"To experience new things you have to do things that you have never done before" - This is exactly what I did today. I love food - eating, cooking, reading, watching & writing about it. I came across this post shared by a friend Amrita on facebook.
Assamese food..... got me thinking. I have never even tasted anything Assamese except for the chai. So I decide to give it a try. This lunch was arranged by the secret ingredient - Small Fry Co at Sanctum, Khar West. They had 2 seatings - noon & 2:00 pm. I paid & booked myself a seat for the noon session.
Sanctum is a store where you can buy stuff for your home & its 1st floor was the venue for our lunch. The best part - sitting on the ground cross legged & and having the lunch :) A long table with people sitting on either side waiting to be served.
We were 1st served with condiments - Khorisa Achaar & Bhoot Jholakiya.
Khorisa Achaar is Bamboo Shoot pickle, which I liked & Bhoot Jholakiya is the World's most spiciest, hottest chilli & trust me its HOT. Along with this we were also served with a lime slice - Kaji Nimbu. It was by far the largest lime slice I had ever seen. For my taste it was really sour.
The next was the Lau Khar & Rice. Lau Khar is the dal made with bottle gourd. The dal was mildly spiced & very light. Assamese traditionally have sticky rice but we were served normal rice wrapped in banana leaf. The rice was a little sticky for my taste but the dal-rice combination was perfect.
As part of the appetiser came Baigana Fry - Almost similar to Baigan Bhaja. With a crispy masala cover & the mushy baigan, it was great with the dal-rice combi.
As part of the main course we were served -
Posolo Bhaji - Black Chana with Banana Stems
Rongalau Pat Aru Kothal Guti - Pumpkin Leaves with Jackfruit Seeds
Koldil Aru Til or Pitika - Banana Flower with Black Sesame & Potato Mash
Honestly, I was really surprised by all these veggies. They were really mildly spiced & had flavours that I had never tasted before. My fav amongst the 3 was Posolo Bhaji. As mentioned by the chef of this meal Ms Gitika Saikia, she hardly used any masala's in the meal. It was in just one sabzi she used the panch-poran masala, the rest were their natural flavours.
The meal was then followed by the Assamese tea with Gud. I skipped the gud & sipped on my hot chai.
Being a vegetarian I cant comment on the non-veg dishes that were served which included a fish & a pork dish. But going by reactions of the non-vegetarians around me, they loved both the fish (Katla) & pork.
This was my 1st experience of going for such a meal - a meal which is not at a restaurant, with people whom I don't know & a cuisine I have never tried. But must say I had a great time - met new people, had an interesting conversation & the mildly spiced, light on your tummy Assamese food.
Go ahead & be part of this meal next time.
Jaapi - The Farmer's Hat.