonal, he stores it in pickled form too. My father sent us some when my sister came visiting:


• 7-8 ambarellas washed well
• Salt to taste (one may even use black salt)
• One tablespoon of pulses (any) to thicken the base
• One or two green chilies chopped well
• A pinch of ginger-garlic crushed well
• Coriander leaves


Make slits around the ambarellas - as deep as the knife can penetrate - so that the soup gets all the vital ingredients that the fruit contains.

In a pressure cooker, take about two cups of water and add all the ingredients. Take it off the stove after four-five hoots. Make sure the juice of the ambarella oozes into the soup. The fruit should turn pulpy. If you feel the soup has not mixed well, cook it for some more time. Once it’s ready, relish it as a soup and stay healthy!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bottle Gourd Khar (Pani/Jati Lau Khar)

Traditionally, a Khar (alkali) dish kickstarts an Assamese meal. In fact, people refer to Assamese people as khar khuas not for nothing - we eat khar dishes prepared from raw papaya (previous khar post), cucumber, and just about anything. Recently I tried my hand at this authentic Assamese dish with bottle gourd (pani/jati lau).

Although the process of cooking both the khar dishes – previous post and this one – is more or less the same, the khar ingredient used in both is different – baking soda (in the previous one) and water obtained after soaking smoked/burnt dried banana peel overnight( in this one).

How to get your Khar ingredient: Sun-dry for some days the peels from seeded-bananas ('bhim kal' in Asaamese) until they turn black. Now take a sun-dried banana peel and burn it in your gas oven. Then soak the ashes in potable water overnight. Next morning, as the water turns tea-like and the ashes gather at the bottom, filter the water in a separate vessel. One or one-and-a-half cup is enough for your preparation.

• One dried peel of seeded-banana
• Half bottle gourd cut into medium-sized chunks
• Five-six garlic pods
• One finely chopped onion (optional)
• One tablespoon oil
• Two dried red chili
• One green chili
• A pinch of mustard seeds
• Salt to taste

Method: Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, dried red chilies followed by the chopped onion and garlic pods. When the onions take a reddish hue, add the bottle gourd; add salt too. Cook for some time. Then add the cup of water (khar); very soon the water gourd will turn pulpy. Cut the green chili on top. Remove from stove. Your water gourd khar is ready!
Note: If you use turmeric powder to the preparation, it’ll take on a reddish color that may not be to your liking – so avoid it!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mango Dal (Aam Dal)

Delhi’s sweating it out. What better way to beat the heat than relax indoors and have some nice food to please your ‘summer palate’. Something like ‘aam dal’ that's not just soothing for your taste buds but is easy on your stomach too. The best part is it’s so easy to cook – reducing your kitchen time in the process. This is not exactly an Assamese preparation; people have this all over the country, more specifically in Andhra and West Bengal:


• 1/4th cup toor lentil (rohor dal)
• 1/4th cup masur dal
• 1 medium sized raw mango
• 1/4th onion (finely chopped)
• One tomato (diced into small pieces)
• 2-3 pinch of mustard seeds
• 2-3 green chilies
• 2 dried red chilies
• Salt to taste
• 1-2 pinch turmeric powder
• Two teaspoon oil


Peel and grate the mango and keep aside. Wash the lentils properly; place it in a pressure cooker, add salt and turmeric powder and the chopped tomatoes. Boil it. Remove from gas after a couple of hoots. In a pan heat the oil, add the mustard seeds, red chilies and onions (in this order). When the onions get a golden tinge, add the boiled dal and heat for some time. Then add the grated mango; remember not to over boil the mango because if you do so there are chances the color of your dal may turn brownish.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dried Fish Chutney (Xukan Masor Chutney)

Not many people like the overpowering smell of dried fish. However I developed a taste for it early in life when we were stationed in Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. I still remember the taste of ‘nakham bitchi’(dried fish soup) - ‘hot’, distinct and lip smacking - prepared from dried fish, soda and lots of chilies.

Even though dried fish is more popular in North Eastern states like Meghalaya and Manipur, Assam too has its share of dried fish delicacies like ‘hukuti’ (prepared from dried ‘puthi’ fish).

This chutney that I prepared today is not exactly an Assamese dish, it’s more in the line of a Manipuri Iromba (a kind of chutney prepared with fermented fish, tomatoes, potato and the red hot bhoot jholokia). Also, since dry fish is not readily available here in Delhi, I had to make do with what my bro-in-law got for us from Pattaya.

This chutney is healthy to the core as it retains all the goodness of a fresh fish; minus the spices and oil that come added in a traditional fish curry. Chilies however, are used generously. Don’t try this if you can’t have your food ‘hot’, because the main essence of this chutney is – yes, it sets your taste buds on fire!


