Cook's Hideout: Assam -- Labra (Mixed Vegetable Curry)

April 03, 2014

Assam -- Labra (Mixed Vegetable Curry)

Blogging Marathon# 39 - Indian States: Day 3
State: Assam
Dish: Labra

Assam is a state in the North eastern part of India. It is located south of the Eastern Himalayas and comprises of the Brahmaputra and the Barak river valleys. It is surrounded by the six of the other Seven Sister States. Geographically Assam and the other sister states are connected to India via a narrow strip of land in West Bengal called the Silguri Corridor or 'Chicken's neck' (this is something new to me and wanted to share with all of you)
Cuisine: Because of the geographical location, Assam has both the mountains and plains which influence their style of cooking. It is a confluence of cooking habits of the hills that favor fermentation and drying as forms of food preservation and those from the plains that provide fresh vegetables and abundance of fish from the many rivers and ponds that run through the state. The cuisine is characterized by very little use of spices, little cooking over fire and the preparations are rarely elaborate.
Staple Food: Rice, Fish, Meat & Vegetables.
Specialties: Tenga (light and sour fish dish), Pura (Assamese version of smoked or barbecued meat or fish), Pitika (side dishes), Bor-a etc.,
Assam -- Labra (Mixed Vegetable Curry)

Today's Dish: So for today, I made Labra or mixed vegetable curry from Assam. The combination of ingredients was quite unusal and different for me. I was initially skeptical how the curry would taste with the sweet squash, pungent radish and mushy eggplant, but everything came together in a delicious way and the curry tasted awesome. Using mustard oil was another new addition for me and I really liked the subtle flavor it gave this dish. All in all this is a very hearty & delicious curry, perfect to serve with rice or roti.
I also made Assamese style Masoor dal along with white rice to make a complete meal.
Assam -- Labra (Mixed Vegetable Curry)
Recipe from Sunita's space.
Ingredients: Makes about 2~3 servings
Pumpkin/ Butternut Squash - 2cups, diced (about ½ of a small pumpkin/ squash)
Daikon Radish - 1 medium, diced
Potato - 1 medium, diced
Eggplant - 1 medium, chopped
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Ginger - 1" piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Dry Red Chili - 1~2
Turmeric - ¼tsp
Ground Cumin - 1tsp
Garam Masala - ½tsp
Sugar - ½tsp
Salt - to taste

For Tempering:
Panch phoron - 1tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Dry red chili - 1

  • Grind onion, ginger, garlic and red chili to a smooth paste.
  • Heat 1tbsp mustard oil in a saute pan; add the tempering ingredients and once the seeds start to splutter, add the onion paste and cook stirring continuously until the mixture dries out and doesn't smell raw anymore.
  • Next add the veggies one after the other, making sure to mix well after adding each of the veggie.  Add turmeric, salt and sugar; mix well. Lower the heat and cook covered until the veggies are half cooked.
  • Add ground cumin and mix well. Add 1cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the veggies are tender, eggplant should very mushy; squash, potatoes and radish should be cooked through.
  • Add garam masala and cook for 3~4 minutes. Curry should not be too dry.
Assam -- Labra (Mixed Vegetable Curry)
Serve hot with steamed rice and dal.

Assamese Masoor Dal: Recipe from here.
Masoor Dal (red lentils) - ½cup
Tomatoes - 2 medium, quartered
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Turmeric - ¼tsp
Salt - to taste
Cilantro - chopped, for garnish


  • Pressure cook masoor dal along with the chopped tomatoes and enough water until tender. Alternately cook dal in a pan on the stove.
  • Once the cooker cools down, open the lid and fish out and discard the tomato skins.
  • In a small pan/ kadai, heat 1tsp mustard oil and add the mustard seeds, once the seeds start to splutter, add it to the dal.
  • Add turmeric and salt to the dal and cook for 4~5 minutes. Add some water if the dal looks too thick. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 39.



  1. Very flavorful and healthy curry.. looks great!

  2. wow thats an super aromatic labra :) looks very very delicious and yummy dear :)

  3. Very flavorful curry. Love those cute terra cotta bowls..

  4. flavorful labra and comforting dal pavani!!! i personally loved the labra, i too was skeptical with adding the pumpkin, since it will turn the dish a bit sweet , but to my surprise,it turned out well and we enjoyed it good.

  5. Mix veg curry looks delicious ! Lovely combination ......

  6. Labra looks like a star recipe today, i can finish that bowl with some rice and papads.

  7. The labra is perfect. Looks colorful and delicious. Very nicely done.

  8. As yesterday was thupka day, today is labra day. Labra is everywhere and your version looks so inviting...

  9. that bowl is so cute!!! love it!!

  10. It's raining Labra today?..that bowl looks so good Pavani..

  11. Labra sounds interesting and the color of the curry...

  12. Lovely dish pavani! Where is your dal picture? Also those earthern pots look very cute and apt for the post :)

  13. I dont know whether I commented you are not.. Labra looks delicious..

  14. love the way you presented it...the pots and glass....have the same matki glasses:))..and love that entire set up..

  15. labra seems to be the dish of the day for assam. yours looks too good

  16. I thought I commented here. Sorry. Your labra looks awesome. I wish I can eat it now.

  17. Looks so yum.. I will make it very soon..

  18. Curry looks nice. I will be making this soon :)

  19. Labra looks like a flavorful curry.

  20. A flavorful vegetable medley there. This is one of the versions that is tempting me to try.


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