Although Momos weren’t native to Assam, over the last decade or so they have become a signature easy to grab meal, especially popular amongst youngsters In a hurry. Momo vendors can be found in almost every corner of the city ready to serve the hungry crowd. Being traditionally a native dish from the neighboring regions of Tibet and Nepal, momo vendors weren’t always so widely available and only served in specialized eateries specializing in the art of momo making. These places served various of fillings for the momos with an accompanying broth ranging from chicken to pork and even paneer(cottage cheese). Gradually it became popular enough to the point where people experimented with the traditional momos and created fusion dishes liked deep fried momos, schezuan momos (momo fried in schezuan sauce). Now it has become staple snack readily available almost anywhere.
Pan fried noodles
Noodles are another popular quick meal available on the streets of Assam. The noodle dishes served in Assam can trace its routes to chowmein from the Taishan region, although it is not clear how it came to be. One thing is for certain is that the noodle dishes served in Assam is primarily dry and rarely served with any broth. ‘Chow’ as it is popularly called in Assam can be prepared in various forms like stir fried with chunks of fried chicken and even strips of pork (not unlike bacon). People often order the noodles along with momos in order to enjoy some of that momo broth with the noodles. Veg noodles that is prepared with sautéed cabbage and onions is also a popular choice.
Rolls which is popularly known as wraps in the western world is unsurprisingly another fast food popular in this region. However, the bread used for this dish is usually the common chapatti found all over India. Although the most popular form of roll found in India is known as Kolkata roll which is predominantly Indian in its signature flavor in terms of spices and fragrance, the roll found in Assam has much subtler flavor. The stuffing in these rolls contain sautéed vegetables, onions, chicken, egg as well as pork with a characteristic MSG flavoring as opposed to the more thoroughly cooked stuffing in Kolkata roll. The roll is undoubtedly one of the more popular street foods, although one can argue that are not as widely available as momos.
Poori and boot daal (Sour bread with split gram)
Translated as poori with split gram stew, it can definitely be regarded as a staple breakfast for the early risers in Assam. Often found in small eateries and even some of high end restaurants, puri and boot daal comprises of a deep fried sour dough bread served with a stew made with lentils and various sweet vegetables. It is quite popular among people with early jobs, early office goers and even school students ask for it as takeaway which they can have later for lunch as it is quite a filling meal.
Article by: Kamlesh Shankar Das Check out the complete recipes in the book: A Book of Gourmet Cooking by renowned culinary expert Jyoti Das Bardoloi