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Our next destination in Assam is the must visit Kaziranga National Park. This sprawling wildlife park is famous for the rare one horned rhinoceros. This amazing forest area with all its rich biodiversity is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also a tiger reserve. Our Assam visit would have been incomplete without this tour. And we were super glad to find scrumptious Assamese cuisine inside the National Park. In this exploration we were guided by our gracious host Monalee Hazarika.
We started with the Jeep Safari that gave us a tour of a section of the park. The picturesque vistas in front of us were so soothing. Amidst the chirping of the birds and the calls of different animals, we tried to spot the rhinoceros which is the most coveted animal over here.
Next we went to the bio diversity park to see the mesmerising collection of Orchids from all of North East. There were nearly 600 varieties of orchids in the green house. Since we were visiting the place during the blooming season, the view in front of us was just brilliant.
We then went on to have the Komal Saul Jolpan at the park premises. This traditional breakfast delicacy comprising of indigenous Komal Saul or rice, curd and Jaggery was divine.
Next we visited the rice museum to learn more about the plentiful rice crops that the state is famous for. It was heartening to see the grains being conserved so passionately.
Then it was time for witness the brilliant cultural extravaganza of traditional Assamese folk dances like Karbi Bamboo Dance and the Mishing Folk Dance.
After this we reached the restaurant to savour the gigantic vegetarian Thali. It was a super impressive platter that consisted of twenty plus homestyle vegetable dishes. There was Joha rice, Aloo pitika, Aloo fry, karela, jackfruit, aubergine etc. Watch the video to see the extensive list. It was such a hearty meal.
Then we gulped down some refreshing Wood apple sherbet and headed to try the popular sweets called the peda. These optimally sweet tiny Khoya balls were very delicious. They were quite different from their North Indian counterparts.
Overall it was such an enthralling and gratifying experience. The food in particular was truly impressive.
About the host – Anubhav Sapra:
Anubhav Sapra is an avid culinary explorer who loves to travel and explore different cuisine primarily the street food, not just for the sake of gustatory pleasure but also for quenching his deep thirst for nurturing new cultural connections through the kaleidoscopic canvas of food. He believes that the vibrant and delectable street food tradition across the globe has the power to bring communities together and foster harmonious human existence. To know more, visit www.anubhavsapra.com
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Text by Swetaleena Nayak