Simple Assamese Comfort food

For me comfort food is that which reminds me of my childhood common food,that my mother cooked for us. We were eating very simple food like alu pitika, mach pitika, daal and rice. Today also these type of food gives me immense pleasure. Hence I am sharing a simple Assamese comfort platter.

My native is Barak valley which is located in the southern region of the Indian state of Assam. Most of the people in Assam lives in villages and they lead a very simple life with very simple food habit. As people are using fresh locally produced ingredients to their food, the food tastes best even if they are simple.

Today living far away from my native,my love for simple food of my region gives me great comfort and happiness. Hence I am sharing the recipe of lunch platter which consists of different kinds of” pitikas” and lentil daal/ soup.

What is pitika

Pitika is an Assamese word which means mashed. … It is a side dish and a signature recipe of Assamese cuisine. We love to eat vegetables by mashing them with chopped onion, chilli and mustard oil after boiling or roasting/grilling them.

Today’s recipe consists of

1. Alu pitika(Potato mash with roasted onion, roasted dry red chilli and mustard oil)

2.Ronga Lau pitika (Roasted Red Pumpkin mash with roasted onion-green chilli and mustard oil)

3. Tenga Masoor daali/dail (Red lentil daal with raw mango)


  • Preparation time: 20 min
  • Cooking time: 30 min
  • Difficulty level: easy
  • Serves: 4

Ingredients for alu pitika(mashed potato)

  • 2 medium sized Potatoes
  • 1 medium sized chopped Onion
  • 1 -2 dry red Chillies
  • 1 tablespoon of raw mustard oil
  • 1 handful of chopped Coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste

For ronga lau pitika (red pumpkin mash)

  • 2 cup thinly sliced red pumpkin (skin removed)
  • 1medium sized chopped Onion
  • 1-2 chopped green Chillies
  • 1 tablespoon raw Mustard Oil
  • Few chopped Coriander leaves
  • Salt  to taste

For tenga masoor dali (red lentil daal with raw mango)

  • 1 cup red lentil (masoor daal)
  • 1 small chopped Onion
  • 1 small raw Mango
  • 3-4 chopped Garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Black Seed (kalonji)
  • 2-3 dry red Chillies
  • 1 handful of chopped Coriander leaves
  • Salt and Sugar to taste

Method to make tangy daal

Wash and rinse 1 cup of red masoor daal and then soak in water for atleast 2 hour.

Pressure cook the daal (1 whisle) with sufficient water, turmeric powder and salt.

Heat 1 tablespoon of mustard oil to a pan and temper with dry red chilli and black seeds.

Then add in chopped onion and garlic.Cook until they get light brown in colour.

Next add in chopped raw mango and saute for few seconds.

Then pour in the cooked daal and mix well.

Adjust the seasoning and consistency of daal. Add in salt and hot water if necessary. The daal should be thin in consistency. If daal is too tangy, you can add little sugar to balance the taste.

Cook in medium heat for 5-6 minutes.Sprinkle some chopped coriander and remove from heat.

Tangy Aam daal is ready now.

Method to make alu pitika (potato mash)

Boil 2 medium size potatoes according to your convenience. I boiled them in microwave. Traditionally, potato is roasted whole in fire.

Peel them and mash with your hand. Set aside.

Heat a griddle or grill pan and roast chopped onion  until they are charred.

With few drops of oil, fry 2 dry red chillies into crisp.

With a mortal and pestle grind fried dry red chillies coarsely.

Add in roasted onion, coarsely grinded dry red chilli, salt and mustard oil to the mashed potatoes. Mix well.

Also add in chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Alu pitika is ready now to serve.

Method to make red pumpkin mash

Peel and chop red pumpkin into small thin pieces.

Grill them in a griller or grill pan until soft and charred.

Also grill chopped onion and green chillies.

Put all the things in a chopper with mustard oil and salt.

Blitz to mix everything well. Dont overmix to make smooth pitika. It tastes better with coarse texture.

Mix some chopped coriander leaves and the pitika is ready.

Serve alu pitila, red pumpkin pitika and aam daal with steamed rice.

A delicious, simple and healthy comfort food of my native Assam.

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