Chira

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Chira

Also known as:

Beaten rice, flattened rice, flaked rice and poha.

The local paddy grain (dhan) used for Chira are bora, chakuwa malbhog.

Here the paddy grains (dhan) are soaked, drained, heated, flattened and dehusked in dheki, ural or in mill to get chira.

Chira aru  doi – beaten rice with curd.

Very popular snack served in auspicious days and festivals.  It is feeling and nutritious.

You need:

1 cup chira

½ cup curd /cream/ milk

Gur/sugar to taste

Method:

  1. Soak beaten rice in cold water for a minute and then remove it from the water.
  2. After few minutes the beaten rice will absorb the water the water present within itself and become soft.
  3. Serve it with curd/cream/ milk and gur/sugar.
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Variations:

Chira aru kol-gakhir – Beaten rice with milk and banana.

Chira aru aam-gakhir – Beaten rice with ripe mango and milk.. 

Chira aru kothal- gakhir – Beanten rice with ripe jackfruit and milk.

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Mango and jackfruit are seasonal.

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Khar Recipes

Posola Khar (Khar made from the edible part of the stem of a banana tree)

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Ingredients

1 medium size posola (banana stem)

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 tsp. of grated ginger

2 green chillies

1 tbsp. of mustard or refined oil

1 tbsp. kola khar or pinch of sodium bicarbonate

Salt to taste

1/2 cup water

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Method

  1. Peel two or more sheathes one by one from the posola (banana stem) till you get to the tender part.
  2. Grate or chop the posola and soak it in salted water for 5 to10 minutes.
  3. Next crush the posola with your hand take it out of the water. It will be little fibrous.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy pan and remove from fire when it starts smoking.
  5. When it cools slightly, add garlic, ginger and chillies and sauté for a while.
  6. Return the pan to the fire and add the posola.
  7. Add the kola khar. If you are using sodium bicarbonate mix little water to it and pour over the posola.
  8. Add salt to taste.
  9. Reduce the heat, sprinkle a handful of water over the
  10. Cover the posola and cook till done.
  11. Serve with steamed rice or even bread.

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Omitar Khar (Raw Papaya Khar)

The dish should ideally be cooked with kola khar. However, if you do not have kola khar you can use sodium bicarbonate.

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Ingredients

250 gm. raw papaya

3 tsp. mustard oil or refine oil

2 tsp. kola khar or pinch of sodium bicarbonate

2 cloves of garlic crushed

2 green chillies

½ tsp. of pas phuron*

½ cup water

Salt to taste

1 tsp. mustard oil

1 tsp. grated or crushed ginger

1 tsp. chopped coriander leaves

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Method

  1. Peel and remove seeds from the papaya and wash well.
  2. Cut the papaya into small pieces.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. When it smokes, reduce the heat and add pas phuron* till it browns a little. Add chilli and crushed garlic. Saute for few seconds.
  5. Remove the chilli for garnishing. If you like spicy food you may keep one chilli for garnishing.
  6. Add the papaya pieces and fry for a minute.
  7. Add half cup of water, khar or sodium bicarbonate and salt to taste. Mix well.
  8. Bring the mixture to boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer under cover, stirring occasionally.
  9. When papaya is cooked, remove from heat.
  10. Squeeze the juice of the ginger and 1 tsp of mustard oil and fold into the khar.
  11. Pour it out on a serving dish and garnish it with coriander leaves and the two fried chillies.

* Pas Phuron is a mix of 5 spices: fenugreek, mustard, saunf (fennel), jeera (cumin), kala jeera (black cumin).

 

Matimahar Khar (Black lentil khar)

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Ingredients

100 gm. split black lentils (urad dal)

1 onion finely chopped

2 clove of garlic crushed

2 tsp. grated ginger

2 green chillies

1 tbsp. of mustard oil or refined oil

1 tsp. pas phuron*

1 tbsp. of kola khar or a pinch of sodium bicarbonate

Salt to taste

½ cup water

Coriander for garnishing (optional)

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Method

  1. Wash and soak black urad dal for 10 minutes. Strain and keep aside.
  2. In a heavy pan or a pressure cooker, heat the mustard oil. Separate 1 teaspoon of mustard oil to garnish the khar
  3. When the oil smokes add the pas phuron and remove the pan from the heat. Stir the pas phuron till brown.
  4. Add garlic and chillies and sauté for a while. If you like spicy food you may keep the chillies. Otherwise remove the chillies and keep them for garnishing.
  5. Add the dal and mix well.
  6. Return the pan or pressure cooker to the fire.
  7. Fry the dal for a minute and add water and salt to taste.
  8. Add the kola khar and cover the pan.
  9. When the dal is cooked remove from fire.
  10. Add 1 tsp of mustard oil and squeeze the ginger juice over it.
  11. Mix well and pour into the serving dish.
  12. Serve hot with steamed rice.

* Pas Phuron is a mix of 5 spices: fenugreek, mustard, saunf (fennel), jeera (cumin), kala jeera (black cumin).

Khar can also be prepared with mature, tough vegetables and even peel of cucumber and gourd because khar itself is a tenderizing agent!

 

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!

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 Sukasak Tenga Anja

Cooking from Assam

IMG_20170706_173740.JPGPhoto Credit: Indira Kakati

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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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