Find a Recipe

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Assamese Thali / Aalohir Exaj (Assamese Platter for Guests)

Assam Cuisine

Today we are stopping by assam the third state in the list. Assam is known for it tea cultivation and I love the smell of Assamese tea a lot.  This is the second state from the " Seven Sister states".Like for arunachal pradesh Assamese cuisine also confluence the hill habits of adding fermented products and dried food in their cuisine.This cuisine makes use of very less spices and very simple cooking is done with use of fresh veggies fermented products or fermented.
A traditional assam meal starts with "Khar" which is can be made in many different ways traditionally they add dried banana skin in the khar. The banana skin which normally we throw away are dried till they are crisp and the powdered and stored. the powder is then used in khar. The meals ends with tenga which is sour dish which can prepared with dried fish and also veg version can be found there, the meal ends with tamul which we call tamubulam in south right and its just paan..Assamese use the bell metal wares called Kahor Thal for placing the meal platter. 

Rice is again the staple food in the state .. Farmers here generally eat the rice pre cooked and soaked in buttermilk overnight and the next day it is had with mustard oil drizzled and some onion chilles etc.. This sound familiar to us right as we call in south India palaye soru this is same as we have.In sweets the N number of pithas takes the first place , there are many varieties of pitha made for Bihu festival which is celebrated in a very grand manner in assam, to list some of the pithas - Til pitha. gila pitha, tekeli pitha, bhapotdiya Pitha,Tora pitha, Xutuli pitha, sunga pitha,Kholasapori pithaare some too mention.. Fish is a very important ingredient considered in the Assamese cuisine and the tenga is generally made with fish .
All though they give lot importance to fish and meat  they give equal importance to green leafy veggies which is generally called Xaaks. 

The traditional meal of assam includes khar, tenga,pura( barbequed/ smoked meat or fish),Poitabhat(which is as I said earlier cooked rice is soaked overnight  and garnished with mustard oil ,onion , chilli, pickle, pitika etc), Pitika( very important dish in the cuisinethe very popular is aloo pitika), Pickle, Bor/ Pokori ( Pakodas/ fritters) and beer ( this the primary beverage served with the meal).. And at the end the betel leaves are offered. I did My best to bring all the traditional dishes to the platter for Aalohir Exaj which is nothing but Assamese platter prepared for guest which is normally lengthy meal. My H love the Panch poron smell and lightly spiced taste of this platter he totally enjoyed every dish and especially I loved the tenga :) Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#39. Lets quickly move on to thali recipes ..
Assamese Thali Menu 

Amitar Khar
Bilahi Boror Tenga 
Lao Aloo Pitika
Lusi/ Lucy
Plain Organic rice
Koldil Bhaaji 
Baremehali xaak bhaji
Sanmeholi Chutney 
Gooror Payash

Assamese meals

Assamese Food

Assamese thali

Amitar Khar


1 medium sized unripe papaya ( remove the seeds and chopped )
2 green chillies
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/4 cup Bengal gram dal / Channa dal
1/2 tsp Panch Poran
1 bay leaf
1 whole red chilli, halved
2 tblsp + 1 tblsp mustard oil 
salt to taste


  • In a pressure cooker heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil add panch poran, bay leaf  and dry red chillies.
  • When the seeds splutter, add the Chopped papaya, green chillies, channa dal, salt  and soda.
  • Cover the lid and cook them with 1/4 cup water or as needed and pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles.
  • After the pressure subsides remove the lid and mix the 
  • If there is excess water turn off the stove and heat them till the water evaporates.
  • At last mix the remaing mustard oil and serve them Hot with rice.

 Bilahi Boror Tenga (Sour curry with dal pakoda)

This is a very simple and common recipe from Assam generally prepared with fried fish is added to the curry. But if go to the eateries they offer you with veggie version too the fish is substitute with the Masoor Bor or masoor pakodas. 

Recipe source : Here


1/2 cup Masoor dal (Red lentil)
1-2 No Dry red chilli
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1/4 tsp Calonji / Nigella seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 tsp of Lemon juice
2 medium size Tomatoes (Chopped)
1/2 cup Lauki/ Bottle gourd ( Chopped)
1 No small Potato (boiled and mashed)
Oil for frying
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste


For the Bor (pakodas)

  •  Soak the masoor dal  (lentils) in  warm water for an hour.
  • In a blender grind the dal into a coarse paste with dry red chilli.
  • After they are ground in to coarse paste add salt to taste, turmeric pd and mix well.
  • Heat oil for deep frying and shape the bor or pakodas in to small round shapes or you can roughly pick a small potion   and put them in the hot oil for frying.
  • Fry them till golden brown , remove them from oil and drain them in a kitchen towel.