• About 150 gm dried fish (any variety)
• About 10-12 green chilies (if you get hold of bhoot jholokia nothing like it – a few of these will do)
• 3-4 red chilies
• One medium sized potato (peeled)
• One medium sized onion (finely chopped)
• One medium sized tomato
• Five-six cloves of garlic and same amount of ginger (crushed)
• Some coriander leaves
• Salt to taste
• A dash of mustard oil
• Bamboo shoot (optional)


• Wash the dried fish properly in hot water. Set aside.
• In a pan, take potable water and boil the potato and green chilies together. But see to it that you don’t over boil it. Better you add the chilies later on. Or if you want, you may boil the stuff in a cooker to a single hoot. Keep the boiled water aside.
• In a non stick pan, heat the fish and red chilies. Add a little water to ensure they don’t burn. Remove when they get a brownish tinge.
• Roast the tomato on the gas burner directly. Or else, put the tomato in a non-sticky pan and heat it. Remove when the tomato becomes pulpy and keep aside.
• In a large utensil, add all the ingredients – fish, tomato, potato, chopped onions, green and red chilies, crushed ginger-garlic, salt, a dash of mustard oil and two-three teaspoon of the kept-aside water (that you used to boil the chilies and potatoes). Add the coriander leaves and the bamboo shoots too if you have them.
• Mash the mixture with your hands (just like you mash boiled potatoes) or with a table spoon. There, your dried fish chutney is ready. Now relish it with plain rice and dal!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fish Egg Fry (Masor Koni Bhaja)

Just like the Bengalis, we Assamese people too leave no portion of the fish uneaten. Be it the head, tail, intestine or for that matter fish eggs, we gorge on just about everything!
Easy and simple, here’s how to cook this personal favorite - Fish egg fry:


• Fish eggs – about 200 gm (washed well)
• Onion – two (finely chopped)
• Tomato – One (finely chopped)
• Ginger and garlic (pounded)
• Dry red chilli -two
• Green chilli – two
• Mustard oil – about two to three tablespoons
• Salt and turmeric (as per your taste)
• Coriander leaves (optional)


• Wash the fish eggs properly and boil them for about a minute or two. Take them off the water; pour oil in a pan and deep fry them. Keep them aside.
• Further heat oil in a pan; add the dry chillies, onions, tomato, ginger-garlic paste and fry them for some time. Add salt and turmeric powder, followed by the fried fish eggs. Fry them together for some more time. Add green chillis on top. Your fish egg is ready in a jiffy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pithali (A soup-like gravy prepared from rice powder & vedai lata or skunk vine)

This is something which I learnt from my Ma during her two-day halt at our place last month. I’m not sure if this would appeal to the taste buds of all; this is had more for its medicinal value than for its taste. But it has a distinct taste which both Daddy and Abhijit relish.
‘Vedai lata’ (or skunk vine in English) is a kind of creeper found in Assam (and other North Eastern states) and has a pungent smell that not many people may like. Having grown up in the Garo Hills district of Meghalaya, I remember the Garos using this creeper (‘phaising buddu’ in their parlance) to cook various local dishes.
Extremely good for the stomach, here’s how to prepare this health-enriching ‘Pithali’; so named because ‘pitha guri’ (rice powder) is used to prepare this soup-like dish.


• About four-five teaspoon pitha guri (rice powder)
• About three cups of water
• Two-three teaspoon vedai lata powder (it’s always better to use fresh vedai lata leaves but since it’s practically difficult to get them here, I used vedai lata powder, which my Ma-in-law had sundried and stored in powder form)
• About five cloves of garlic
• Green chilli
• Salt to taste


• Heat the water in a pan and then add the rice powder to it, followed by the vedai lata powder.
• Add salt , garlic (ground) and chilli to the preparation.
• When the gravy thickens a bit, remove from stove. Your healthy ‘pithali’ is ready!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fish with Vedai Lata (Skunk Vine), Mani Muni (Asian Pennywort) and Narasinghar Paat (Curry Leaves)

In Assam, it’s a common sight to see people having fish with various herbs and leafy vegetables. Apart from being high on the ‘health quotient’, fish curries cooked this way have a distinct taste that nothing can beat.

For people living outside the state though, this may not sound practical as these herbs and green veggies are mostly grown in Assam and getting them imported in a ‘fresh’ state may look a distant possibility. But I was able to cook fish with the goodness of vedai lata (skunk vine), mani muni (Asian pennywort) and narasinghar paat (curry leaves) – thanks to my ma-in-law who had sun dried these leaves and stored them in powdered form.

All the herbs contained in the powdered mix have medicinal properties and are extremely good for the stomach. In fact, my father who suffers from stomach ailments takes these ingredients (raw, cooked or in other forms) on a regular basis.

