Assam, the beautiful state of North-East India has an incredible range of culture, awesome wildlife, the world famous Assam Tea, oldest oil refineries, famous Kamakhya temple and of course, the Assamese cuisine, which is characterized by very little use of spices but strong flavors. This Masor Tenga (Tangy Fish Curry), is an indispensable part of a proper meal in Assam. This is a light and tangy dish, and is one of Assam’s signature preparations. The key ingredient in a tenga is the use of a souring agent like lemon or tomato which lends the dish a tart tangy taste. I being a fish addict, when saw this recipe in one of a popular food forum, could not stop myself and recreated the same in my kitchen some days back. It can be best enjoyed with plain rice.
There are wide variety of souring agents that can be used to prepare this dish, ranging from the commonly available lemon, tomatoes, sour spinach to more exotic Elephant apple and Garcinia.
A very important element of the dish is Panch Phoron (five-spice mix) which is a spice blend used in Eastern India, especially in Bengali, Assamese, and Odia cuisine. The five spices that makes up the Panch phoron are a colourful blend of flavourful seeds: the green of fennel seed, black mustard and nigella seeds, golden fenugreek and buff-coloured cumin seeds.
Generally the ingredients are added in equal proportions, though this can vary according to taste. In the tradition of Odia and Bengali cuisine, panch phoron is typically fried in cooking oil or ghee, which causes it to start popping immediately. This technique is called “baghaar” (literally “tempering”) in odia, “phoron” in Bengali, and chaunk in Hindi. At this point, one adds the other ingredients to coat with the spice mixture. The distinct aroma of Eastern cuisine is mostly due to the blend of spices known as panch phoron.
[if !supportLists]·[endif]1 tbsp nigella seeds
[if !supportLists]·[endif]1 tbsp black mustard seeds
[if !supportLists]·[endif]1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
[if !supportLists]·[endif]1 tbsp fennel seeds
[if !supportLists]·[endif]1 tbsp cumin seeds
Preparation Combine all spices in a jar, store away from heat and light.It is widely used in eastern states of India and is known to impart a distinctive flavor to the traditional food!was amazed by the taste of this dish – so few ingredients, yet so effective. Just perfect for summer.