Jolpan – Traditional Assamese Breakfast

Jolpan is a mini meal in Assam.It generally contains of some forms of rice like roasted and ground rice (xandoh), flattened(chira), puffed rice (muri) komal saul or cooked glutinous rice (bora saul). Generally they are are eaten along with curd or cream and jaggery. Flattened rice (Bora Dhan’or Cira) served with cream and a sweet instead of Jaggery
Jolpan which is a snack or breakfast or a mini meal, are often served at breakfast in the Cuisine of Assam, although they may also be served at Bihu festivals or weddings and other occasions too. The word jolpan includes all the preparations namely jolpan, pitha, laddu and tea. This unique variety of rice can  be eaten without cooking, just by soaking them and all these rice forms are eaten along with curd /yogurt (doi), jaggery (goor), and various pitha. Jolpan are also found in Bengal. The word literally derives from “water and betel leaf” but can mean any snack.

Various Types of jolpan :

Variations on jolpan include Bora saul, Komal Saul, Xandoh, Chira, Muri, Akhoi along with curd, jaggery, yogurt and various Pitha.

1) Bora saul : Bora saul is boiled and served as Jolpan with curd or milk, jaggery or sugar.

2) Komal Saul : Kumol saul is a unique type of rice from Assam that can be eaten without cooking. It is rendered fluffy and edible by being soaked in water for a short time. The rice may be eaten with milk or curd, jaggery, yogurt after being immersed in warm water for just fifteen minutes or so.

3) Xandoh : It is prepared from Kola bora, Ghiu bora, Pakhi bora or Ronga bora (varieties of Bora saul). The rice is soaked for three to four days and then it is fried. The fried rice is pounded in dheki, a homemade wooden mill in Assam to pound grains, and sifted to dehusk. Now the pounded and dehusked rice is again fried in hot sand and thus Hurum is prepared. It is served with curd, hot milk, yogurt, sugar or jaggery.

4) Chira : Chira (Flattened rice, also called beaten rice) is a dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. It can be eaten raw by immersing it in plain water or milk or curd, with salt or sugar or jaggery to taste, or lightly fried in oil.

5) Muri : Muri (puffed rice) is made by heating sand in a pot, and then throwing in grains of rice. The rice may be washed in brine to provide seasoning. The rice puffs up and is separated from the sand by a strainer. It is served with hot milk or curd and jaggery or sugar.

6) Sunga Saul : Dehusked Aroi bora saul is soaked for 2/3 hours. Then it is put in an immature bamboo tube and a little water or sometimes coconut milk is added to it. Banana leaf is used as cork. The tube is roasted in fire and Sunga saul is prepared. Removing the tube the substance is served with curd, hot milk, yogurt, sugar etc.

How to make Jolpan of Chira-Mudhi-Xandoh-Komal Saul-Doi-Goor :

Wash and soak the Chira-Mudhi-Xandoh-Komal Saul for few minutes (say 2-5 minutes). In case of Mudhi-Xandoh don’t put water on this and if Komal Saul soak for at least 10-15minutes. In a bowl just spread the Chira-Mudhi-Xandoh-Komal Saul and jaggery /goor as needed. Now add curd /yogurt – doi above to it.

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