Simmer and Stew - Khatkhate

Most regional cuisines have a dish that utilises a variety of vegetables in one go - avial, undhiyu, kurma to name a few. Khatkhate is our take on the same comforting classic. The name is onomatopoeic - 'khatkhatney" means to simmer or bubble at boiling point. Names of some Konkani dishes can really bring a smile to your face. I think our ancestors let their creativity loose when it came to naming dishes. Khatkhate, val val and chowchow are but a few examples of this talent!

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.


KHATKHATE (Mixed Vegetable Stew)
(serves 2-3)
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.
* To know more about teppal see here
* You can make khatkhate without the peas but they add a lovely texture to the dish in my opinion



Blogger Vaishali said...

Oh, Tirphal (or Theppal as they call it in my husband's family) has such an exquisite aroma. I had never tasted and/or sniffed it until marriage. When I first did, I just fell in love with it. Have you got those with you in the US, Ashwini? I didn't get any with me to Germany. Need to do it on my next trip. And I know something similar to Khatkhate. Don't recall the name now.
Anyway, great setting in the photograph!

2:13 AM  
Blogger Lakshmi said...

I heard of this dish, but haven't tasted it. Someday I'll give it a try.
nice one Ashwini.

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmm. looks so good! I love root vegetables and curries made with them are so yum! lovely picture!


8:12 AM  
Blogger author said...

aavais...khatkatyachi recipe paloun yaad aaile gharachi...
you must eb the first one on WWW to post a recipe of this famous dish...i did get some tirphal from india this time...tirphal just cannot match peppercorn!!

8:55 AM  
Blogger GourmayMasala said...

Ashwini - This is is the first time I've come across this dish. It may be a new taste, but it sounds so oddly familiar. A crude cross between the south indian aviyal and kootu. Great one!

And yes, this is the first time I've heard of triphal. Do write about it some time :)

10:29 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Vaishali - I did get them with me the last time but I have already run out (we use it in fish curries too). I agree the aroma is fabulous. What was the name of the dish? In my grandma's home khatkhate was also called kandamool (without tirphal and garlic). Is that it?
Thanks Lakshmi & SH
Supriya - Khatkhate is one dish that really symbolises 'home' doesnt it? I am so glad there is a recipe on the net now for whoever wants to try it :-)
And yes tirphal is in a class of its own. I dont know why such an aromatic pepper is not used more widely in India (maybe its our secret?!)

10:32 AM  
Blogger KA said...

Nice presentation Aswhini. Never heard of this before.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Vineela said...

Hi Ashwini,
Ya recipe looks delicious.
Nice Photos.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Kitchenmate said...

Ashwini: It gives some familiarity with Avial and picture setting is very cool. Why dont you post a pic of Tirphal, don't even know what it is??
Great recipe!!!

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini! You are at it again - reminding me of home and comfort food! We call this khath-khatha and it was usually made without garlic. Tirphal takes a lot of getting used to, for those who are not familiar with its unique flavor and aroma. If memory serves me right, the inner seed is discarded and just the outer dried shell is used, right? It's been ages since I even touched a tirphal but its memory and smell is etched on my senses!

9:19 PM  
Blogger Vaishali said...

I have blogged about a Kosumbari in the latest episode of my 'A Ton Of Protein' series. Why am writing about it here? I have featured it with your Gherkin-Cashew nut Upkari (with a link to your recipe, of course). I tried it out yesterday and it was fabulous. I will blog about it separately in my next edition of 'Blog Patrol'. I hope you don't mind.

3:28 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

GM - khatkhate is very popular among Saraswat or GSB families. This cuisine is comparatively unknown and what people know of it are usually the seafood preparations. It sounds familiar because it uses the same ingredients as South Indian dishes - coconut, plantain etc. but there is a huge difference in taste.
Thanks Krishna, Vineela and KM.
Manisha - sorry :-) If we stayed closer to each other I'd invite you over for a comfort dinner! You are absolutely right about tirphal. Its an acquired taste!
Vaishali - woohoo I am glad you liked my favorite upkari.

