Delhi is a melting pot of cultures. People from different states have migrated to the city giving it a distinct culture. In a new series beginning today, HT City gets you into the life of some of these communities. We start with the people from Assam in the North East.
Delhi University has a large number of students from Assam. North Campus is the place where most Assamese students choose to stay in PG accommodations. Munirka, Malviya Nagar and South Extension in South Delhi are other areas where you find many Assamese youngsters living in PGs and in rented apartments.
“I’ve been living in Delhi for 11 years. When I miss home I go to Dilli Haat to have food. The other option is Assam House in Chanakyapuri,” says advertising professional Mitali Gohain. “On special occasions, we have community get-togethers at such places. We also hang out at the houses of other Assamese friends. There, we cook our own dishes such as hahor mankho (duck meat with pumpkin) and masor tenga (fish curry).”
The dining table
Not many Delhi restaurants serve authentic Assamese food. But no worry. The city’s Assamese population swears by the food served at the Assam stall in Dilli Haat. Also try Assam Bhavan in SP Marg (23015551) and Srimanta Sankara Deva Bhavan (26537786) in the Qutub Institutional Area. To cater to the student crowd, there are dabbawalas in North Delhi. For Assamese homestyle food, Lohit Da (9891158114) and Daadul Baruah (9990850749) are the popular dabbawalas. The tiffin is delivered twice a day for Rs. 1,800 a month. “Thrice a week, we serve egg, fish and chicken prepared in typical Assamese style using ingredients such as tomatoes, lemon, potatoes. A typical dabba consists of dal, chawal, sabzi and no roti because no one like to eat rotis in Assam,” says Baruah.
Mekhela Chador is the traditional dress of Assam. It is available at Assam Emporium (23344784) at Baba Kharak Singh Marg. “The annual Trade Fair is another place where we get everything from bamboo shoots to clothing items,” says Rip Saikia, a graphic designer. “Otherwise, there’s always the Avadh-Assam Express to go back to Guwahati.”