Authentic Assamese Cuisines You Must Try Once!

Authenticity has an inseparable bond with Assamese culture. Right from the attire to the religious practices, everything is quite different in this part of India. Assamese dishes top the list in this regard. They are simple, unique; yet very delicious and diverse in nature.

Using less quantity of spices, Assamese dishes are rich in herbs and vegetables and are healthy and appetizing.

It is really impressive that the ingredients for the dishes are locally produced in this region. The leafy vegetables can be found in all the dishes. During Bihu, sweet dishes are made in every household of Assam which has become a custom to follow. Almost all the sweet dishes have coconut and different variants of homemade rice flour as its ingredients.

Just like South-India, North Eastern dishes are mainly served with its staple food item- rice. Rice cultivation is the primary source of income in Assam, thus making it an agricultural state. You will find various types of rice that includes, Joha (scented rice), Bora (sticky rice), Sali (winter rice), Bao (deepwater rice), etc.

In this article, I will discuss some of the Assamese traditional (local) dishes:

Assamese sweet dish

Assamese Sweet Dishes:

Sira Doi (Flattened Rice with yogurt/curd)

Sira Doi is a breakfast food prepared in Assamese households, known as Jolpan. It is made of flattened rice or beaten rice mixed with yogurt and jaggery, sometimes with sugar.  This dish is commonly used during marriage rituals, Shraddh, Bihu, etc. Various other Jolpans are served as breakfast are – Kumol Saul (Soft rice), Bora Saul (sticky rice), etc., in place of Sira or Beaten rice.

Pitha & Laru

Pitha is the most popular dish of Assam, specially prepared in the Bihu season. It is highly impossible for someone who has been to Assam and has not tasted pitha. Til Pitha, Ghila Pitha, Ketli Pitha, Narikol Pitha, Jun Pitha, Bor Pitha, Muthia Pitha are some of them.

Pani Pitha is a kind of pancake, made of ground rice, often served with jaggery or sugar. We also prepare Laru (ladoo) made of coconut and black sesame seeds.

Assamese Vegetarian & Non-Vegetarian Dishes:


Khar Assamese cuisine

Khar is the authentic cuisine of Assam. Prepared by the ashes of banana peel and its trunk, Khar is very useful for gastrointestinal disease. Adding a small amount of this alkaline extract gives an authentic taste to the dishes. It is mostly prepared with mati dali (urad beans), raw papaya, peel of cucumber and ash gourd, etc. Khar is so famous in Assam that we are often called Khar Khuwa Axomiya (Assamese who consume Khar).

Click here to know how to prepare Khar

Ou Tenga Dali ( Dal with Elephant Apple)

Elephant apple is an ingredient extensively used in Assamese cuisine. It gives a tangy flavor, a pleasant dish to have in the summer. Just boil some slices of elephant apple and add it to the dal.

Your dish is ready!


An Assamese Thali (platter) is incomplete without chutney. Podina (mint), Mosundori (fish mint), etc., herbs are ground and served as a complementary side dish. Chutney gives the aromatic twist to a perfect meal. Also, you will get dried fish chutney, behua/kharoli (mustard seed chutney), and salad made of carrot, tomato, cucumber, beetroot, etc.

Dhekia Bhaji (Vegetable Fern)

Dhekia Bhaji

Dhekia Xaak bhaji is a much-loved delicacy made of Dhekia Xaak that grows naturally after rain. Add some potatoes with these veggies, fry them, and you are done!

Maasor Tenga (Tangy Fish curry)

Maasor Tenga

Maasor Tenga is a signature dish mostly prepared in the summer. This aromatic fish curry gives you a tangy taste with different souring elements like tomatoes, kaji nemu (kaffir lime), Ou Tenga (elephant apple), etc. You can also add leafy vegetables like Tengesi xaak (Indian Sorrel), Suka xaak(Garden sorrel) to give it a different taste.

Try not to miss this highly popular dish on your visit to Assam.

Haah aru Joha Kumura (Duck with Ash Gourd)

Haah aru Joha Kumura

Haahor Maanxo is an ethnic dish highly recommended in Assam. The mouth-watering combination of Duck with Ash Gourd is consumed on special occasions especially in the winter. On the occasion of Magh Bihu uruka, Duck curry is a must have item. Spices like ginger, garlic, green chillies and black pepper are used to prepare it. Also, you can replace ash gourd with potato and cook the curry.

However, you should not consume Duck curry much if you suffer from high blood pressure.

Gahori aru Lai Xaak (Pork with Vegetable Mustard)

Gahori Maanxo or Pork curry is an Assamese cuisine made especially in Ahom household. Gahori is enjoyed mostly with green leaves to give it an organic taste. There is a saying that if you try well‑cooked pork curry once in your life, then you will never give up on eating this again even if someone hits you. Cooked in mustard oil with lots of greens, this curry is healthy and light. It requires very less spices, specially Bhoot Jolokia (King Chilli) is used.

Patot dia Maas (Steamed Fish on Banana Leaf)

This is a steamed dish wrapped and steamed in banana leaf. The traditional way to prepare this cuisine is to steam the fish, and then garnish it with mustard oil, onion, coriander, and fresh green chilies.

It is a highly recommended dish for fish lovers.

If you are a die-hard foodie, then you should surely try these dishes once in your life.

Do visit Assam, North-East, and taste them.

Rashmi Rekha Bora

A Postgraduate in English Language and Literature. Watching films and daydreaming about them for the next few days is my most favorite thing to do. A wannabe travelholic who ends up nowhere, but home! Ah, my laziness - the winner! ☹ In my free time, you will find me either humming some 1D songs or sleeping. :D

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