Health benefits aside, this is how I prepared fish with this powder:

• About four teaspoons of this powdered mixture
• Four-five small- medium sized fish (any fish for that matter)- marinated
• Two medium sized potatoes (cut into large & long pieces)
• 1/4th cauliflower (optional)
• One-two medium sized onions (cut into small pieces )
• Three-four tablespoon mustard oil
• Coriander leaves (if you want)
• Salt to taste
• Turmeric
• Two red dried chili
• A pinch or two of white mustard seeds


• Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the fish (not too deep) and set them aside.
• Heat the remaining oil, add the mustard seeds and chilies.
• When the mustard seeds splutter, add the onions; when the onions get a golden tinge, add the potato pieces and cauliflower florets, followed by salt and turmeric powder. Fry for some time and add water (preferably hot) and boil.
• Add the fish pieces after some time and let the gravy thicken.
• Then add the powdered mixture and heat for some time. Remove when the gravy thickens. Garnish with coriander leaves if you want. Your ‘healthy’ fish curry with ‘mani muni’, ‘vedai lata’ and ‘narasingha paat’ is ready!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fish with Bamboo Shoot (Khorisa Maas)

A lot of people have asked me why I’ve named my blog ‘Khorisa’ when there’s not a single recipe with this ingredient. So here comes my first khorisa (bamboo shoot) recipe: ‘Fish with bamboo shoots’ (khorisa maas).


• 5-6 pieces of Rahu fish (one may use other fishes too)
• About 100 gm grated bamboo shoots (pickled, fermented or raw)
• Two-three tablespoon oil depending on the type of pan you’re using
• One-two medium-sized tomato (cut into small pieces)
• Two green chillies
• 1/4th teaspoon white mustard seeds
• Salt to taste


Marinate the fish pieces with turmeric, salt and a dash of oil for half an hour/one hour. Pour the oil in a pan and fry the fish pieces (not too deep). Set them aside. A lot of people use ginger garlic paste in this preparation but since Abhijit prefers the undiluted taste of khorisa, I did not use any.
In the remaining oil (shouldn’t be more than one teaspoon), add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the tomatoes. Add the salt, turmeric, and green chillies. In the mean time, mix the khorisa (I have used khorisa pickle) with some water, and set aside. One may even use the grated bamboo shoots in raw or fermented form. However your cooking procedure will differ depending on how you’re using the khorisa.
When the tomatoes go pulpy, add hot water. As the gravy thickens a bit, add the fish pieces. Soon add the khorisa mixture to the preparation. Heat for some time and your ‘khorisa maas’ is ready.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Coconut laddoo (Narikol laru)

Having missed Magh Bihu (Assamese harvest festival) for the last 6-7 years, this year I managed to be right there amidst all the action – ‘meji’, ‘jolpaan’, ‘til pitha’, (rice powder roll stuffed with jaggery, sesame seeds, etc), ‘narikol laddoo’ (coconut balls), ‘ghila pitha’ (ghila pitha is a type of pancake which gets its name from ‘ghila’ meaning knee cap in Assamese; it’s so called because the pitha resembles a knee cap) and ‘til laddoo’ (sesame balls) just to name a few.
I got coconut laddoos for my friends back in Delhi and they simply loved them. Even though coconut laddoos are a common sight elsewhere in the country, I ‘simply’ love the way it is prepared in Assam – simple & easy. All you need is:


• One coconut
• One cup sugar (one may also use jaggery as a substitute
• Few cloves of cardamom (optional)


Grate the coconut white. Mix the coconut and sugar and then pour them in a hot pan (grind the clove seeds and add to the mixture if you want). Stir the mixture in low flame till you get a sticky feeling (remember the stickiness has to be right for you to make a laddoo); to gauge the same, try making a laddoo. If you are able to make one, it means the mixture is ready. Turn off the gas.
With these ingredients, you can roughly prepare about 15-20 laddoos.
(Tip: If it’s too hot for you to make the laddoos, apply cold water on your hands before doing so).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Chicken Pakora

This is an all-time favorite snack of mine. Crunchy and soft, this is a must-try for all chicken lovers.

• 250 gram boneless chicken (cut into medium sized pieces)cleaned and washed
• One-two teaspoon corn flour
• Two-three tablespoon mustard oil (one may even use refined oil)
• Ginger
• Garlic
• Salt to taste
• 1/4th teaspoon turmeric powder
• Coriander leaves to garnish
• Chili powder (optional)

Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, a dash of mustard oil, turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste (make a ginger-garlic paste beforehand) and keep them for about 2 hours (the more the better).
Heat the oil in a pan. Take the corn flour in a bowl and dip the chicken pieces into it and then fry them by turn. When they turn brownish and crispy, take them off the pan. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve real hot!