Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Palaeng Xaakor Khar

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. These two dishes characterize a traditional meal in Assam.

The khar is a signature class of preparations made with a key ingredient, also called khar. The traditional ingredient is made by filtering water through the ashes of a banana tree, which is then called kola khar (The name derived from the locale term of Banana, "Kol" or "Kola"). A traditional meal invariably begins with a khar dish, made of raw papaya, pulses or any other main ingredient. Xôkôta: It is a severely bitter type of preparation. It is prepared with dry jute leaf, urad bean and khar. 

However, the combination of Khar (alkaline) and Tenga (acidic) is not recommended.

This time I prepared the "khar" for the first time. It went very well. I found the recipe from my friends mother. Here is the recipe which I followed. Hope you try & like it :)


3 cups spinach washed ,chopped and drained
3 tbsp kola khar
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp mustard oil
3tbsp of red lentils
1/2 cup water approx
salt to taste


1. Wash ,soak lentil for 1/2 hour.
2. Heat oil and add garlic.
3. Stir-fry and add lentils
4. Add the spinach and stir well.
5. Add the kola khar and salt.
6. Add a little water and simmer it till the gravy is thick.
7. Garnish with some mustard oil and chili
8. Serve with hot boiled rice.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cabbage with Hilsa

Chhyanchra is a very popular delicacy from the Bengali cuisine made with mixed vegetable and fish head.  Chhyanchra is also popularly known as Chancharika is various other places. It is a authentic Bengali recipe that can be very lucidly described as a curry made of one or different types of herbs put together along with vegetables (mainly potatoes and pumpkin) and fish head. For more info click here.

half of bandhakopi \ cabbage
2 potatoes
1 tsp of turmeric powder
2 tsp of red pepper powder
2 tsp of coriander powder
1 bay leaf
½ tsp of panch phoron
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt as per taste
1 Head of Ilish (you can use other Big fishes)

For Ilish fish head:
1 tsp of Turmeric powder +some salt


1. Finely chop cabbage, cut potatoes in medium cube shapes and clean in water.

2. In a separate saucepan ,heat some oil, and fry marinated the fish head uniformly. Take out the fried ilish fish head, and take some of the cooking oil to add later in preparing chhyanchra.

3. Now in the cooking oil which comes out after frying ilish head , add some more oil 2-3 tbs , add panch phoron and bay leaf , let it splutter.

5. Now add potato pieces, fry them well , add all the masala ingredients, sugar and salt.

6. Add cabbage. Fry for 4-5mins.

7. At this moment add the ilish fish head and water/fish stalk if any (if you don’t feel like adding the  gravy, don’t add it , the chhyachra will be a bit dry).

8. Cover the pan & let it cook for 8-9mins. Do not forget to toss after every 2-3mins.

9. Turn off the flame and let it cool and serve with steamed rice or roti.

Daal with Eggplant

These days are really going fast & I hardly find time to post my recipes. There are so may things I want to share. Now just waiting for February, hope to get some free time then.

Here is one of my favorite dish - Begun diye Muger Daal (Sona moong daal with Eggplant). I first had this in my Boromami's house. My Boromami, Geeta Sengupta, a housemaker, a very good cook, always tries to prepare the same daily food in a different tasty way. I miss her food, here is one for her.

1 Eggplant
1/2 cup sona moong daal
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
1 tbspn oil
1/2 tspn cumin seeds
1/2 tspn grated ginger
1 bay leaf
1/2 tspn ghee

2 cups of water
Salt to taste


1. Cut eggplant into medium pieces. Heat oil in a kadai & shallow fry the eggplant pieces.

2. Pressure cook the daal with 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder until done. Wait for 10 minutes for the pressure to release.

3. Heat the oil in the pan, add cumin seeds and allow to pop-up.

4. Add the ginger and bay leaf, stir for a minute.

5. Add the ghee and pour the daal over it & cook on high heat. If required you can add more water. When bubble starts to appear, add the fried eggplants. Add sugar & salt (if salt is required). Cook on low heat for 5-7 mins.