A Bodo Culinary Detour

Other Cuisines

Marga's Food logo


The Bodo people are the largest minority ethnic group in Assam. They seem to have come from Tibet and Southern China, and speak a variety of Tibetan-Burmese languages, which might have evolved from a single lingua franca. They have long practiced shifting agriculture, and during medieval times they apparently were organized into kingdoms. They are divided into multiple tribes, which are surprisingly culturally diverse. I explored the cuisine of one of them, the Garo, recently and will visit others as well.

For my quick sojourn into Bodo cuisine, this is the recipe I made:

Bwrma Bedor Wngkhree

Lamb Curry with Sichuan pepper

Lamb Curry with Sichuan pepper

This Bodo dish is a pretty standard curry, distinguished by the use of Sichuan peppercorns. I'm not sure, however, that they did much for the dish beyond adding some bitterness which I wasn't too fond of. The curry smelled delicious, but I prefer sweeter/creamier curries, so I wouldn't put it among my favorites. Still, the lamb was impossibly tender and I loved it.

This is a dish that you definitely need to let rest for several hours or overnight before serving. The flavors need time to settle and mix.


Lamb Curry with Sichuan pepper


  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1" ginger root, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp Indian chili powder
  • 5 Sichuan peppercorns, ground
  • 3 Tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 lbs lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • 2 Indian bay leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped


Purée the onions, garlic and ginger together using a food processor or electric blender (alternatively, finely chop them and pound them using a mortar and pestle).

In a small bowl, mix turmeric, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves and pepper together.

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion-garlic paste and spices and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly brown. Add the lamb, potatoes, bay leaves and salt to taste and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until browned. Add the water, bring to a boil, then partially cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until the lamb and potatoes are cooked through and the sauce has reduced to a thick gravy. Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.

Adapted from Ruprekha's recipe at Feelings

Other Indian cuisines I've cooked: A'chick Mande/Garo, Indian, Anglo-Indian, Assamese, Awadhi, Balti, Bangladeshi, Bengali, Bene Israel, Bodo, Chettinad, Cochin Jewish, Dogra, Dum Pukht, Goan, Gujarati, Haryanvi, Hyderabadi, Indo-Chinese

Do you have a comment on this cuisine? Please make it here