10:11 AM  
Blogger reshma said...

val val, isn't it a dainty looking white dish made of yam and ashgourd? coconut, pepper, kokum, and jaggery combined - that should make an intriguing dish. and Ashwini isn't there something called Hittu, steamed rice dumpling sort of snacks , my grandmother had Konkini neighbours, and though I can't remember tasting any of these dishes, the names remain in memory.loved that wooden spoon !

6:15 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Reshma obviously val val was not mysterious enough for you dear! You are right! Its made with yam, squash or gourd. I consider complexity a signature of Konkani dishes :-) Almost all dishes have a twist somewhere. Was this in Kerala? I have heard Konkani cuisine in Kerala has its own trademarks (these dishes are mostly of Karnataka). I am glad you liked the spoon. I was waiting for someone to comment on it! I picked it up at a crafts fair.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

omigawd! Your "khat khate" writeup brought back so many memories. I was brought up in Goa and my mom could never get us sisters to eat it though it was made very regularly with great gusto and wolfed down by everyone else. Now I suddenly find myself pining for it. And since I have a jar of fresh "trephal" in my pantry no excuse not to make it. BTW, there seems to be sudden fondness for "trephal" Shilpa of Aai's Recipes had blogged that she could'nt find any here in the U.S so I have just mailed her a packet and we should soon be seeing another "trephal" recipe from her on her blog.

Loved the spoon too. Very festive. Reminded me of wooden implements we used to get in "jaatras" in Goa.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Deepa - good to hear from you. And you are a kindred soul too where khatkhate is concerned :-) My mother used tirphal in two dishes mainly, khatkhate and bangda hoogi. So I will look forward to Shilpa's post. It will be good to know some more.
You made my day when you mentioned Goa jatras. That is the very reason I picked up the spoon. Because it reminded me of the wooden toys I used to play with :-)

12:36 AM  
Blogger BDSN said...

the picture is very colorful ashwini..i really dint know that chowchow is a konkani dish...wow!!
ur dish reminds me of avial but the avial i make has lots of yogurt and lots of veggies too...

12:17 PM  
Blogger RP said...

Looks yummy. New to me though. Hmmm I have seen a lot of new recipes today.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Vaishali said...

Hi Ashwini,
Another edition of 'Blog Patrol' is up. It features amongst other things your Gherkin Upkari, as I had mentioned it a couple of days back. Please check it out, if you like. Here's the link.


Btw, you have changed the picture in that post, haven't you?

3:04 AM  
Blogger Admin said...

That sure was a funny nomenclature, lol.. The dish looks yummy... i am always loooking for good vege recipes

7:11 AM  
Blogger brad said...

Nice spoon.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Menu Today said...

This recipe new to me. Thanx for sharing.

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Triphal is pronounced like Tephala
Triphal is in tamadi konkani(Bambaiya konkani)

Nice to see this blog
Goyachi yaad ayali

I am also in USA.
Where exactly you are located in USA


11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello...I live in the US but we used to make this dish on the first day of Ganpati Celebrations. I thought I should try googling the recipe before I called my mom and was surprised to see the recipe here. Just wanted to thank you for the same. Ganpati Bappa Morya!

1:15 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Manisha, thanks for dropping by. Tirphal is how it is pronounced in Marathi btw.

Anon - Isnt it weird how obsessive we get about getting the menu right when we are away from home?!
I am sure Ganpati bappa will be happy about this!!

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini - I live in Bay Area too and trying to find Triphal. Can you get here or I am wasting my time. I was try and make your Doodhi dish. Thanks

1:17 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Sathya, welcome to FFT. As far as I know tirphal is not available anywhere in the US (my friends have searched every coast!)... I have seen sichuan pepper in Whole Foods but I dont think it's the same tirphal(though it comes close so you could try it).
Good luck!

1:22 PM  

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