Know Food!

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

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Health-Enriching Tamarind Coolers (Teteli Tengar Shorbot)

During summer we drink gallons of aerated beverages without realizing that they could be causing so much harm to the body. Why consume harmful drinks when you can prepare health-enriching drinks at home within minutes. This summer we are making a conscious effort to stay away from aerated/soft drinks and sip only natural and fresh juice. Last week, I used up my stock of ripe tamarind pulp to prepare a jar of cool, refreshing and health-enriching tamarind juice. Just perfect on hot days to cool the body down and quench your thirst!

Tamarind juice has a series of health benefits too – it can be an effective remedy in curing and treating bile disorder.  The pulp of ripe tamarind is very useful in treating digestive and constipation problems; it can improve the loss of appetite too.

Tamarind juice is very easy to prepare; just follow these instructions and you’ll be right there. 


  • ·         Two-three tablespoon ripe tamarind pulp
  • ·         Four-five  table spoon sugar (or depending on your taste)
  • ·          1/4th teaspoon black salt (optional)
  • ·         Half litre potable water
  • ·         Two-three sprigs of mint (optional)


Wash the tamarind pulp well. You may have got them from a well-known brand, but still you need to wash them properly in potable water to ensure hygiene.  Set aside. Boil the water and add sugar. Add the tamarind pulp too along with salt. Stir well with a spoon. Use tea strainer and drain the tamarind syrup into a jar. Add the sprigs of mint to the tamarind water if you want and then refrigerate.  Your tamarind syrup is ready.
Remember: This is a concentrated syrup. So you need to mix it with the right amount of chilled water before serving.
This tamarind concoction is good enough to serve more than four people. You can even store them to serve when guests visit unannounced.
Note: If you like it spicy, you can add crushed green chillis too.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Morisa Haak (Red Indian Spinach)

Leafy vegetables have been always popular in Assamese cuisine; even more now as aptly substantiated by a report on Beltola market which reads - consumers are now rediscovering local ethnic food like tender bamboo shoot, pashala and various leafy vegetables with medicinal properties because these are much cheaper compared to other vegetables like beans, capsicum, lady’s finger and brinjals.  

Recently we explored the sabzi mandi (vegetable market) of Sector 16, Faridabad and got some fresh leafy vegetables including the familiar Red Indian Spinach, popularly known as morisa haak in Assam.I cooked this spinach with potato and it turned out really nice (the stem too is relished in East India )!
·         Two bunches of the red spinach (wash well and cut)
·         Two or three medium sized potatoes
·         Two medium onions (chopped finely)
·         2-3 green chillies
·         About two teaspoon mustard oil
·         Salt to taste
·         Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4th teaspoon
·         Coriander (optional)

Boil the potatoes, cut into four pieces and set aside. Heat oil in a pan, and add the cumin seeds to it. Add the chopped onions to it and fry. Before it turns golden, add the potatoes along with the cut spinach. Don’t add the salt immediately as it may be difficult to gauge the quantity – initially it may seem more but you’ll soon realize that it has receded considerably. That way you’ll know how much salt to add. While frying add the chillis (chopped well) and the coriander leaves (chopped well). Keep them on for some time.  Remove from gas and serve with dal and rice.