8 Lesser-Known Green Leafy Vegetables From Assam

Assamese food is renowned for its freshness and focus on locally obtained, fresh ingredients. Subtle yet distinct flavours dominate the taste, which frequently consists of rice, seafood, and different herbs. The bounty of the region's crops is reflected in the food, which has a harmony of subtle spices and organic flavours that speak to the Assamese people's simple way of life.

The cuisine of Assam features a wide variety of unusual green leafy vegetables, referred to locals as "Xaak." Dishes like "Dhekia Xaak" (fern leaves), "Tenga Morol" (rosella leaves), and "Lai Xaak" (mustard greens) are incomplete without them. These greens add distinct flavours and nutritional value, highlighting the agricultural bounty and culinary creativity of Assam and adding to the distinctive and nutritious quality of Assamese cuisine.

Here is the list of lesser known greens from Assamese cuisine:

1. Mosundori: 

Native to Assam, mosundori leaves are a type of green leafy vegetable with a distinct flavour that combines earthy overtones with a hint of bitterness. Its mouthfeel is pleasing, and its texture is both delicate and strong. Moshundhori leaves, which are frequently used in Assamese cooking, are made by sauteing them with garlic, chilli peppers, and mustard oil. They offer a cool and wholesome touch to traditional Assamese meals like rice, dal, and fish curry when served as a side dish.

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2. Tenga-Morol: 

Tenga Morol, also known as Roselle leaves, are often used in Assamese cooking. They have a tart and somewhat sour flavour that complements many cuisines. Its crisp but soft texture goes well with a variety of dishes. Tenga Morol, often used in stews, curries, and chutneys, adds a lovely tartness. It enhances the depth of Assamese culinary traditions and goes well with fish and other meats. Tenga Morol enhances the entire eating experience by adding flavour depth and a refreshing quality to the taste.

3. Maanimuni: 

Maanimuni leaves are an Assamese green leafy vegetable with a distinct flavour and a hint of bitterness, similar to spinach. It has a sturdy yet sensitive texture. They are frequently used in classic Assamese dishes like "Maanimuni xaak bhaji," a stir-fried meal made with garlic, mustard oil, and few other spices. This meal, which tastes good with rice, showcases the diversity of Assamese cuisine and is filling and aromatic. Maanimuni leaves are a highly valued ingredient in Assamese homes due to its adaptability, adding flavour and health advantages to a variety of dishes.

4. Brahmi: 

Assamese green leafy vegetables called brahmi leaves have a mild, earthy flavour with a hint of bitterness. Their soft texture goes well with a lot of different foods. Brahmi leaves are frequently stir-fried with mustard oil, garlic, and occasionally grated coconut for flavour in traditional Assamese cooking. The leaves' inherent freshness is enhanced by this procedure. Brahmi leaves, which represent the rich culinary traditions of Assam, are usually served as a side dish with rice, offering a wholesome and delectable accompaniment to the main course.

5. Maan-Dhonia: 

Native to Assam, Maan Dhoniya is a green leafy vegetable also called Thai coriander. Its texture is soft but firm, and its flavour is a distinctive combination of zesty freshness and subtle bitterness. It is frequently used to provide a unique flavour to a variety of Assamese cuisines, including stews, chutneys, and curries. Maan Dhoniya is frequently served with rice-based meals, adding to Assam's rich culinary legacy while also improving the entire eating experience with its bright taste and nutritional content.

6. Kola Kosu: 

Assamese green leafy vegetables called kola kosu, or elephant ear, are known for their distinct flavour, texture, and nutritional value. It tastes somewhat bitter, has a soft texture, and goes well with a variety of flavours. It is frequently used in dishes like "Khar," an iconic alkaline preparation in Assamese cuisine. It gives fish curries a unique earthy flavour that goes well with them. With its nutritious and adaptable qualities, the vegetable is also stir-fried or added to stews, adding to the variety of Assamese culinary pleasures.

7. Dhekia Xaak: 

In Assam, fern leaves, also known as Dhekia Xaak, are highly valued green vegetables. It has a distinct earthy flavour and a slightly bitter taste. Its texture has a pleasing crunch and is both soft and robust. It is frequently used in traditional Assamese cuisine and can be made in a variety of ways, including stir-frying it with mustard oil and garlic. Because of its unique flavour and nutrient-rich composition, Dhekia Xaak pairs well with traditional Assamese fish curry and rice. It is a culinary treasure with a strong connection to Assam's illustrious past.

8. Lai Xaak:

The distinctive flavour of Assamese mustard leaves, or lai xaak, blends a tinge of bitterness with a peppery bite. Its texture is both robust and delicate. It is widely used in Assamese cuisine and is usually prepared as "Lai Xaak Bhaji," a stir-fry with garlic and green chilies. It is also a key ingredient in "Khar," an Assamese meal that is customary. Lai Xaak pairs well with rice and adds a unique flavour to the dish. This lush vegetable contributes to Assam's varied culinary legacy while also improving nutrition.