Know Food!

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

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!