In today’s episode of our Ethic Food Series, we are at Buri Khowang village in Dibrugarh district, Assam. This village houses the Sonowal Kachari tribe which is one of the largest plain tribes of the state. It was a brief halt here but the interaction was truly delightful. The Sonowal Kachari community is a gentle and simple tribe that lives in harmony with nature. Their main occupation is agriculture.
On arriving there we first went on to check the cattle and poultry at our host’s backyard and then settled down to have some snacks. It was a typical Assamese breakfast spread that comprised of different types of Pithas and tea. Rice being the staple of the Sonowal Kachari cuisine, it is eaten in many forms and Pithas are one of them. Pithas are essentially rice cakes that are prepared by steaming or frying. We tried the Til pitha and the tel pithas. Both of them were stuffed with coconut, jaggery, and sesame.
Next, we went to the kitchen where the ladies were preparing lunch. We witnessed how some of the traditional dishes were prepared. Everything was cooked on the wood fire. We were particularly interested to taste the duck meat curry that was being cooked with banana steam.
Finally, the meal was ready and we joined the family to savour it. There was rice, Jalenga, a broth made by boiling a local herb along with baby tomatoes and garlic. It has therapeutic properties. We also had two kinds of pitikas and the super delicious duck meat curry that had banana stems in it. The meal was simple, delicious, and representative of the unique culture and tradition of this tribe.
We thank our hosts for their hospitality and insights.