In our series- Celebrating Indian food, let’s begin with the Gateway of northeast India- Guwahati(Assam). Assam is known for its scenic beauty and amazing cuisine. In this post, we will explore the Assamese cuisine and food you can enjoy on your visit to Assam. Before that, let us put some facts about this incredible state.
Being an Air Force brat, I have spent my life traveling to various states throughout India. I have spent almost 3-4 years of my life at Tezpur( Assam). There’s a lot to learn about the state (and 3-to 4 years aren’t enough), but, those years have introduced me to its cuisine to some extent through the lunchboxes of my classmates. 😛
India is the epitome of Unity in diversity and Assam is one of the states representing great cultural diversity. The state has a large number of tribes having their unique tradition, dress, and culture. So, this incredible diversity is also visible;e in their cuisine. Let’s unearth and see what it has to offer.
The Assamese cuisine is mostly non-spicy. So, if you can’t tolerate spices, Assamese cuisine has a lot to offer. 😛
- Jolpaan: This traditional dish of Assam doesn’t need any cooking. You heard it right, this Assamese dish is a breakfast, mini-meal, or snack. It consists of various forms of rice like boiled in its husk and flattened (chira), ground roasted rice (xandoh), puffed rice (akhoi/murmura), and a combination of glutinous rice found in Assam called bora saul. This special type of rice can be consumed without cooking, just by soaking them and all these rice forms are eaten along with jaggery, curd /yogurt, and different pitha. It is relished during the most popular festival Bihu of Assamese culture, at weddings and other festivals. This dish is one of the healthy tasty dishes of Assam.
- Aloo pitika: This dish is made using boiled potatoes and oil, turmeric and other spices are also added to enhance its taste. Few prefer adding boiled vegetables to the dish which increases its nutritional value and taste. It is low in calories and you can enjoy this dish with rice.
- Pitha: It is mainly prepared using rice flour and can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients. Also, depending on the type you choose, they can be fried, steamed, or baked. This dish is usually prepared on special occasions like Bihu and depending on the ingredients used, they are called- Kachi pitha, Ghila pitha, Sunga pitha, to name a few. So, make sure you try these varieties on your visit to Assam.
- Khar: It is a traditional Assamese dish and is also known as ” Phoenix Of Assamese Cuisine”. It is an ingredient and a dish in itself, with the principal ingredient as “khar”. Khar can be mixed with a lot of different ingredients to make various dishes. A traditional Assamese meal starts with a “khar“, a type of dish named after the central ingredient, and completes with a “tenga“, a sour dish. So, you can always go and choose a traditional Assamese meal to enjoy the flavors of Assam.
- Tamul Paan: Assamese meal is normally concluded with Tamul paan which is areca nut/ betel nut with betel leaves. It is related to the traditional values and the rituals of the Assamese people. People eat ‘Tamul Paan’ after mixing with a bit of lime and tobacco. You can enjoy this considering its impact on health.
These dishes cannot sum up everything about the Assamese cuisine but can give an idea about the famous dishes. You can give it a try whenever you visit Assam. Also, don’t forget to try their tea, as the state is famous for its aromatic tea leaves.
Restaurants in Guwahati offering traditional Assamese cuisine :
- Missing Kitchen: They offer thalis starting from 150 Rs and their pork thali is one of the best sellers. Non-vegetarians can give it a try to relish the incredible meals at an affordable price. This place offers a peaceful home-like feeling.
Address: 1st Floor House No 24, Hengrabari Rd, Near Public Health Chariali, Ganeshguri, Guwahati, Assam
- Shaikh brothers: It is Guwahati’s oldest bakery which serves cakes, cookies, and other bakery items. The place is famous for its story of the cheese straws and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. They offer delicious bakery items and you shouldn’t miss their products.
Address: 195, Hem Baruah Rd, Pan Bazaar, Guwahati, Assam
- Paradise: This place is also famous for its vegetarian and non-vegetarian Assamese thalis. Their thalis offer complete meals from welcome drink to payesh- an Assamese desert. Their chicken curry is also famous, so you can give it a try.
Address: Paradise Hotel, Near Goswami Service, MRD Road, Silpukhuri, Guwahati
- Michinga: They offer different kinds of thalis from Assamese to Naga thalis. It has a cozy ambiance and you can choose this place to try out tribal naga food.
Address: 8B, Bhuban Road, Near Blue Moon Hotel, Guwahati, Uzan Bazaar, Guwahati
- Khorikaa Restaurant: The place offers the perfect ambiance to enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Khorikaa restaurant offers delicious Assamese tribal food. So, if you want to relish the flavors of Assam, visit this place with your loved ones.
Address: 1st Floor, Kamal C Plaza, GS Rd, Opp. Bora Service Station, South Sarania, Ulubari, Guwahati, Assam
These are our top 5 picks of places you can visit in Guwahati( Assam) to enjoy traditional Assamese cuisine. This information is drawn through various online sources. Try various places and also drop in the comment section below if you know any.
Visit the website of the government of Assam to explore more about its unique culture.
Feel free to drop in some facts that you would love to share about Assamese cuisine.