Bamboo Shoots

IMG_20170817_184056-1Fermented bamboo shoots. Photo Credit: Karmae Basar.

If you happen to be in Northeast India during summer, you will see women by the road side selling varieties bamboo shoots along with other home grown vegetables.

The foot hills of Himalayan mountain ranges host a large belt of bamboo forests. All the countries that share these forests, invariably use bamboo shoots in their cuisines.

20170725_103556-1Photo Credit: Indira Kakati.

The new bamboo shoots that come out of the ground are edible. They are consumed either fresh or fermented and have an intense aroma. Many interesting delicacies use bamboo shoots and the shoots that are fermented can be used throughout the year.

Bamboo shoots are known by different names in the seven states of the Northeast.
In Assam fermented bamboo shoot is called Khorisa or Gaj.
In Manipur it is called Soibum.
In Arunachal fermented shoots are called Eeku and dried bamboo shoots are called Eep.
In Meghalaya it is called Lungsiej.
In Mizoram it is called Rawtuai
In Nagaland it is called Etsuj.
In Tripura it is called Muya.

How to ferment bamboo shoot at your home.

  1. Wash and dry the bamboo shoot.
  2. Keep two clean and dry bottles ready to preserve the bamboo shoot.
  3. Remove the outer layers of the bamboo shoot one by one till you reach the tender white inner portion of the shoot.
  4. Slice or grate the shoot and bottle them in clean and dry bottles.
  5. If you keep the bottles out in a strong sun shine the bamboo shoots will ferment in 3 to 4 days time. Otherwise, it may take about a month to ferment.
  6. During the fermenting process a liquid comes out from the bamboo shoots and becomes sour.
  7. If you do not like your dishes sour, squeeze out the liquid to remove some of the sourness before cooking.

2017-07-27 10.20.49Fermentation process clockwise from top left. Photo Credit: Indira Kakati.

How to make dry fermented bamboo shoot

  1. Squeeze out the liquid from the fermented bamboo shoots and dry it out in the sun for few days or microwave for few seconds at interval.
  2. When it is completely dry bottle it in a clean and dry bottle.
  3. The dried bamboo shoots is used in cooking and also used as medicine for some ailments.

IMG_20170817_184340-1Dried bamboo shoots. Photo Credit:Karmae Basar.

Note:

There are several ways of preserving bamboo shoots

You can

  1. Use brine to preserve bamboo shoot.
  2. Use turmeric and oil.
  3. Use thekera or Kokum to induce the sourness.
  4. Ferment the shoots as shown above.

The recipes will follow soon!

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Cooking from Assam

Some popular local fish that make good Tenga Anja are Rohu, Chital, Ary, and Boriolya fish.

Clockwise: Rohu fish, Chital fish, Ary fish and Boriolya fish.
Photo Credit: Indira Kakati.

Rohu is easily available and popularly used in all fish dishes, whereas Chital fish is expensive. The pieces of the belly portion of the fish, known as Kalathi are very soft and tasty with few long bones. The rest of the fish is sometimes difficult to tackle because of its fine and dense bones. The pieces from this part of the fish are called godaAry fish is boneless except the spine. If you are afraid of bones, you may try out Ary fish. Boriolya fish is a of small size. When fully grown, boriolya is about 6 inch long. It is cooked and served whole in tenga anja.

Many other local fish are widely available and used  to prepare tenga anja.

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Masor Thekera Tenga Anja

Cooking from Assam

Masor thereka tenga anja is a fish curry prepared with Garcinia Indica or Kokum Thekera, which is a sour fruit. When it is ripe, the fruit is sliced, dried and stored for future use.

20170601_123656Photo Credit: Indira Kakati

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Masor Ou-tenga Anja

Cooking from Assam

Masor ou-tenga anja is a fish curry prepared with dillena or elephant apple. The ou-tenga is sour fruit with a very subtle flavour.

Photo Credit: Indira Kakati

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Cooking from Assam

by Indira Kakati.

During summer every Assamese kitchen is busy cooking Tenga AnjaTenga anja is a very fresh and soothing summer dish.

Tenga means sour and anja is a very light liquid curry. Tenga anja is cooked with or without fish. It is normally seasoned with mustard or fenugreek seeds. Some even season it with panch phoron.

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Masor Bilahi Tenga Anja (tomato fish curry)

Cooking from Assam

This is a popular fish curry.

20170308_134258Photo Credit: Indira Kakati
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