Monday, 16 March 2015


Of late I am posting a recipe which I should have done much before.  My today's pick.....Assamese Masor Tenga is a typical Assamese tangy fish curry where almost no spices are used and done with minimal oil. Though I visited Assam two-three times, I have a special relation with Assam given my family from father's side are staying there for many years. My grandfather migrated  there from Bangladesh. My maternal grandfather too was posted there for a couple of years being in a transferable job. Hence, I am acquainted with their cuisine to some extent. They are expert in various steamed rice/flour cakes[pitha], sour fish curry too.

We learn about the history of ancient Assam from inscriptions on rock, copper plates, clay, royal grants, etc. Its history can be divided into 4 eras. The ancient era began in the 4th century with the establishment of Kamarupa kingdom, the medieval era began with the Turko- Afgan attacks from Bengal, the colonial era began with the coming of the British and the post colonial era began in 1947, after Indian independence.

Assamese Cuisine is a style of cooking that is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favor fermentation and drying as a form of food preservation. The cuisine is characterised by very little use of spices, little cooking over fire. Fish is widely used with rice as a staple. A traditional Assamese meal begins with a khar, a class of dishes named after the main ingredient, and ends with a tenga, a sour dish. Food is usually served in metal plates and bowls. I have chosen an Assamese tangy fish curry for today's meal.

Any firm white fish : 500gm[though usually done with buffalo carp]
Tomato : 2 medium
Onion : 1 big
Lemon Juice : 2 tbsp [alternatively elephant apple/chalta one piece, I used lemon juice]
Bengali Panch phoron : 1tsp[ an equal amount of fenugreek, nigella, cumin, wild celery and fennel seeds]
Coriander Leaves : 2-3 sprigs
Dry Red Chillies : 2-3
[not required but I used 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Mirch Powder to add colour]
Oil : 2 tbsp
Salt : As required
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp

Wash the fish and cut into medium pieces. Rub with salt n turmeric powder as required. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes.

Cut, deseed and wash the tomatoes. Wash, peel n slice the onions. Wash, and chop the coriander leaves discarding the roots.

Heat oil in a wok. Fry the fish pieces till light brown. Keep aside.

Temper oil with panch phoron and slitted dry red chillies. As they splutter, add the sliced onions.

Fry the onions till brown, add the tomato pieces.

Saute till the tomatoes are well fried and separate from the oil. Add the remaining turmeric powder, salt and Kashmiri chilli powder. Give a stir.

Add the lemon juice. Add one coffee mug water. Let boil for 4 minutes at medium to low heat.

Add the fish pieces and boil for another 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped coriander leaves. Switch off.

Yes, its this simple n easy! Serve with steamed hot rice!!


  1. Absolutely yummy Soma! My mouth is actually watering just reading the recipe :)

    1. Sorry again I missed it...thanks that the dish could attract you Kimberly...