Assamese cuisine is a mixture of different indigenous styles, with considerable regional variation and some external influences. Although it is known for its limited use of spices, Assamese cuisine has strong flavors from its use of endemic herbs, fruits, and vegetables served fresh, dried or fermented. Fish is widely eaten. The region’s cuisine involves simple cooking processes. Bhuna, the gentle frying of spices before the addition of the main ingredients, generally common in Indian cooking, is absent in the cuisine of Assam. A traditional meal in Assam begins with a khar, a class of dishes named after the main ingredient and ends with a tenga, a sour dish. The food is usually served in bell metal utensils. Paan, the practice of chewing betel nut, generally concludes a meal.