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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Maasor tenga or Assamese style sour fish curry




You can't imagine a soulful Assamese meal without a fish curry. The fish curry transports me to my Grandmother's kitchen. I tiptoed entered the kitchen and wearing mekhela chadar the affectionate lady a few dots of turmeric here and there on her clothes, frying fish and making curry, and she caught me and trying to feed me bite by bite and from our garden night jasmine exuding fall fragrance what a soulful sight. It was more than 30 years those smell, place, gestures felt like yesterday.  Let me tell you my grandmother made the world best curry and then my mom.  Lost my grandmother at the age of five. I was so little that I couldn’t learn my grandmother's recipe but my mom taught me how to make a good fish curry. In my assamese household as a child, we used to eat fish way more often than chicken. As an expert cook my mom made fish with all kinds of veggies. Her fish curry is very delicately prepared. She always says, to make a good fish curry you have to be really patient and good food very much depends on how you fry the fish, neither deep fry nor sallow, it must be in between. It is like a proper rendition of music a bit of mistake can spoil the curry. If you follow the right steps it is very easy to make.




My home state Assam is a land of beautiful rivers. We get the abundance of freshwater fish. Usually freshwater fish is really good for making Assamese fish curry. As Assamese cuisine is very mild and healthy, we don’t use too many spices. The taste of freshwater fish makes a soulful fish curry.  A fish curry. As Assamese cuisine is very mild and healthy, we don’t use too many spices. The taste of freshwater fish makes a soulful fish curry.  A fish sour curry can be made with different vegetables. Here in the US, we don't get fresh water fish like Assam. However, that does not stop me from making fish curry. For the fish curry, you can use buffalo fish, tilapia or any other fish. Today I wanted to share my sour fish curry
Ingredients
1. Fish 8 pieces
2. Tomatoes 3
3. Half cup oil for frying
5. For seasoning  1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, black cumin seeds
6. Dry green chilies
7. 1 teaspoon turmeric
8. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder optional
9. A slice of lemon
10. Salt for taste

                              Freshly caught river fish in Assam

First, marinate the fish pieces with turmeric and salt. Let it sit for half an hour.
Now let the gas on and place the pan. Add the oil let it become hot, once it is hot put the gas on medium flame and fry the fish pieces. Flip the pieces occasionally. Too much stir can break the fish. It takes about 5 to 7 minutes. Once it is cooked put it aside in tissue paper. Now grind the tomatoes or you can chop it. I like to grind as it makes my job easier. In a separate pan put one teaspoon oil, once it gets hot add dry red chilies, fenugreek seeds, black cumin seeds. Add the turmeric and little bit of salt and chili powder which is optional. Then add the ground tomatoes. Let it cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Once it is cooked properly, add two cups of hot water. Let it shimmer and now slowly add the fish pieces. Put it in a slow flame, let it cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Now squeeze the hint of lemon. Finally, garnish with a few cilantro. Serve with steamed Rice.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Indian Spring outfit



      We are officially in spring. However, the temperature and wind chill does not adorn the spring that much. Last week one day, when the temperature went till the 60s, rose high hopes of spring. Here I'm all game for, spring the wonderful weather, beautiful blooms and to match with it is a feathery soft outfit. Yes, I already did wear Indian spring outfit.

      Pastels are always in for Spring and I love the feminine and that soft vibe every time you wear it. Wore a pastel Kurta and pant set with a tad bit of silver embroidery on it. The fabric of the outfit is chanderi a handwoven feathery soft fabric and is known for it's flowy and easy to wear quality. You can see another chanderi outfit here. Teamed it up with a basic pearl strand, a silver mojri (flat shoes), a pearl-adorned off white potli and bright lips. As the whole outfit has a mild vibe the bright lipstick plays a great role. How do you like it? What is your favorite spring trend? Have a wonderful weekend.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Payash or Assamese Rice pudding in instant pot


Sometimes certain aroma, fragments of a song brings back the myriads of memories. Whenever I prepare payash it brings back lovely memories of home and childhood. In our assamese household, every occasion and celebration always asks for preparing payash. Whether someone got a promotion or passed an exam or its a birthday, ah here you go the delightful delicious payash. Sometimes you don't need any occasion, just make payash and make yourself entertain. A special occasion payash is always little elaborate, pound the cardamom, chop the nuts and dry fruits, add the bay leaf and soak the rice for half an hour before cooking luscious flavor. But when guest come over without notice or you just crave for it, it does not require elaborate preparation.
I thought today I will share the Assamese payash or rice pudding recipe. In this recipe, I used jaggery instead of sugar for more rustic and healthy aspects. I used my instant pot, the traditional payash requires so much patience and stirring which I lack a little.


Ingredients

1. Rice 1/4  cup
2. Milk  3 cups
3. Jaggery Powder 1/4 cup
4. 1 cardamom
5. A handful of dry fruits of your choice optional ( raisin, cashew, pistachio, and almond). Save some for garnishing.

Process 
Soak the rice for half an hour before you cook.
Then boil the milk and once it is boiled, add the rice stir slowly don't let it stick at the bottom. Add the pounded cardamom and dry fruits and set the instant pot to porridge setting and let it cook. After it is cooked slowly open the lid and let it cool down for at least 15 minutes. Now time to add the sweetness add jaggery powder.  Let it cool down before you do. If you add the jaggery while payash is hot milk might get curdled.  Now serve in a bowl and garnish it with nuts.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Rain Snow and myriads of memories

     


About 17 years back when I moved to the USA, the same year in one December winter morning I experienced the snow for the 1st time. My husband made it like a surprise. He called me to the window and open the blinds for me. I was awestruck by the beauty of nature's confetti with a little silver sparkle. It was like a dream. I remember how I spent the whole watching natures snow wonder, how the rooftops, tree grounds everything filled with snow. Slowly, I got used to the snow. Until I got my driver's license, I never realized how difficult it is to drive on snow. Probably even now driving in snow is my biggest fear. At the same time, we often take a beautiful drive to see snow-covered surroundings.  A few years back, proving the weather forecast wrong a massive snowstorm hit when we were on our way from NewJersey to Connecticut. It was one of the scariest drives ever with whiteout and back to back traffic.  In 2011, an untimely snowstorm hit New England when fall color leaves were still there. Electric lines collapsed, and in some places, roads were blocked by fallen trees and snow and experienced the 11 days of power outage. It made us realize how untimely snow can cause such terror in lives.

      As my children grew, they love playing in the snow. Making a snowman, they brought back memories of my childhood days in Assam. The state I come from, we experience rain very often. Rain also helps us to be the highest tea producing state in the world, known as Assam tea. As a child, it was fun to see how rain filled the small potholes and drains with water. We placed buckets and toys to fill with rainwater, and here my 6-year-old sometimes sets her toys to fill with snow. How childhood fun and joy bridges two generations together and how we relate things irrespective of place and time. What a wonderful feeling.
I  often hear the giggles of making a paper boat and sailing it in rainwater with my brother brings me 20 years back and merges with the same giggles when my kids are making snowman putting carrots as a nose.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

A picture walk of Acadia National park, Maine



Nested in the Atlantic coast lush green mountains glaciers granite capped tops and mystic serene ponds make a perfect destination for any nature lover. Surreal sunset in the Cadillac mountain, rocky seasides whether you are a trekker or a laid back traveler Acadia national park will hold a special place in our heart whether you visit in summer spring or fall.





Main Highlights of the park
  1. Cadillac Mountain
  2. Jordan Pond
  3. Park loop road
  4. Sand beach
  5. Bass Harbor head lighthouse
  6. Bar Harbor the nearest town close by








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