Simmer and Stew - Khatkhate
Khatkhate was always a part of the Ganesh chaturthi lunch at my grandparents' house, made with root vegetables available during the season. As a child I used to drown it in yogurt because five different vegetables were a bit too much to handle at that age! And more importantly I wanted to move on to the 'modaks' fast :-). The adults at the table on the other hand felt just the opposite, often raving about its complex taste and texture.
Khatkhate has a distinctive flavor because it uses a pepper called tepphal (tirphal) available in the region. You can use peppercorns as a substitute.
2-3 cups of vegetables cut into big chunks (carrot, radish, gourds, plantain, beans, potato, yam, pumpkin and corn cobs)
a handful of dried white peas (chana)
2 tirphal/ peppercorns
a walnut size ball of jaggery
2 kokum pieces or 1 tsp tamarind paste
salt to taste
Grind to a fine paste with a little water -
1/2 cup of grated coconut
2 dry red chillies (this will vary depending on the chillies you use)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Soak the peas in water overnight. Cook with enough water in a deep sauce pan or pressure cooker until tender.
In another pan put the vegetables with just enough water to cook them. Khatkhate is of a thick consistency so don't add too much water. Also don't overcook the vegetables. I usually add them in stages depending on how long it takes to cook each.
Crush tirphal/ peppercorns coarsely and add to cooked vegetables. Add the coconut paste along with peas and mix well.
Next add jaggery, salt and kokum/ tamarind. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, top with yogurt if preferred and serve.
* You can make khatkhate without the peas but they add a lovely texture to the dish in my opinion