Famed for their ‘two leaves and a bud’ (red tea), the Assamese people hold their kitchens very dear, known for the delectable preparations of various delicacies. The specialty of Assamese cuisine is the range of incredible health benefits on offer. Since time immemorial, the people of Assam are known to have breakfast like a king and the Assamese breakfast scene not only lets one drool over, but it also offers great dietary benefits. The best part of preparing an Assamese breakfast is the effortless preparation that ensures no wastage of one’s valuable time.
Take a peek at the 7 best breakfast items that the traditional Assamese kitchen offers and curb your extra calories in a short period of time:
Kumol Saul (Soft Rice)
A luscious preparation that will replace your box of cornflakes in no time, Kumol Saul (Soft Rice) is a variety of rice, particularly popular in Assam and other parts of North-East India. This variety of rice needs no cooking. One can simply soak it in water and enjoy it with milk or curd. Sugar is replaced with jaggery in the Assamese breakfast scene, and jaggery is known to be less diabetic than sugar. This easy-to-make dish is not only deliciously healthy, but it also saves fuel cost and is known to contain less amount of amylase; about 4.5 per cent only.
Bora Saul (Sticky Rice)
Bora Saul (Sticky Rice) is one of the most popular varieties of rice grown across the lush plains of Assam. This glutinous variety of rice is cooked with water and a pinch of salt, and it is usually taken with hot milk and jaggery. Jaggery is loaded with minerals and antioxidants, which ensures the prevention of early ageing. Adding dry fruits or bananas to this preparation not only increases the taste but also boosts the diet factor. Kids would surely love this preparation and the breakfast table will see no trouble at all. Now, instead of the daily porridge preparations, relish the taste of Bora Saul and feel rejuvenated for the day.
Chira-Doi (Flattened Rice with Curd)
Keep aside the bowl of ‘chocos’ and start having Chira (flattened rice) with curd, just like the Assamese people do. Chira (popular across the country as ‘Poha’) is nothing but rice flakes, which is full of fibre. The Assamese people soak the Chira in water, and enjoy it with curd or hot milk. Chira is known to have no cholesterol and no saturated fat at all. The healthy carbs in Chira will keep you energized all day; keeping your waistline too in check. Next time you are doubtful about a healthy breakfast meal, sit down with a bowl of Chira with milk or curd and jaggery. You will feel your best for the rest of the day.
Xandoh Guri-Doi (Ground Roasted Rice with Curd)
Before we move on to the famous ‘Pithas’, let us acquaint you with the health benefits of Xandoh Guri (ground roasted rice) with curd. A certain variant of rice known as Ukhuwa Saul is lightly roasted and grounded into a fine powder called Xandoh Guri. Two to three tablespoons of Xandoh with curd or hot milk and jaggery keeps your belly full for a long time. Curd helps soothe your digestive system, and it helps reduce bloating and other digestive problems. This lip-smacking breakfast preparation is one-of-a-kind, tummy-filling and of course, very yummy!
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Bora Saul (Sticky Rice) is grounded to make a fine powder, which is called ‘Pithaguri’ and made into different varieties of Pithas. Paani Pitha is a rice cake made with Pithaguri mixed with water and ensures no use of oil at all, if required. Yes, this is a flat rice cake that actually contains nothing other than rice flour, salt and water, made in a non-stick pan and proves its health benefits without any further description. With a little honey for your sore throat, Paani Pitha makes a mouth-watering combination in the Assamese breakfast scene.
Tekeli Mukhot Diya Pitha, or popularly known as Tekeli Pitha gets its name from the way it is steamed over an open kettle-top. This steamed rice cake needs no oil and only water vapour, which makes it a very healthy option for breakfast. The rice flour, mixed with salt or shredded coconut and a pinch of sugar is tied in a piece of clean cloth and steamed in the vapour of boiling water over an open kettle-top. The flavour of coconut makes Tekeli Pitha a mouth-watering delicacy, and is very particular in the kitchens of Assam. Tekeli Pitha is best enjoyed with tea.
The comfort food of every Assamese, Poita Bhaat is a magical breakfast. The farmers in rural Assam consider Poita Bhaat as the best food in the Assamese breakfast scene. Rice soaked in a bowl of water overnight and enjoyed in the morning with mustard oil, salt, and chillies and sometimes, also with mashed potatoes or roasted fish. The flavour of mustard oil entices the taste buds, while the whole dish soothes the digestive system incredibly. Known to energize one for the day’s work, this preparation is known for its high content of carbohydrates that keep the Assamese farmers strong and healthy.
Now, take it easy even if all the options say that rice is the main ingredient, because rice is a healthy source of carbohydrate. Even if it is all about rice, this is the healthiest option for breakfast as the body is fully on movement for the entire day. These breakfast items are devoid of oil, sugar, preservatives or any artificial flavour, making them diet-friendly. The Assamese breakfast scene is a sight to behold; not only it looks appetizing but also very attractive as they are served in utensils made of bell metal, an alloy made of copper and tin.
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Picture credits – Assam info.com (Chira Doi Jolpaan) |Tekeli Pitha (Ruprekha Mushahary)|Xandoh Guri and Bora Saul Jolpaan (Assamese Recipe with Heart&Soul)|Pani Pitha (Nilim Dutta)