Sunday, July 6, 2014

Maasor Tenga - a light and sour fish curry - Assamese soul food

Another very quick and short post. Sharing this recipe has been long due. Maasor Tenga is a very light, flavourful sour fish curry - an integral dish of Assamese cuisine. In assam they love their fish - all kinds of fresh water fish - big - small all kinds. And they also like to keep the dishes simple - minimal use of spices so that the freshness of the fish shines through. I still have a very limited knowledge of Assamese cuisine but I am well versed with a few dishes - like this one. You will be surprised when you see the list of ingredients used. Again , this dish is made differently in different household but the basic essence of the dish remains the same - its simplicity! You may use any kind of fresh water fish - best would be to use rohu /katla or aar fish. The most popular tenga is made with tomatoes with the addition of lime juice and traditionally thekera (dried mangosteen ) is also used.

I have used aar maach ( sperata aor ) here but rohu or katla can be used easily. I also added some potatoes coz I love my potatoes in the fish curry.Infact I would not eat the fish at times but would devour the potato and the broth with rice.


Aar/Rohu/Katla fish - 6 big pieces - lightly marinated with turmeric and salt and shallowed fried in mustard oil.

Tomatoes - 3 large - cut into thin long slices

Ginger - 1 tsp - grated

Potato - 1 large - cut into long slices(optional)

Fenugreek/methi seeds - 1 tsp

Turmeric/haldi powder - 1 heaped tsp

Red chilli powder - 1tsp (Optional)- I used it as I like the curry to a but hot

Fresh coriander leaves - a handful - finely chopped

Lime juice - 2 tbsp. - can be adjusted accordingly

Green chillies - 5-6 according to taste

Warm water - 2 big cups

Mustard oil - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste


In a deep bottomed pan/kadhai  heat the mustard oil. Splutter the fenugreek/methi seeds.

Next add the sliced tomatoes and the potatoes( if using). Fry till they turn light brown and the tomoatoes turn mushy.

Add the grated ginger,turmeri/haldi,red chilli powder(if using)  and mix everything well.

Add the two cups of water ( a little more if you want more broth) cover and let it cook till the potatoes are cooked.

Lastly add the pieces of the shallow fried fish , chopped coriander leaves,green chillies and the lime juice.

Let it simmer for 2-3 mins.Remove from heat and serve hot with plain rice.

You are going to love this. This is perfect for the summers!



  1. I made it today and its super yum. I dint have coriander leaves but think that would have taken the flavour to a different level. thanks for sharing this.


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