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.