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Amitar (Unripe Papaya) Khar 

Amitar (Unripe Papaya) Khar is an indigenous Assamese dish. It is an integral dish of Assamese cuisine and is usually consumed before lunch. It helps to cleanse the stomach curing digestive disorders.


  • 1 small unripe green papaya
  • ½ block ginger
  • 2 tbsp of ‘Kola Khar’ or 1 tbsp of baking soda
  • 3 cups of water
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of mustard oil


  • Peel the unripe green papaya and cut it into small cubes. Put it in a pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water and wait for 2 whistles. Allow it to depressurise, put it in a bowl and keep it aside
  • Take ½ block of ginger and minced it with your kitchen knife
  • Now heat a pan, add the boiled papaya, ginger, and stir gently. Add the 2 tbsp ‘Kola Khar’, stir it and add 1 cup of water
  • Bring it to a boil and ½ tbsp of salt. Now take a fork and mash the soft papaya cubes slowly
  • Allow it to simmer for 10 more minutes in medium high flame until perfectly cooked
  • Before serving add 1 tbsp of mustard oil over the cooked Khar. The pungent taste of the mustard oil goes well with the Khar.

Note –

If you do not have ‘Kola Khar’, the best substitute is to put 1 tbsp of baking soda.

‘Khar’ is an alkaline extract from burnt banana skin. The most preferred banana used for making the ‘Khar’ is ‘Bheem Kol’ or Musa Balbisiana Colla.

Prithish Chakraborty is a self-taught chef. He posts daily recipes from his social media handle @recipesbyadad.

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