The traditional cuisine of Assam is unique in its own appeal as the taste of the original quality of the dishes can truly burst like a bomb literally once you put it in your mouth. Although it may sound laughable, it is quite true as most of the dishes in an Assamese thali or platter are made with lesser quantity of oil and very few seasonings goes into its preparation. As the dishes are cooked without adding much ingredients in it mostly with the sole aim that the authenticity of it is not overpowered by heavy flavours, Assamese cuisine is truly one-of-a-kind and has the magical capacity to fill your stomach fully in an enchantingly light manner in addition to charmingly wooing your taste buds such that you are definitely going to feel its taste linger in your mouths for a longer time.
As much as all the food items that comprise an Assamese thali are talked about, there are three side dishes in it which is hardly eulogized but are inseparable and the most important constituents without which most Assamese people cannot even think of sitting to eat. Whatever be the economic condition of an Assamese family, they ensure that each meal of a day- be it breakfast, lunch or dinner- is commenced by adding these three food items to a plate. The status of these three dishes is so high that if somehow anything out of it goes missing, a meal is probably devoured in bad moods and people will go to the shops hunting for it and procuring it without any delay so that it can be mandatorily had the day after. Moreover, no main meal of an Assamese social function starts before this literal power trio of Assamese food is put on a plate. The most noteworthy aspect of this power trio of Assamese food is that it meekly sits in a corner of a plate but are yet hold in high esteem by the entire Assamese society
Read on to know more about this awesome power trio of Assamese food-
Locally called Nimokh, salt is both a seasoning and condiment in India. However, the status of salt in Assamese cuisine is held in such a way by the people of Assam that most of them will look for the white granules first when the plate is laid out a table. If an Assamese thali has no space due to the various dishes laden neatly in it, there are most persons who will first seek out the salt wherever it is located. Be it merrily hiding behind bowls or childishly playing with the eyesight by staying haphazardly concealed between mounds of fried veggies or the steamed grains of rice, an Assamese person will definitely find out the salt with his eyes which literally acts as a GPS at that point in time. The heavenly aroma or even the visually appealing dishes will fail to entice an Assamese person in the absence of salt. For this reason, jars of salt are always found occupying the prime position in a dining table of an Assamese household. Meanwhile, guests are always greeted with a spoonful of salt first by smiling people in a plate in Assamese social functions before the rest of the dishes are brought in and heaped one by one.
As an Assamese thali consists of dishes that are devoid of heavy seasonings, most people find it hard to consume it without taking one or two chillies or Jolokias in their plates. Be it red or green, any kind of chilli can make an Assamese person fall head over heels with their meals any day. Sometimes it may so happen that the taste of a dish may go horribly wrong due to the reason of being overcooked or the addition of extra portion of various seasonings. However, there are a number of Assamese people who will happily consume the most tasteless meal and declare it to be the best they ever had when there is a bowl of chillies near them to the rescue. The tiny seeds of a chilli can magically transform a dull food item into a one that has been created by a master cook and make an eater get a good meaning of taste literally with its degree of hotness. So, who can say no to chillies?
The largest and the most useful food item of an Assamese cuisine is the lemon or Nemu. Although it is the richest source of Vitamin C and forms an essential part of any type of meal, its heavenly presence in an Assamese meal is almost underrated. When you slurp on a slice of lemon, the juice of it can certainly make you elated. The secret behind the happiness that you get after consuming an Assamese meal is mainly the lemon which acts as a happy pill. While some like to take out the whole juice from a lemon by biting on it enthusiastically with very loud sucking noises and catching weird stares from others, there are some who find even the tastiest dish to be absolutely tasteless without emptying the juice of a whole lemon over it thoroughly. It is a fact and has been previously said too by food bloggers that a dash of lemon juice over a meal can enhance its taste so highly that everyone is going to enjoy it when it goes into the mouth