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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Khatta Palanga Chutney

My grandma had a old tin stowed away in the corner of her room. We fondly referred to it as her 'bihana baksa' or seeds tin. She used to carefully collect the seeds from the plants once they had reached the end of their life cycle, dry them in the sun and then carefully wrap in small pieces of paper. These small parcels would be stored away till the next sowing season. I used to watch each step carefully and understand the process. In due course of time, I was able to identify most of the seeds. But during the initial days I used to get all confused with the names. The only exception to this was the 'Khatta palanga' whose seeds were still contained in small pretty flowers when we dried and stored them. It made the identification a breeze.

Khatta palanga or 'khatta palak' or 'chukka kura' leaves have a sour taste ( something like the 'Gongura' leaves used in South indian cusine ). This chutney combines the sour taste of these leaves with sugar/jaggery to get a wonderful side dish that gets ready in no time at all !!

Cooking Time required: 10 mins
Cost of preparation: 10-15 rupees

  • 3 cups Khatta palanga Saaga ( loosely packed )
  • 1 small onion ( chopped into medium sized pieces )
  • 1/3 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 whole red chillis
  • 1/5 tsp pancha-phutana
  • 3-4 tsp sugar/jaggery
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Cooking: Wash the saag and cut into large pieces.

Heat oil in a wok. Add the pancha-phutana. Break the red chilli into 2-3 pieces and add to wok.

Add the onions and fry till translucent.

Add the washed palanga leaves. Sprinkle salt and chilli powder. Cover with lid and stir at intervals.

Cook till the leaves soften and turn mashy. Add sugar and mix well. Cook till the
sugar/jaggery melts and mixes with the saaga. Remove from the fire.

Serve with rice/rotis.


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