Thursday, October 10, 2013

Brengjithai: Cooking In Bamboo


For this kind of cooking, freshly cut green bamboo is best. Although I didn't have access to that I used one that was still green but wasn't fresh. It somehow worked as I kept the flames low and it took a longer time to cook. But the result was worth the wait!

Using bamboo in order to cook rice or vegetables is common in our region. Leafy greens like amaranth, spinach, mustard greens and tender lai ( a variety of Brassica) taste so delicious cooked inside a bamboo hollow with the flames never too high as we don't want the bamboo to burn to cinders. Recently I also came across a Thai recipe about cooking fish wrapped in turmeric leaves and cooked in bamboo. I can imagine how magical that taste and smell would be...! That's surely going to happen here next!

The best part about this method of cooking is that the ingredients go in all at once inside the hollow. Then they are tightly packed with the help of a bamboo stick that we use to push the "stuffing" towards the bottom of the bamboo. The action is like using a mortar and pestle except that instead of "grinding", it is the "pushing" that you need to work on. The opening is sealed with banana leaves and placed on the fire. At regular intervals the bamboo is turned so that whatever's inside, is cooked evenly.
For this chutney, the ingredients that went in are: eggplants, chillies, salt, chopped onions, tomatoes, dried fish, and alkali. When the chutney was done, it was mashed with the stick when it was still hot from the fire  (the stick can be seen in the collage) and the contents poured in a bowl. Chopped serrated coriander was used for garnishing the dish.

I'm going on a short holiday to the northern part of our country. I'll be back to my regular visiting/commenting after I get back. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week!
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