Monday, February 24, 2014

:::নৰসিংহ আৰু পছতীয়াৰ জোল (Curry-leaves with fish):::

I am an ardent fan of authentic Assamese cuisine. I can still sense the taste lingering on my mouth from the overwhelming lunch-dinner invitations during my last trip to India, consisting of simple yet scrumptious Assamese recipes! I also can’t help missing the super delicious food by my beloved parents. Both of them are excellent in their unique way. Anyway, I brought this powder made by my mom comprising of dried local herbs, namely Noroxingho (Curry Leaves) and Posotiya (Five-leaved Chaste Tree; Scientific Name “Vitex negundo”).  The leaves are simply sun-dried and then mashed into a powdered form. Normally, a paste is made from the leaves plucked fresh from the plants; obviously the fresh taste gives the curry a superior flavor. However, I believe if you are outside Assam, dried form will be the best option for you :). This curry is supposedly very effective in helping you recover from common cold/fever and the bitter taste developed thereafter. Believe me, it works :)  Add few pieces of fish for the extra flavor. (Any fish will do, I tend to opt for the most fresh and readily available type of fish).

Curry Leaves (Image courtesy: web)

Five-leaved Chaste Tree (Image courtesy: web)

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients: Red chili, Bay leaves, Pas furon (five spices mix), Garlic, Gorom masala, Cumin powder, Turmeric powder, Salt, Chili, Ginger, Onion, Potato, Fish, Dried Noroxingho powder.
  1. Make a paste of ginger, chili and garlic. Chop some onions.
  2. Prepare the fish pieces. Fry or oven-cook.
  3. Boil a potato. Mash it! Leave few uneven pieces. The mashed potato simply helps you to get the texture & consistency of the curry; otherwise it will be too liquidly.
  4. Heat mustard oil in a wok (yes, mustard oil is the key to all Assamese cuisines :) ). Add dry red chilies, bay leaves, pas furon and chopped onions.
  5. After 2-3 minutes, add the garlic-ginger paste, turmeric powder, cumin powder and a very little bit of garam masala.
  6. Add the mashed potato and one spoon of the curry leaves dried powder. Add salt. Stir well and cook for some time. You can accordingly adjust the portion of the powder after your first trial. Be a bit careful, as too much of it can produce a bitter taste.
  7. Add water. Bring water to boil and add the pieces of fish. Boil for some more time.
  8. Serve with steamed rice.         

One of the main reasons of my love for this dish is the ease of preparation, not much chopping as well as cooking time needed. That is a huge plus for me considering I don’t enjoy spending a lot of time in the kitchen.