Last Updated on December 14, 2020 by Chef Mireille
Today, we are visiting Assam. You may have heard of Assam before in terms of Assam tea or Assam chiles.
Near the Chinese border, Assam is one of the northeastern Indian starts influenced by Chinese and Nepali cuisine. Sticky Rice, Rice Flour and Black Sesame Seeds are prevalent in their cuisine, similar to Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, as well as the other northeastern states.
This is a typical chicken curry in the style of the Dimasa ethnic community of Assam. Dimasa are one of many Kachari tribes, who are said to be the oldest inhabitants of the region.
- 1 whole chicken, (4 1/2 -5 lbs.), cut into pieces
- 6 onions, peeled and grated or processed in the food processor to pulp
- 4 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
- 15 small green chiles, slit
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- mustard oil
- salt, to taste
- 6 tablespoons rice flour
- 8 cups of water
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped (ginger leaves are more traditional)
Rub salt and turmeric on chicken pieces.
Heat oil. Add chicken pieces and fry until browned on both sides. Remove from pot.
Add onions and chiles. Saute until onions start to change color.
Add chicken pieces, ginger garlic paste and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes, until chicken pieces are cooked through.
Add 2 cups of the cooking liquid and 1/4 cup cold water to the rice flour in a bowl and mix well.
Stir into the curry. Add salt, to taste. Add cilantro and stir to mix. Remove from the heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
This curry is very unique with the use of onion pulp and rice flour to thicken it. The curry has a slightly gelatinous texture to it. I made this a weekend I was at my Mom’s and she was having no part of the gravy with it’s unusual texture, so she only ate the chicken pieces, but the chicken pieces itself were a little bland as they were only seasoned with salt and turmeric. In order to be really enjoyed fully, the chicken must be eaten with the gravy, just be prepared for an unusual texture.
I liked it, but I must admit it is not one of my faves and probably wouldn’t make it again, unless it fit into a particular theme I needed to cook for again.
Please pardon the photos as this was made without the use of my camera, so cellphone pics are a bit lacking.
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Really appreciate your honest review of the dish.. very useful to readers.Rice flour is used in some traditional south-indian dishes too to thicken sambars etc but in very small quantities.
awesome post nice to know the facts about assam 🙂 lovely recipe selection !!!
appreciate your true review!!! not can everybody do that!!
Nice and flavorful chicken curry,must be delicious and spicy with the gravy..
As jayanthi said rice flour is sometimes used to thicken sambhar, but i hate it totally, it shows out that is thickened using flour!!! It must be quite an experience to cook a totally different flavor of an usual dish!!! Appreciate your efforts Mir!!!
Quite interesting preparation ! Nicely done….
Am sure this chicken curry will tastes fabulous with rice.. but i would have some generous amount of chilly to spice up the bland chicken.
The suspense of trying out the unknown, you win some you lose some. The pictures look great.
That is a very interesting curry. Love the last pic with the Ganesh idol in the back.
With such a huge amount of rice flour, the texture would be kind of pasty. I made a dish like this and had to completely discard it as nobody was ready to eat it. May be you can try adding just a tbs of rice flour for the perfect gravy consistency…
Interesting curry looks delicious
Looks delish .. Love the colour …
That's good that you managed to make something with new flavours..:)..even my folks won't like with just salt and turmeric!..
Love your honest review Mir. Guess I am too used to masalas in my chicken that I think this will not be something I want to eat. Sorry but that's the truth.Love the efforts you hav eput in though.
no need to apologize – leftovers are still in the fridge as I've been eating everything else to avoid it but I hate to waste food. There's 2 more servings left !!!!
That is a large amount of rice flour for a gravy though! I am so used to seeing your lovely pictures now that as soon as I opened this page, i knew something was not right. Then I read that it was from your cell phone.
Never heard using rice flour in chicken!! will try next time..love to add more spice in this curry!!
with your left over servings how about a make over and use it up…I am sure ypou must be an expert with that by now.
For me, the himachal food was challenging. Assam was a breeze and in fact I loved everything I made. A lot depends on the recipe selection and our taste buds too, I guess.
Looks tasty & delicious.
I can not eat bland meats, it needs to well seasoned. When I saw 15 green chilies I thought this curry must be very spicy. Then I saw the quantity of chicken. I can imagine it must have been quite bland. The color is quite inviting thought.