Khatkhaten/Goan Curry with assorted vegetables

Vegetables cooked in a simple coconut-dal based curry and flavored with tefal aka sichuan pepper.

Khatkhaten/Goan Curry with assorted vegetables
Khatkhaten/Goan Curry with assorted vegetables

Khatkhaten is a very authentic Goan dish made with vegetables. Most parts of India have a mixed vegetable curry of some sort. In Kerala, it is Avial. In Bengal, it is Shukto or ghonto perhaps and in Goa, it is Khatkhaten. This dish is found in a pooja meal or meatless days in Goa, Mondays/Thursdays being the most common.

This dish pretty much uses all kinds of vegetables except the leafy ones. But those who absolutely love this dish, go the extra mile and add the thick stems of leaves such as Vaalchi bhaji. It is actually a good way to finish a little bit of this and a little bit of that vegetable lying in your fridge. The most authentic taste is achieved by using vegetables such as pumpkin, green papaya and ridge gourd but it can pretty much be prepared with any vegetable. Tefal/Sichaun Pepper gives it a very unique aromatic flavor and should not be skipped.

My parents grew up eating this as a 10 am mid-morning snack. Sounds weird but yes. All the kids would get home during their morning school break and be served this dish. Now if I think about it, it is a perfect snack which is low on simple carbs and gives you a healthy dose of vitamins. Infact, that is what my mom told us when we were younger.

Khatkhaten/Goan Curry with assorted vegetables
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Ingredients
  1. Vegetables: Total about 4 cups all together
Hard Vegetables such as
  1. Carrots, Green Beans, Radish/Dikon, Kohlrabi/Gaddo, Corn pieces, potato, beets or any other vegetable of choice
Vegetables that cook fast such as
  1. Pumpkin, Cauliflower, Eggplant/Brinjal, Bhendi/Okra or your choice
Other Ingredients
  1. Vatana - 1/4th cup
  2. Toor dal - 1/4th cup
  3. Shredded Coconut - About 3/4th cup
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/4th tspn
  5. Red Chili Powder - to taste
  6. Tamarind - a marble sized ball
  7. Jaggery - About 2 tspns or to taste
  8. Sichuan Pepper/Tefal - a small handful, crushed lightly
  9. Salt - to taste
  10. Kokum/Sola - 2-3, Optional
Instructions
  1. 1) Wask and soak vatana/white round Chana overnight on the previous day.
  2. 2) On the day of making the dish, wash and soak toor dal for about 20 minutes.
  3. 3) Transfer dal, chana and all hard vegetables to a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 tspn salt, 1/4th tspn red chili powder and pressure cook on high for 1 whistle and on medium low for 2-3 more whistles. Don't let the vegetables get mushy. They should be tender.
  4. 4) Separately in a big pot/vessel, bring about 1/2 cup water to boil. Add the soft vegetables and 1/2 tspn salt and 1/4th tspn red chili powder and let cook until vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. 5) Meanwhile, grind the coconut, turmeric powder, red chili powder, jaggery and tamarind to a fine paste using enough water.
  6. 6) Once the vegetables in the pot are cooked, transfer the vegetables from the cooker to the pot, add the ground masala. Adjust consistency and seasoning if needed. Add Kokum if desired and bring the mixture to a boil.
  7. 7) Add tefal, mix well and switch off the flame. Let stand covered for 4-5 minutes to let the flavors marry.
Notes
  1. Serves: About 8
Tip
  1. 1) If adding Kokum, adjust the amount of tamarind used for grinding.
  2. 2) Do not use tomatoes for this dish.
  3. 3) The simple rule to follow here is that any hard vegetable gets cooked in the pressure cooker and a vegetable that cooks fast gets cooked on the stove top in a pot.
  4. 4) Enjoy this dish by itself or with roti or as a side to a rice based meal.
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