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Assamese Cuisine - Khar

'KHAR' is one of the very popular and unique dish of Assam. The pure khar is prepared naturally from banana tree. Though any variety os banana can be used, the preferred banana for this is called 'Bheem Kol'. The cover of the banana is dried and then burnt to make ash out of it. Then water is filtered through the ashes. This water is called 'Khar' and used to cook delicious food dishes out of it. Khar is mixed with main ingredient of the dish along with some other spices and then fried. The ingredient may vary in wide range, from papaya to bottle guard, from fish to rice!

The natural khar which is extracted from banana is called 'Kol Khar'. People also use artificial khar readily available in market, which is nothing but baking soda(Sodium Bicarbonate). The tast khar dishes are part and parcel of Assamese Cuisine. It is always served as a part of the main meal like lunch. It is considered to be medicine for few diseases too. But it is not suggested to serve together with sour(acid) dishes. It is also believed to be making people lazy with heavy consumption of Khar! So the tradition says not to have it at night!

Photo of Bheem Kol(Banana)