Its Bihu Season in the North East India and will be a month-long festival. I had been invited over by my friends since last week, but due to some work, I was not able to join them for the feast. Well, it finally happened yesterday and I thought it is the right occasion to share the experience.
This is essentially for the non-vegetarians. Being an adventurer myself, trying new things often becomes a part of my journey. I had been invited to my friend’s place yesterday for a Bihu Evening. I had already missed a major dance festival and I didn’t want to miss any other occasion. So, I went to his house in the evening.
A simple house and a simple family, life here in North East India moves slow and steady. I like it here. People are outgoing, generous and they like to enjoy life. The conditions here might have refrained the rest of the country from venturing into North East India, but I bet, this place is capable to surpass all other tourist destinations of the country put together, in the richness of its culture, geographic diversity and scenic beauty. The idea is to explore without prejudice.
I typically posted this picture because this is something I tried for the first time. As you look into the picture, half of the vegetarians might be hating me already, but I need to tell you that it is a part of the social culture here. Some of the items that are must and served to any visitor in North East, especially in Assam is Tamul ( Betel Nuts), Paan (Betel Leaves), Rice Beer, Curd and local jaggery with rice flakes (amazingly tasty) and some other items which I am slowly comprehending. Hey, I have learnt the Assamese Language too, at least, I can convey my name and ask how people are, a gesture often people invite here with a smile.
Well, coming to the dish, as the plate came to my table, first I had no clue what I am about to venture into. I asked them, what dish is it? My friend mentioned that it is the local Silkworm. “How on earth?” was the gesture that came from within. There are more stories about my adventures, I have yet not shared ..(and in due course of time, I definitely will), but never came across one like this before, not even after being a hardcore non-vegetarian. I gulped and gathered the courage to give it a try.
I recollected my memories of my trip to Singapore, where I and my wife mostly had to survive on fish (Thank God, I am a Bong!!, but I must confess, I am not used to sea-fishes). My friend informed me that, it is of great medicinal value and helps purify the blood, an idea I think must have floated through the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).
Nevertheless, I gulped my breath inside and took the first bite…..I kept my eyes tightly closed, as I tried to chew and feel the taste….and it went from ew to Wow….for a change, it was good, tasted like Fish, not the sea-fish of course, but the fresh-water. Prepared in Sunflower oil with capsicum, the tangy flavor added to its taste. And with some rice beer, it was nothing but mouth-watering.
Had a great time with the friends yesterday. It was a promise kept for a long time, and I was happy that I could fulfill that. I also had to go once to his house again to cook the ‘Bamboo Chicken’, another delicacy I cherished once in Nagaland, however, I wanted to try here as well. It can wait for some time, until the next meeting.