For the curry

  • In a pan heat oil and add Fenugreek seeds and calonji
  •  Add tomatoes and saute till they turn mushy
  • Now add lauki and saute them.. Cover and cook them till they are soft.
  •  Add the fried pakoras, mashed potatoes and 1 cup of water or more to make the gravy.
  • Let them simmer till the gravy come together .
  • Turn off the flame and add lemon juice.
  • Mix well and serve them hot with Rice.

Lao Aloo Pitika


Red pumpkin -  1 cup chopped
Potatoes - 1 cup Chopped
Mustard oil – 1 tbsp
Green chillies – 2-3 chopped
Salt to taste


  • Peel and Boil the potatoes and pumpkin in water till they are soft. You can use a pressure cooker too to cook them well.
  • Once cooked drain out the water and mash them well, adding rest of the ingredients to it
  • Simple Lao aloo pitika is ready to serve.


Recipe Source : Here

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup Warm water + 1/2 cup Milk
1 tsp Nigella/calonji seeds
1 tbsp Oil
Oil for deep frying 


  • In Bowl Mix all purpose flour,calonji seeds, oil and salt.
  • Mix in both water and milk, start kneading the dough with this thin milk mixture.
  • Make a smooth dough adding little milk mixture at a time.
  • Rest it for 20-30 mins then divide the dough into equal parts
  • Using a rolling pin roll the dough like we do for poori.
  • Heat oil in a kadai and deep  fry the rolled lusi and fry then till light brown both the sides.
  • Serve them hot with any curry.

Koldil Bhaaji (Dry Sabji of banana flower)

Recipe Source : Here


1 medium size Banana Flower  ( Remove the stigma and the feathery part below it and collect the flowers)
1 medium size potato
1-2 No Green chilly
1/4 tsp Turmeric pd
1 clove garlic ( Chopped)
1/4 cup onion (Chopped )
Panch Foron (  blend for spices including  Cumin, mustard , Fenugreek, Nigella and Fennel seeds)
Salt to taste
3 tsp Mustard oil/ olive oil

  • Chopped the banana flower and put it in a bowl of water.
  • Heat a oiil in a pan .
  • Add Panch foron, green chilly, onion and garlic to it.
  • Add the banana flower and the potato almost immediately.
  • Saute them till they turn translucent.
  • Now add salt and Turmeric., mix the well.
  • In low flame cook them for 5- 10 mins and serve them hot with rice.

Baremehali xaak bhaji / mixed herbs fry 


1 cup spinach
1 cup mustard green
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 cup  of coriander leaves
2-3 clove of garlic
1 tbsp bengal gram / channa dal 
2 tbsp mustard oil
1/4 tsp Turmeric pd
Salt to taste

  • Clean, wash and drain all the xaak/herbs.
  • Wash and soak the Bengal gram for an hour.
  • Chop all the herbs together.
  • Heat mustard oil in a pan.
  •  Fry the chopped garlic and add the Bengal gram.
  • Sprinkle turmeric and salt. Stir for about half a minute.
  • Add the chopped herbs and stir upon medium heat till done.
  • Serve Baremehali xaak Bhaji with rice.

Sanmeholi Chutney 

Adapted from a cookbook


Coriander leaves  2 cup
Mint leaves  2 cup
Garlic clove 2-3 Nos
Green chillies 2-5 Nos
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Kokum 2-3 No
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Salt according to taste


  • Soak kokum in water for 10-15 mins and use them not the soaked water.
  • In a blender add washed coriander , mint , curry leaves, garlic sugar, Kokum, salt , green chillies and blend them by adding only little water to a smooth paste.

Gooror Payash


1 cup Milk
2 tbsp Basmati Rice 
3-4 Tbsp Jaggery
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp Chopped cashews or almonds ( For garnish)

  • In a pan heat the milk and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer and boil the milk for about 10 mins
  • Add Rice and cook the till they are half done.
  • Add jaggery and stir them constantly.
  • Simmer and cook till the milk thickens a bit and rice is well cooked.
  • Turn of the flame when the rice is cooked and milk is a bit thickened.
  • You may discard the bay leaf. Garnish with some cashew . Mine turn a bit thick after it was cold, But taste was delicious..
  • Serve hot or cold.

Linking to Vegan thursday ..You can check the other members in this  group - "Vegan Thursday" Here


  1. Lady you're in a league of your own.. complete thalis for each state with all new dishes. Great work. What a labour of love. Wonderful yummy thali.. it takes me 1 hour to just pick the banana florets and that is just one of the several dishes.. fantastic work.

