Black Sesame Seed Chicken (Til Diya Murgi Mangxo)
Black Sesame seed is widely used in Assamese Cooking and loved by our people, it finds itself in the sweet as well savoury dishes. Til Pitha one of the quintessential Assamese sweet has a filling of ground Sesame seed hence the name Til Pitha. Til in local parlance means Sesame seed. Surprisingly , the use of white Sesame is not prevalent in our cooking. Magh Bihu or the Bihu that falls in the month of January, heralds the end of the harvest and there is a feeling of accomplishment and contentment. Since, this is a harvest festival, people celebrate with much fervour. Many delicacies are prepared and relished by all.
The chicken in a more curry/gravy style
One dish that always marks Magh Bihu in our family is " Til diya Maas", and it has to be " Kawoi Maas in a creamy, velvety sesame curry served with fresh harvested " Joha Bhaat" ,( joha is a small grained fragrant variety of rice). This is a marriage made in heaven, the creamy gravy smothering the white steamed small grains of rice with a dash of kaji nemu. Traditionally, fish is cooked with sesame seed paste, however, chicken too is cooked in the same way and it is equally delicious.
The chicken when served in an Assamese Thali
I always serve Til Diya Chicken during my food promotion and it has never failed, living up to its reputation and always a big hit with the patrons. It gives me so much joy to be able to take our cuisine and serve in different cities and share a bit of our history and culture. Rest of the country always views the North Eastern part of the country as something very exotic and I'm both surprised by so many cliched notions and perception, people have. So, food helps to demystify these perception breaking down the barriers.
I promised a fellow foodie that I would share this recipe here, so she can cook in the comfort of her kitchen during this lockdown and still enjoy an Assamese dish in a far away city.
Til Diya Chicken as served in ThirstyCity127, Mumbai
Again a more dry version of the chicken, served with black sesame rice and stir-fried greens
Would love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe.
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