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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, 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!