Thursday, August 27, 2009

Khar of Assam - An indigenous way of making bio-antacid

This is how khar (a bio-antacid)is made in my house.To make this BHEEM-KOL(a heavily seeded variety of banana)is used.Khar is an indispensable item in an Assamese household.......its a handy antacid and is also helpful in soothing a sore throat.Its a must have in every Assamese house.Displayed here is Bheem kol ...you can see it is heavily seeded....this banana is known to have beneficial properties ,for ages it is considered as an option for first baby food(seeds are removed and mixed with rice flour).We sun dried the banana peel . Once fully dried we burn the peels in an iron vessel.........the ashes which remain is collected. A muslin cloth is used to drain the extract,traditionally , a coconut shell is used to strain the same.Plain drinking water is poured over it and in an hour or so you get this clear liquid which is stored at room temperature for months. It is of a very strong strength so very little quantity is used at a time(1 tbs approx).A dish is made using this ....a raw papaya or cucumber or bottle gourd is cut in small pieces to which salt and desired khaar is added ...cooked in medium heat..very often small fishes are added to it too. I am only focusing the folk medicine culture in our food habits .If somebody is interested an expert advice is suggested.

32 comments:

  1. This was very interesting, Kavita. It's intriguing to hear of another kind of banana. I just know of the Bluefield and Apple bananas that we have in Hawaii. I haven't seen any with bigger seeds. It also never occurred to me that you could do something with the peels. Wow!

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  2. @Kay
    (* following information needs verification.*)
    I know two Varieties of bananas which have Seeds, Bhim Kol (Musa pardisiaca) and Manohar Kol whose scientific name I don't know. Basically these fall under the classification of wild bananas. And seedless bananas are known as desserts.

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  3. Thanks for the detailed post and the medical benefits of this. Keep posting such articles :)

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  4. Wow this is something totally new to me. burn the peel after drying? and the ash mixed with water is sieved in muslin. This is very new to me. thanks a lot for sharing Kavita. Your blog is so full of culture and tradition, I simply love to learn from it.

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  5. Good Information, In JAin families ,many are processin in the same way.

    My mother also prepares Khar for making Papad atta

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  6. I never knew this...wow.
    Your blog is a treasure cove. Keep writing about these old age traditions and remedies. They are slowly getting lost.

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  7. This is quite an interesting post. I never heard of such a home remedy. Where I grew up they used to call it "athali Kola".
    We used be cheated every time by the people who came down to sell banana trees to our home. We were assured that those were good variety of banana trees but inevitably they used to turn out to be this seedy variety of banana.
    Our post reminded me of our house and I could see all those trees and plants in front of my eyes for a flashing moment.

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  8. I am hearing this medicinal banana for the first time. I think I have seen this banana but always thought that it is useless. Your information is going to be very useful. Both of us, I and my husband have got sore throat year round because of the heavy pollution here. Let me try to locate the banana now. Thank you.

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  9. Very interesting. Always something new to learn.
    Sunny :)

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  10. Kavita hi..i know the recent loss must have been tough on you..this post has been so well presented u ll win hands down as a journalist..Dr..take care..best wishes always

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  11. I love bananas and always have some in the house, so it was very interesting to learn all this great info.
    Great post...thank you for sharing, Kavita!

    Happy day to you!

    Margie:)

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  12. Of-course yours is a much different banana than the ones I have.

    Margie:)

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  13. THANKS, that was really a good piece of info. We in kerala also use similar small banana as first baby food. I think its dried and powdered. I dont know much about it but i feel our cultures are so similar, though we are thousands of KMS apart. This is perhaps is what "Unity in diversity means", per se.

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  14. hmmm, very interesting. I suffer from GERD (acid reflux). My gastroenterologist prescribes PROTONIX for it. It comes in a small pill that I take with water every morning. It works!

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  15. I did not know there were so many different kinds of bananas or so many uses for those that we do have.

    Thanks for visiting my Pick a Peck of Pixels and commenting on Baby Kitty.

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  16. Hmm...interesting. I have a sore throat right now, so this is helpful information.

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  17. fascinating process, interesting how so many different types of foods there are in the world and their uses.

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  18. This is very very interesting, Kavita. I've learned something new, I have only seen 3 varieties of bananas. Now I know another one. Thanks.

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  19. @KAY....Assam has a very fascinating food culture.Here we see a many varieties of bananas like ...Jahazee,Cheni champa,Malbhog(less sweeter),Khasia,Manohar,Bheem etc.

    @MOHAN..Welcome to my blog.Thanks .

    @SUJATA...its been now 14 years but even now i come across many such new things,still got to learn a lot from Assam.Thanks for your kind words,coming from you they mean a lot to me.

    @RAKESH....Welcome.Thanks for sharing your views.

    @APARNA.....Your words are very encouraging,keeps me motivated.Thanks a lot.

    @SUMANDEBRAY....You will find a lot of common threads here because of your childhood in NE,same like mine.Yes it is also called ATHIA KOL...it is an expensive banana now a days and hard to find ,my husband eats it regularly to control his BP.

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  20. @SANDHYA....BHEEM-KOL is not only an excellent food supplement for the kids but also for grown ups as it has some good effect on regulating BP.My husband eats it as whole discarding the seeds while rest of us ...wE mash the bananas soak it in drinking water for two to three hrs later strain it and consume the water .But like i added in my post one needs to seek an expert's advice too.

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  21. @SUNNY...thankyou.

    @RAMESH...thank you so much.

    @MARGIE...thank you.Assam has a lot of different varieties of banans.

    @ZB...you are absolutely right,the banana is dried,powdered and mixed with milk just like a commercial baby food..even i find a lot of similarities in our cultures.

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  22. @GIGI,ABRAHAM,LW,LIN,KATHY...thank you all for your kind words.Gigi these remedies are for our everyday use and for smaller problems.Bigger problems do need medical expertise.

    @DELLGIRL....you are welcome to my blog.Thanks.

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  23. We have this kind of banana in the country where i came from but I never knew that the skin has a very significant use to it. Thanks a lot for sharing..

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  24. This is a very interesting information, I never seen a banana like that yet..

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  25. Wow..this is really a very helpful information!!!
    Thanks!!

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  26. Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

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  27. My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

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  28. Hello Kavita,

    Thanks a lot for the informative post. Can you make the khar using any other variety of banana. I was told only "bheem" will do :)

    Thanks again!

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  29. Very much informative! I request you to write about some more Assamese traditional foods if possible. Let the world know what we have got! All the best.

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  30. Very much informative! I request you to write about some more traditional Assamese foods. Let the world know what we have got. All the best and keep up the good work.

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