The word Khar is very familiar to the Assamese people. Kolakhar is very popular and unique liquid food additive of Assam. It is used as antacid and cleansing agent apart from used as a food additive in preparing palatable dishes. For every Assamese, calling oneself a “Kharkhua Oxomiya” is a matter of pride, a pride that seals the sense of belongingness to Assam like no other.
The analysis shows that many vital minerals are present in Kolakhar. results are given below. Results are expressed in ppm (parts per million or mg/Kg).
Traditionally it is believed that kolakhar prepared from the peels of atria, is the best. It is obvious that the higher level of potassium and lower level of sodium are desirable for the better quality of kolakhar. Besides this, all the metals listed in the table are essential for the human.
Sun Dried Peels of Bhim
Gastritis: Ash of dried peel of ripe fruit is soaked overnight in water and the filtrate is obtained (i.e. kolkhar). It is consumed as antacid.
Cough: Ash obtained from dried peels of ripe fruit is soaked overnight in water and one cup of the filtrate obtained mixed few drops of mustard oil, pinch of common salt and 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic. The mixture is slightly heated and then given to take with freshly cooked rice.
High blood pressure: The increasing rate of consumption of table salt in modern living has become one of the major factors, which is inducing health risks associated with high salt intake, including high blood pressure in sensitive individuals. Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness, or electrolyte disturbance, which can cause neurological problems, or death. As kolakhar is rich in potassium it can be used as a salt substitute for high blood pressure patients.
Heart diseases: Vanadium is believed to play a vital role in the prevention of heart disease. Places where the incidence of heart disease is high, vanadium is not found in water supplies in those places. Because of the presence of vanadium in kolakhar its use may be helpful for the prevention of heart diseases.
Here are the five delicious recipes of one can make using kolakhar
- Posolla are masur dail r khar ( banana psedo stem cooked with red lentil and khar).
- Pani Lou aru masor muror khar (Bottle guard and fish head with khar).
- Amita aru masor khar ( Pappaya cooked with fish khar).
- Bondhacobi r hoite khar ( Khar cooked with Cabbage).
- Sewali ful aru horu masor khar ( night flowering jasmine, both fresh and sun-dried cooked with small fish and khar).
N.B. : While preparing any dishes with khar no oil or turmeric is added (traditional belief).
Scientific reseaon : Turmeric is an indicator, which changes its color in presence of khar. ( Chemist point 😉😊)
No added oil : Obviously for low calorie
To know more about kolakhar, read this article.
- Deka DC & Talukdar NN, Chemical and spectroscopic investigation of Kolakhar and its commercial importance, Indian J Tradit Knowle, 6 (1) (2007) 72-78.
- Satya R Neog and Dibakar C Deka Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2013, 5(6):155-159
- Kongkona Borborah, SK Borthakur & Bhaben Tanti Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol. 15 (1), January 2016, pp. 116-120.
Written by Anjumoni Talukdar, a doctoral student in Chemistry who shares a keen interest in Assam’s indegenous cuisines