3 Simple and Delicious Assamese Veg Khar Recipes

‘Khar’ is a significant aspect of Assamese cuisine. A bowl of khar is considered as a ‘starter’ according to the tradition of the state. The specialty of this type of dish is its key ingredient ‘kola khar’, which is prepared by sun drying the peels of a banana tree trunk, burning them to ashes, and filtering water through them respectively. However, this ‘kola khar’ can also be replaced with sodium bi-carbonate or baking soda. There are a variety of khar recipes and we have selected 3 most simple yet delectable ones among them:

1. Spinach Khar (Paleng Xaakor Khar)

Spinach Khar (Paleng Xaakor Khar)


  • Fresh spinach (Paleng Xaak) – 2 medium branches
  • Split pigeon peas (toor daal) – 4 tablespoons
  • Kola khar / baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Garlic – 2 to 3 cloves
  • Green chili – 2 to 3
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Water – (1/2) cup


At first, wash split pigeon peas under running water. Then, soak them in fresh clean water for half an hour. Heat up mustard oil in a medium-sized skillet. Put minced garlic cloves and chopped green chilies in it. Stir fry for a minute or two. Add soaked pigeon peas and finely shredded spinach to it. Keep stirring so that the spinach goes flaccid and becomes tender. Now, add salt, kola khar or baking soda and water to this mixture and cover the skillet with a lid. Adjust the flame to low and let the split pigeon peas get cooked. As soon as the entire thing turns mushy, turn off the heat.

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2. Mustard Green Khar (Lai Xaakor Khar)

Mustard Green Khar (Lai Xaakor Khar)


  • Mustard green (lai xaak) – 500 gm
  • Rice powder (khud chaul) – 3 tablespoons
  • Green chili – 2
  • Garlic – 8 cloves
  • Kola khar / baking soda – (1/2) teaspoon
  • Mustard oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Boiling water – 3 cups
  • Fresh coriander leaves – for garnishing


Clean mustard green properly and chop it up. Take a large wok with thick bottom and heat up mustard oil in it. Now, add chopped garlic and green chilies to the oil and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Once they become golden brown, put the chopped mustard green in the wok and sauté for a few minutes. Then, spread kola khar or baking soda over the entire thing and wait until the mustard green shrinks. Next, add rice powder, a pinch of salt and the boiling water to the mixture and keep stirring with a spoon. Once the concoction become thick, take the wok out of the heat and garnish the khar with chopped coriander leaves.

3. Pumpkin and White Gourd Khar (Kumura aru Rongalour Khar)

Pumpkin and White Gourd Khar (Kumura aru Rongalour Khar)


  • Pumpkin – 250 gm
  • Leaves of white gourd – 250gm
  • Onion – 2 large
  • Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves
  • Green chili – 4
  • Mustard oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Five spices – (1/2) teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Kola khar / baking soda – 1 tablespoon


Chop up pumpkin and white gourd leaves finely and then mash them together with a little salt. Set the mixture aside for some time. Heat the mustard oil in a medium-sized pan. Add five spices and minced green chilies to it. Fry for a few seconds. Then, add thinly sliced onion to the pan and sauté until it turns golden brown. Mince the garlic cloves and add them to the onion. Stir fry for 1 or 2 minutes. At last, pour the pumpkin-white gourd leaves mixture into the pan and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Also, add the kola khar or baking soda to the entire thing and cover the pan by adjusting the flame to low. After 12 to 15 minutes, remove the cover and serve your khar with steaming rice.

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About the author


A digital media professional, an ardent beauty lover and a passionate foodie – this is what describes Nilankeeta in a nutshell. She is in a serious relationship with music and can’t think of a life without family, friends, and online shopping. When not working on projects or experimenting with foods or humming a new tune, you can find her relishing sarcastic stories saturated in humor and wit.