Kipepeo

Flavours of Assam

Catch the flavours of authentic Assamese cuisine as we travel to villages of three different tribes in our quest for gastronomic delights

Snapshot

  • Dates:
  • Region: Assam
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Activity: Food
  • Grade: Easy
  • Price: On Request
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Assam – at the very heart of North East India, holds many secrets for the seasoned traveler. The land of tea and one-horned rhinos is also home to about 13 different communities, each with their own histories, cultural heritage and traditions.

This cultural diversity brings an interesting mix to Assamese cuisine, which draws influences from neighboring hill tribes and those residing in the Brahmaputra valley. The cuisine is a heady mix of fermentation and preservation,along with fresh ingredients, cooked in various styles like steaming, roasting and frying.

Rice, consumed in umpteen number of ways, is pretty much a staple and the primary ingredient in their cuisine. Fish, is a close second, playing a very significant role in many of their traditions. Throughout our trip we will be relishing various preparations of fish and rice, along with other delicacies like duck and smoked pork.

This trip will be led by acclaimed North East food curator Gitika Saikia, who will share her expertise on Assamese cuisine. Through the trip she will provide in depth knowledge about the cuisine and its history.

  • Relish cuisine of four different tribes of Assam [delicacies like duck and smoked pork]
  • Harvest paddy in the fields and Pluck fresh vegetables from the kitchen garden
  • Try your hands to cook a few dishes on a Souka[wood fire] with Gitika at her village home
  • Taste local brew made of rice
  • Jeep and Elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park
  • Rafting on the popular JiaBhorali river at Nameri, bordering Arunachal Pradesh

Day 1: Dibrugarh

Pick-up from Dibrugarh airport and check into your hotel. In the evening go for a walk on the bank of the Brahmaputra River. O/n in Dibrugarh Club House or similar

Day 2: Excursion to Nam Phake

Drive to Nam Phake village on the banks of the BuriDihingriver. The village is home to the Tai Phake community which originally came down from Northern Thailand via Myanmar sometime in the 16th century. They still maintain their distinctive culture and language, along with their food habits.

Start with a visit to the village monastery of theTheruvada sect of Buddhism. From there continuewalking around this serene village, interacting with the friendly locals. We visit one of the local houses where we have a traditional meal prepared with different kinds of vegetables and foraged greens, infused with local herbs. The vegetables are served with a ball ofricethat is wrapped in a leaf and steamed, locally called Tupula Bhat. They are also known for the unique preparation of fish and pork that tastes as good as it looks- a true feast for the senses.

By evening drive back to Dibrugarh. O/n stay in Dibrugarh Club House or similar

Day 3: Dibrugarh to Kaziranga Drive time: 5.5 hours

Drive down to Kaziranga, on the way visit the ruins of the Ahom kingdom in Sibsagar. In the afternoon have a traditional Assamese thali..

A typical Assamese thali begins with khar, which is alkaline in nature and prepared by filtering water through the ashes of a banana tree. Khar is accompanied by two kinds of Dal and fresh vegetables. A side dish called aloopitika– a mash of potatoes with raw onions, chilly and mustard is also a staple. For meat we will be relishing duck meat which is considered a delicacy in Assamese cuisine. One of the most important items in their cuisine is fish ideally prepared in a sour gray called Maas’orTenga. We end the meal with a kheer which is a dessert made of brown rice .

In the evening walk around a nearby tea estate .O/n at Wild Grass Resort or similar

Day 4: Kaziranga

Early in the morning go for a safari on Elephant back to get up close with the world’s great one-horned Rhinos at the Kaziranga National Park. After breakfast, drive to Panbarivillag to soak in the culture and food of the Mishing tribe. Mainly residing on the banks of the Brahmaputra, the members of this are experts at farming and fishing, though the womenfolk are equally skilled in weaving. Walk around the village understanding the unique culture and agricultural practices of this friendly community.

Food and drink are an integral part of theMishing tribe’s culture and they probablymake the best rice beer in Assam. They will demonstrate how they extract rice beer from cooked rice giving us an opportunity to taste this smooth milky brew. Fish forms a big part of the diet, which will be evident during our meal. Besides various preparations of fish, we will have foraged vegetables and locally prepared chicken as well.

In the afternoon we go for a jeep safari in the Western range of the park, where you will see lots of herbivores like the Rhino, Swamp Deer, Hog Deer, Water Buffalo and Wild Boar. O/n at Wild Grass Rresort or similar

Day 5: Kaziranga– Rajgarh -Nameri

Start early in the morning for our drive to Rajgarh , a small village inhabited by the Bodo tribe. Over here we will have an opportunity to experience the rural Assamese way of life by participating in farming activities and cooking with the locals.

After a cup of tea with traditional rice cakes called Pitha , we set out to get our hands dirty. We get busy in the fields, plucking the greens and vegetables for lunch and learning how to harvest paddy.

Now begins the fun part when we learn to make a traditional side dish called TilBilahi Chutney (Sesame and Tomatoes Chutney) along with preparations of the freshly plucked vegetables. Our lavish lunch spread will consist of TekeliPitha [Rice cake], Tribal Style chicken preparation, barbeque pork on skewers, freshly plucked vegetables and adifferent type of alkali, locally called Khar.

By late evening drive to Nameri . O/n at Nameri Eco camp.

Day 6: Nameri

Nameri National Park is located on the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas. Most parts of Nameri are covered bymoist evergreen deciduous forests with over 600 species of plants to be found in the area. The park is noted for its vibrant bird life which numbers more than 400 species.

In the morning relax around the campsite and go for a walk in the nearby forest. In the second half go rafting on the tranquil waters of the JiaBhorali riverNavigate through the spectacular landscapein the company of water birds like the Ibisbill, Egrets, Herons and Teals. O/n at Nameri Eco camp or similar

Day 7: Nameri to Guwahati 208 kms; Drive time: 5 hours

Drop to Guwahati airport

Cost per person:

Included

  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis
  • All meals
  • Transportation using a Tempo Traveler
  • Jeep and Elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park
  • Rafting in Nameri

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Camera fees in Kaziranga and Nameri
  • Excess stay & meals due to bad weather conditions or strikes, resulting in delay of flights or any other form of transport
  • Soft drink charges, table drinks, bottled water, laundry, cigarettes, telephone expenses, and liquor charges
  • Any other item not mentioned in “Included” section above
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