Assamese cuisine is all about simple rustic cooking techniques yet bold flavours and rich nutritional values. The harmony of ‘nutrition and taste’ is the soul ingredient in every Assamese Dish.
As someone said “Finding pleasure in simplicity is an attitude”, Assamese cuisine and for that matter any North East Indian cuisine must have an attitude second to none, just for keeping things so simple with the minimalistic use of preservatives, dry species and other condiments.
The flavours of the star ingredients are always allowed to manifest itself in its full glory.
One such dish, is Khorikaa – a perfect embodiment of all the traits described above. Unlike most other barbecues or tandoori preparations, Khorikaa is just smeared with salt, turmeric, lime juice and may be sometimes with a paste of ginger and garlic.
When ready, you can either have it straight away, or may be make a mash with various other ingredients as described below….
Khorikaa is a thick bamboo skewer used for barbecues or smoky preparations using mostly fish or meat in wood fire. Its one of our most loved cuisines and you would easily come across it in any rural Assamese kitchens.
I make it a point to never miss it when I visit home, and my favourite khorikaa dishes are ‘Khorikaat dia / Pura Goroi Maas Pitika’ and Pork Khorikaa.
The cooking technique is very simple, all you need is a bit of patience and care with your skewers around the woodfire.
There is absolutely no use of curd, grounded spices/aromatics or any barbecue sauce that are normally added to a tikki or tandoori preparations. Simply marinate the fish with salt turmeric and ginger garlic paste (optional) and skewer it. When done, remove the fish from the skewers and chop it coarsely. Add chopped onion, chillies, fresh coriander, a dash of lime juice and a generous drizzle of mustard oil. Mix well and serve. I have added roasted tomatoes and chilly oil for extra heat and flavor.
Article By Antara Boruah
An avid traveller, Food Designer, Geologist and Founder of Choukascribbled