Celebrating the end of the harvest season and the cold, harsh winters is termed by different names in culturally varied Indian states and Magh Bihu in Assam is one of them. Like Lohri and Makar Sankranti, Assam’s Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu also marks the winter solstice and celebrates the days getting longer with the sun proceeding on its northward journey.
Celebrated for over two days, the first day of Magh Bihu is known as Uruka or Bihu eve. Young people erect makeshift huts called Meji and Bhelaghar from bamboo, leaves and thatch to enjoy the feast. These huts are burnt by people on the second day of the festival as part of the ritual of Meji.
About Assamese cuisine:
Assamese cuisine is full of different cooking techniques including that of plains and hills. It is a heady mix of fresh vegetables and fermented food.
And when it’s Magh Bihu one may find varieties of lip smacking dishes in each and every Assamese household. Here we present to you 5 must try delicacies this Magh Bihu:
Duck with Kumura (white gourd):
Curry gets a special place in every Assamese kitchen. During winter days, ducks are full of fat. This oily duck meat creates a magical taste when prepared with the ash gourd, specially Joha Kumura (an aromatic ash gourd variety). Magh Bihu celebration is incomplete without this preparation in Assam.
There is a traditional way of cleaning and cutting a duck to prepare Hanh Kumura curry. Duck is immersed in hot water for 7 / 8 mins. Then feathers are pulled off. This is a tedious process so as to get a clean duck with skin on. Since there are numerous tiny feathers present on the skin, it is smoked lightly on thatch fire to burn all those tiny feathers.
The smoking process ensures a mild smokey flavor to the meat. You will find this meat a bit spicy and undoubtedly delicious.
Kol pool with chicken:
Loaded with nutritional goodness, banana flower is also one of the superfoods. In Assam, it is eaten mostly with finely chopped duck, chicken meat or fish.
Banana flower is full of fibres, antioxidants, light on the stomach and is delicious.
Masor Tenga is one of the most popular main dishes in Assamese cuisine. It is a fish curry which is comparatively light and has a tangy taste in it. The recipe incorporates the sourness of kokum and tomatoes.
It is believed that the sourness of this curry helps digest the food accurately. If you are wondering, the recipe is going to be tough, unlike other fish curries, you are wrong! It is extremely easy to male and takes the very least amount of time to cook. Serve it with steamed Joha rice; you are so done for the festival.
Adding bhut jolokia to your Gahori makes it taste better than any other recipes you try. Apart from the unique flavour, it imparts, and the heat, of course, bhoot Jolokia gives a beautiful rich colour to the gravy.
The Assamese people are a pro in eating this delicious spice pork recipes and Magh Bihu is just another reason for them to indulge in the flavour.
‘Jolpan‘ which comprises chira, muri, akhoi, hurum, pitha-guri, sandoh-guri, komal-chaul, gur, doi and milk – is totally devoid of any spices, including salt. Yet, whether one just takes any of these items alone, or takes a combination of several or all of them.
Sungat diya Saul, doi aru gur:
Dehusked Aroi bora saul is soaked for 2/3 hours. Then it is put in an immature bamboo tube and a little water or sometimes coconut milk is added to it.
Banana leaf is used as cork. The tube is roasted in fire and Sunga saul is prepared. Removing the tube the substance is served with curd, hot milk, yogurt, sugar etc.