Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, Jan 11 - This is the seventh consecutive year for Runjun Sonowal and her companions from Tinsukia district to lay a delectable collection of til pitha, narikal laru and a range of other delicacies for the ensuing Bhogali Bihu. For years, it is people like her who have been helping Guwahatians maintain the tradition and taste the most authentic traditional cuisines having the flavours of different parts of the State.
Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi busy grinding rice during a visit to a Bhogali Mela, in Guwahati on Thursday. – AT Photo
A festive atmosphere grips Guwahati with collections of Bihu essentials arranged in an eye-catching manner at small fairs that spring up in different parts of the city.
Ambari is a favourite destination for people coming out for Bhogali shopping as well as a number of small entrepreneurs who come from upper Assam and also those from adjacent Nalbari, Mangaldoi, Goalpara, etc.
Bhogali Ayojan and Bor Bhogali Utsav at the Lakhidhar Bora Kshetra here are big crowd pullers this season.
Apart from the indispensable til pitha, ghila pitha and different types of laru made from coconut, jaggery, sesame seeds, rice flour, puffed rice, etc., some of the exotic items like fresh cream, thick creamy curd from Sarbhog, golden honey and also the spicy pickles get the maximum buyers.
“Variety of rice is our speciality,” said Sewali Baruah, who has put up a stall at Ambari. Other than the aromatic joha rice that lends luxury to Uruka night’s feast, we have bora chaul, another Bihu must buy komal (soft) chaul and flattened rice (chira) made with bora rice and other rice varieties.
“Guwahati is a good market for such mostly homemade items as the city lifestyle and work schedule of people do not allow them to indulge in such community activities like grinding the rice or preparing the delicacies. Also, the necessary apparatus and expertise required for the elaborate arrangement are a little inconvenient in cities,” added Sewali.
Bihu at Hayat: Hayat Hospital celebrated the pre-Bhogali Bihu festival on the hospital premises with all its patients and their attendants with a purpose to make them feel at home.
Veteran Assamese singer Dwipen Baruah, actor Chetana Das and Bihu Samrat Somnath Bora attended the programme held on the occasion. A cultural programme completed the Bihu celebration where the medical director Dr Hemjit Talukdar, executive director Dr Anjan Kr Saikia and general manager Paragjyoti Dutta took part. Patients, attendants and hospital staff partook in a feast of laru, pitha and other traditional Bogali Bihu delicacies.
Chira-doi contest: The West Assam Milk Producers’ Cooperative Limited (WAMUL), more popular as Purabi Dairy, is organising a chira-doi eating competition at the Guwahati Press Club tomorrow from 2 pm for the journalists and media workers based in Guwahati.
The best three contestants would walk away with trophies and gift hampers containing curd and milk from Purabi Dairy.
In the prelim rounds, each of the contestants would be given 200 grams of curd and 200 grams of flattened rice. In subsequent rounds, 100 grams of each of the products would be added phase-wise. The contestants would be given a time of three minutes to lap up the chira-doi concoction along with jaggery, sugar or salt as preferred by the contestants.