A lesser-known tribal community of Assam, the Tai Phakes are migrants from Myanmar who inhabit different areas of the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts today. The members of this community are followers of Buddhism, and they have a simple yet peaceful lifestyle. This magnificent indigenous tribe of Assam exhibits a sense of uniqueness in every sphere of life, and their cuisine is no different. Let us now explore a traditional Tai Phake Thali and unleash the mouthwatering flavors of north-eastern India.
Steaming Khau Tai
What can be more satisfying than freshly cooked Khau Tai served in a banana leaf parcel?
Khau Tai is an indigenous variety of rice that is cooked traditionally in an uncommon and unique style by the Tai Phake tribe. It is cooked in a special double-decker set-up of pots. The lower pot contains hot, boiling water while the pot above it contains rice. Hot water is poured onto the rice at regular intervals such that the Khau Tai gets enough moisture to be cooked. Although it is a complicated and time-consuming process of cooking, it is considered one of the healthiest styles of preparing rice. This is because the excess starch gets drained off in the cooking stage itself, making the rice much more healthy as well as delicious. Therefore, one need not compromise on taste for health.
Paa Saa is a traditional fish soup or fish stock prepared by the Tai Phake community with grilled local fish. The flesh of the grilled fish is finely chopped until it softens and gains a smooth texture. A variety of local herbs, including Urimor, Khom pham, Makati, and others, give it a captivating aroma.The chopped fish is then blended with herbal extracts and seasonings. It is served cold alongside Khau Tai.
Na Mu Ping
Na Mu Ping is a dish of sizzling roasted pork.Fresh pork meat is marinated with local herbs, pastes, and salt and then roasted well to prepare a mouthwatering side dish. It is also taken as a starter.
Na Mu Phan
Na Mu Phan is prepared by mixing roughly chopped boiled pork meat with shallow-fried onion slices and some local herbs such as Urimor, Khom Pham, etc. It is basically a boiled pork salad.
Banana Flower Soup
A highly recommended dish of the Tai Phake cuisine, banana flower soup is a thin broth made with boiled banana flowers and some seasonings.
The Tai Phake cuisine is basically simplicity at its best. The dishes are either boiled or steamed, and the thali is filled with greens and herbs. Tai Phake cuisine, an epitome of health and flavor, allows you to discover the splendor of North Eastern flavors.
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