27 Oct Pigeon meat with black pepper( Paro Mangsho jaluk diya)-A rustic Assamese style
I know, I might even get into trouble or even perhaps lead things upto a hot debatable topic of relishing Pigeon meat! Well ,the fact of the matter is that Pigeon meat ( Paror Mangsho as we call it in Assamese where “Paro” connotes to Pigeon and “Mangsho” means meat) especially a rustic de-glam gravy has been a part of the ethnic delicacies of Assamese cuisine since time innumerable . Rooted by culture, pigeon meat amongst the other type of meats like, chicken, duck, mutton was and is still savored as a specialty and is exquisite. But I know, here in Mumbai, people and my friends are aghast when I recount stories of pigeon delicacies. Never mind, the idea here is obviously to introduce or delineate culturally rooted recipes from the place that I originally belong to and hence pigeon meat forms a crux of the culinary delights
Years ago as a child, pigeon meat would frequent our kitchen as much as fish or meat would.In fact not just sold in the local markets, but my dad’s orderly/ peons would often bring us a pair of beautiful pigeons once they come back from their native village. As a token of appreciation or just out of goodness, most often I would see people gifting pigeons for a scrumptious meal.Now that’s how it was during that time, although I don’t see it much often now,. Not even sure if relishing pigeon meat at households still is common.Additionally its not really available that frequently in the local market
Varied preparations of Pegion Meat served at Delicacy Restaurant
The only place that you get to relish authentic pigeon dishes are the traditional Assamese cuisine restaurants. Thanks to the plethora of Restaurants that serve authentic Assamese food, you are still exposed to the availibilty of pigeon meat cooked with varied ingredients.
Restaurants like Delicacy, Maan dhaniya, Bhut jolokia, Akou Juti logai khau, Akhol, Khorikaa and the age old Paradise all of them serve the most authentic Assamese dishes.Be it duck, chicken, pigeon, fish, pork, all under one roof and varied type of preparations. Like ,you could have pigeon with black pepper, pigeon with banana flower, pigeon soup etc.
So out of the list of food that I wanted to relish on my vacation home this time, pigeon meat topped the list. Knowing how difficult it would be to get the same we went off to Delicacy, my most favorite restaurant serving authentic Assamese Cuisine.
Absolutely delicious food, traditional and the most authentic dishes that was served, yet my desire and craving for Pigeon meat was unrelenting.One meal wasn’t enough to satiate my taste buds. I don’t even remember how many decades back was my last taste of this awesome meat.So next, I went off with my mom and aunts to the local market and ensured I got a pair of pigeons .Like you see in the pic above, you would see pigeons/ duck/ chicken kept inside a bamboo made box by the local sellers. The buyer can choose his pick and the same would be sold to him..That’s how most local meat( chicken/pigeon and duck) is sold except mutton which always is sold in a specific butcher’s shop.On the local markets, they belong to a different league..fresh veggies ,fruits, grains or meta and fish, they offer everything that you wish .Negotiations are hilarious coz practically every shop needs negotiation, but in the end you end up feeling happy with your bagful of groceries bought.
And after decades I saw pigeon meat in the kitchen.For me it was the best meal that i had in this vacation and will remain etched in memory for quite some time. Absolutely yummy with a runny gravy it was just perfect with steamed rice, exactly the way i relished it during childhood
Pigeon: A pair
Oil- 2 tbsp
Onions- 2 chopped
ginger paste- 1 tsp
garlic paste- 1 tsp
coriander powder- 1 tbsp
coriander powder- 1 tsp
green chillies- 2 chopped
turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
black pepper powder- 1 tbsp
coriander leaves- few
- Wash the meat and mix with turmeric, onion, ginger garlic paste, a little oil, and keep aside for 1 hour
- In a pan, add oil.When smoking hot add the chopped onions. Fry on medium flame till they are translucent
- Add the ginger garlic paste and chillies. Fry, add turmeric and fry a little more
- Add a paste of coriander-cumin powder mixed with a little water and add to the onion mixture. Fry till a nice aroma disperses
- Now add the meat and fry well. Add black pepper powder
- Fry on low flame well. Now add water and let it simmer on low flame.
- You can add Garam Masala if you desire.I didn’t
- Remove once done. Garnish with coriander leaves
Rustic ,simple and ostentatious and traditionally rooted it is beautifully done with the undertone of the fiery black pepper, the gravy is just perfect to go with rice.
While on the meat, yes it is a tad different in texture, not to mention the quantity which is rather a small one since the size of pigeons are small. The bones are extremely thin and which adds to the thin structure of meat that adjoins them. That”s probably one reason why many are not so fond of this version of meat.Like my brother was and never is fond of the taste. The pieces even if cut into large sizes gives out such less meat that you hardly get a feel of the taste and flavor is what many site as misgivings of pigeons meat. No such complains from me. Small or big, less or more, the taste ,texture is awesome and incredible to just go with a bowl of rice.
I can never get enough.Until I am ready for my next vacation home, it will remain a craving , a desire that which is insatiable .Till then the memories of my pigeon dishes are what I keep close to my heart.