Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Khotte - my way

My grandmother's house in South Mumbai was admired by all of our Konkani relatives. The reason was a big jackfruit tree within the compound(fence). The tree was so planted that its branches used to peer in grandma's kitchen balcony and window. What else does a Konkani want when jackfruit leaves are just within your arms reach? I mean devouring Khotte by just plucking those fresh jackfruit leaves right outside the kitchen window was a dream come true for the people in Mumbai.

Here in US, I haven't seen jackfruit leaves. I have seen the whole jackfruit in Chinatown, but am not so lucky to see the jackfruit leaves. Banana leaves are easily available in Chinatown. I use them to make panki, pannoli, ghavan etc. When I made pannoli, I thought of adding idli batter just the way I made pannoli. When I did it next time, I wanted to be even more adventurous. I decided to make a coneshaped roll of banana leaves, twisted a little at end so the batter won't drip and used a toothpick to hold the shape. (My grandmother used jackfruit leaves to make a cup and used small sticks called - choi -in Konkani to hold the shape). I poured idli batter and steamed it. Though it didn't have the same flavor of jackfruit leaves, it gave the flavor of banana leaves. It was unique as well. It sure was a delicacy and everyone was excited to open their individualized idli wrapper!

Khotte with Banana Leaves
Idlies steamed with banana leaves
Idli batter
Banana leaves

1. Cut  banana leaves into 4 rectangles each.
2. Roll into a cone shape. Twist at the bottom of each cone.
3. Use toothpick so each cone holds its shape. Keep all the cones ready.

4. Pour water in a steamer. Bring to boil.
5. Pour idli batter in each cone.
6. Place vertically so the batter won't drip. Cover with a lid
7. Steam for 25-30 minutes.
8. Serve hot khotte with chutney of your choice.

Note -
1. For a traditional flavor, serve khotte with a few drops of coconut oil.
2. First I tried steaming for 20 minutes. But it wasn't cooked the whole way. So I steamed it for 10 more minutes.


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