Khadaa Tarkari / Amaranthus Stems Curry ( Yet another Rustic treat from Odisha )

'Khadaa Khia' in Odisha refers to the slang for an impoverished person who tries to pass off as belonging to a higher society. The term comes into use as 'khadaa' or the thickened stems of Amaranthus plant are mostly consumed by poor folks who do not have access to other vegetables. The plants require minimal care and grow wild in the mountainous areas where poor folks can forage some for their meals.

But since I have never embraced stereotypes, there is no question of reinforcing them. Hence I was delighted when I first glimpsed this vegetable in Bangalore (Bellandur market to be precise).  The stems can be made into a stir fry, added to curries and sometimes also to 'Kanji' while the leaves can go into a kharada or bhaja. Some folks also make a very delicious preparation with Khada, dried jackfruit seeds and badi.

Read on for my favorite preparation with 'Khadaa' -



















Preparation Time - 20 mins ( plus 10-15 mins for cleaning and chopping )

Ingredients -
  • 2 cups tender khadaa /amaranthus stems
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin ( peeled and chopped into small pieces )
  • 1/2 cup ridge gourd ( peeled and chopped into small pieces )
  • 1/4 cup potato ( peeled and chopped into small pieces )
  • 1 medium sized onion (roughly chopped)
  • 1-2 garlic flakes (slightly crushed)
  • 1-2 dry red chilis
  • 1/5 tsp turmeric
  • 1/5 tsp jeera powder
  • 1/2 tsp pancha phutana
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste


Preparation -  The khadaa  needs to be soaked in water for 1/2 hour and then washed 2-3 times with fresh water to dislodge any sand/mud sticking to them. Chop into 2 inch pieces and peel them .





















Cooking - Heat oil in a wok. Add the broken chili and pancha phutana. Once they start spluttering, add the chopped onion. Fry till they start turning red around the edges. Add the garlic and allow it to turn golden (but not brown).

Add the khadaa and other veggies at this point. Fry on medium flame for 3-5 mins.

Add about 1 1/2 cup water, salt, turmeric and jeera powder. Cover and cook till the all the vegetables are soft. If excess water remains, turn up heat for 2 mins.

Remove from the wok and serve hot with white rice.




Comments

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