Monday, December 24, 2012

famous Assamese recipe - duck curry with gourd

Haah aru Kumura Aanja (duck curry with gourd)
by Ruprekha Mushahary

Indigenous Assamese cuisine is incomplete without this particular dish. In the upper region of the state of Assam, this dish is regarded very highly. In the olden times and even today, when a dear friend or a respected guest is invited over a meal, this delicacy takes the place of the main course. I remember as a young girl, whenever a reputed person or a respected guest is invited to the house, instead of the cook, either my Aaita, Maa or aunt would be doing the honours of cooking this particular dish with utmost care. 
Although duck meat is found and eaten any time of the year, it tastes best during December-January. During this time of the season the ducks are full of fat.  Harvesting season starts from the month of November and during this time ducks get to eat a lot of freshly harvested seeds of paddy. This is believed to be the reason behind the taste of duck meat during this time of the year. 
After toiling all year round, when harvesting is over, its time to celebrate and merrymaking. In mid January Assam celebrates one of the three Bihus. In this Bihu, called the Maagh Bihu or the Bhogali Bihu, duck becomes the most preferred meat.

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