  2. such an inviting thali again... Oh dear... i will be tired of soon while commenting here...:P So plz pass me the thali to get energy to comment here... Awesome effort.. You rocks... Thali Queen pinrel...:)

  3. OMG great job, thali looks so fantastic and so tempting.

  4. Awesome..ippo dhaan i made thukpa n had for lunch.. u r making me go nuts wit ur amazing awesome recipes.. keep coming..

  5. Am gaining some grams after seeing all ur thalis Manju, hope u didnt gained any kg na..lolz..AM bored to say the same comments dear.. Thali queen u rock again.

  6. lady i m going to copy n paste the same comments everyday!!! i m tired looking at those dishes n you have cooked them all!!! your family must be so blessed to taste these yum dishes!!!! :)

  7. When we did the thali mela the BM team crowned me as the Kitchen Queen. .now that title goes to you...Manjula our new Kitchen Queen.
    The thali is unbeatable. .too good.

  8. Yet another lovely thali ....

  9. I wanted to know how u get this much energy to cook then click and post. Oh God! Give me too some energy that Manju has. He he he...

  10. No words to say... u dont fail to amaze all of us day in and day out!!!

  11. Wow, you are cooking up a storm!!

  12. Wow! hats off for the effort you've put in for such an elaborate and amazing thali :)

  13. Hats off to you Manju...Thali looks wonderful and the dishes are so tempting ..

  14. seeing ur patients and clicks i am doomed. loved your effort, keep going.

  15. Amazing how come ur doing this daily ?love ur love towards food and culture ..Keep rocking .

  16. no words for your creativity, your education has paid off in your love for food. Your family is very lucky.

  17. Manjula , you started couple of days back and ended up making such lovely platters for each state so far...simple amazing, i liked the variety of dishes you have covered and i do realise each dish is an experiment on its own, lovely ensemble

  18. hats off!!! I am speechless here!!! looking forward to the other states thali as well..

  19. Wow girl you are rocking ! You are very hard working , I am amazed ....lovely platter!!

  20. Manjula the thali is simply superb! Each of them perfectly done!

  21. OMG, you made a complete thali, wish I stayed somewhere near you, superb..

  22. This looks amazing platter....... Your rocking, fabulous work!!

  23. Manjula, simply no words to express what I feel..I had tough time searching for single dish and here you are with so many...I can't wait to see what you are going to do for the rest of the state!!..stunning and incredible work!..Hats off..

  24. Manjula, thussi great ho --- yet another AMAZING thali. You are just blowing our minds with all these delicious thalis. Your family is lucky to have you and you are lucky to have them to eat all your awesome creations.

  25. Lovely thali. It must have taken a lot to prepare such an elaborate meal.

  26. Manju, as others say, I am tired looking at the thali. I know, how much work it will take to cook each one and take pictures. Take care of your health too :)

  27. Beautiful effort manjula. Keep up your good work. This thali looks so inviting...

  28. What a lovely thali Manjula.
    I am in love with the Gooror Payesh.
    Well - I will be inviting myself to your home soon

  29. Manju I dont know what to say to you! This is amazing I wish I had some of your patience and energy to think and make such elaborate meals. Absolutely stunning.

  30. Manju, this is truly amazing! I am amazed at how beautifully you cook as well as write. Hats off to you and your efforts :)

  31. Aww I have no words to say!! Like to stay near you..

  32. Great efforts, Manju...truly amazing thali!!!

  33. I am speechless again. You also gave such a clear desciption of the culture and cuisine. very informative post

  34. Delicious spread of dishes.. yum

  35. I remember you saying that you have just started cooking for this BM and here you are with thalis for each state!! Awesome! I am speechless looking at your platter...

  36. Awesome job. I think I will be repeating the same comment for all your posts. I am speechless at the time and effort you put into to put together these thalis. Great job. Greens bhaji is very inviting. I am partial to leafy vegetables and that is the first thing that catches my eye. Everything on the thali is delicious, though

  37. That's awesome Manju. Though we see the same dishes in other regions with minor variations under different names, the efforts you have put in presenting a thali is commendable.,

  38. Wow that is a lot of work! i really really want to have this. I can almost smell the aroma ! awesome


Thank you for Visiting desi fiesta and dropping your wonderful comments , Your comments means a lot to me :) . My gentle request to all the readers plz do not give links in the comment box .. I will visit your blogs for sure, trust me !! :)