Winter Gets Tastier With Assamese Xewali Phool Culinary Fares
Image Credit: Fish and xewali phool, sumus_food_gallery@Instagram

The onset of the winter season infuses a spell of fragrance in the Assamese kitchen. Almost from the period of Durga puja one can witness how this state wears a beautiful look with the blooming of xewali phool or the night jasmine. This delicate flower blossoms in the night. By the dawn of the following day, it falls and leaves behind a delicate white and orange carpet of flowers. For the locals, the xewali phool holds a special place in their hearts and it is evident in their winter cuisine. Instead of throwing away the fallen xewali, Assamese cuisine uses them in an array of indigenous preparations. They collect these blooms before the sun takes a toll on the tenderness of night jasmine and carefully clean them for preparing native food. These flowers also have medicinal properties. They are thought to be a highly safe detoxifying agent, as well as a safe purgative for children, and it aids in the relief of dry cough.

Let's take some inspiration from Assamese cuisine and its love for the xewali phool. 

Xewali Phoolor Khar


  • 2 cups fresh or dried xewali phool 
  • 1 raw papaya or squash, cubed
  • 1 cup red lentil
  • Half-inch ginger root (crushed)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 green chilli (washed and slit)
  • Mustard oil
  • 1 pinch baking soda
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash the red lentil and soak it for half an hour, and set it aside
  2. Drain the excess water by placing it in a colander
  3. Heat mustard oil in a pressure cooker
  4. Add the chopped ginger and garlic and slit green chillies
  5. Cook on low flame for 30 seconds
  6. Add the soaked red lentil, cubed pieces of raw papaya and xewali phool 
  7. Stir all the ingredients and continue cooking for a couple of minutes
  8. Add salt to taste, soda and 1 1/2 cup water water
  9. Pressure cook till the lentil is cooked; it may take 2-3 whistles. 
  10. Turn off the flame. Let the pressure release on its own
  11. If you want, you can temper it with your choice of spices

Serve Xewali Phoolor Khar hot with rice

Xewali Phool Aru Masor Jul

Fish curry with xewali phool, Image Source: sumus_food_gallery@Instagram


  • 150g sun-dried xewali flowers
  • 4 rohu slices
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp khar

(Khar is an alkaline liquid created by pouring water through dried banana peel ashes)


  1. Clean the rohu fish pieces, rub salt and turmeric, and keep them aside for a few minutes. 
  2. Heat mustard oil, stir fry them evenly on both sides, and set them aside. 
  3. Soak the sun-dried xewali flowers for 1-2 hours to soften them
  4.  Press the blooms gently to remove the reddish water. 
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok and stir fry the tender flowers
  6. Season them with salt, turmeric powder and chillies according to your taste. 
  7. Pour 1 teaspoon of khar to thoroughly cook the blossoms. 
  8. Pour in a cup of water
  9. Simmer it for a few minutes before adding the fish pieces
  10. If you wish to thicken the gravy, simmer it on low heat until it is done

Relish it with plain steamed rice.  If you don't have khar, you can use ginger-garlic paste and a few masalas.

Xewali Phool Egg Fry 

Egg fry with xewali phool, Image Source: Pinterest


  • 1 bowl xewali phool (washed)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 6-8 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 green chilli (finely chopped)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat mustard oil in a kadai over medium flame 
  2. Put in the chopped onion, garlic, and chilli, followed by the turmeric powder, and sauté until light golden brown
  3. Stir in the xewali phool and season it with salt
  4.  Cook for 5-6 minutes on low heat
  5.  Finally, whisk in the beaten eggs until they are cooked

Garnish with onion rings and serve.