Northeastern India is a region not only known for its cultural diversity but also its unique food habits. While the indigenous tribes of the area prefer non-spicy boiled food, the plains dwellers in Assam and Tripura share similarities in their culinary preferences with the neighboring West Bengal. However, when it comes to Assamese Muslims, their food traditions carry a distinct flavor that sets them apart.
Assamese Muslims: A Unique Culinary Identity
Unlike Muslims from other parts of India, the indigenous Assamese Muslims, predominantly convert, are fond of non-spicy recipes cooked with minimal oil. On the other hand, Bengali-speaking Muslims in the state tend to follow culinary patterns similar to those of West Bengal.
Culinary Common Ground: Assamese Muslims and Hindus
Interestingly, the culinary traditions of indigenous Assamese Muslims often overlap with those of their Hindu counterparts.
A Unique Addition: Kurma Pulao
One standout dish that the Assamese Muslims can proudly claim as their own is “Kurma Pulao.” Made with super fine Joha rice and meat kurma, this recipe is a quick bite unique to Assam. The ingredients include Joha rice, meat, ginger, garlic, onion, ghee, salt, bay leaves, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, and cloves.
The Love for Smoked Meat
Another culinary delight cherished by Assamese Muslims is smoked meat, a tradition inherited from their indigenous heritage. Smoked meat is a favorite among the region’s various tribes. Excess meat from animals sacrificed during Bakri Eid is smoked and preserved with salt, making it a versatile ingredient.
Non-Spicy Roasted Meat: A Flavorful Delight
Non-spicy roasted meat is yet another gem in Assamese Muslim cuisine. Meat is marinated with a paste of ginger, garlic, turmeric, and salt, then slow-roasted to perfection. Some enthusiasts add coriander and cumin powder to elevate the flavor.
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