Award Winning Indian chef Vikas Khanna has been in talks among the people of the Vatican City regarding his invitation to Pope Francis for dinner on Wednesday at the Vatican.
The Pope was served the Bebinca, along with 12 other dishes, all cooked by Indian chef Vikas Khanna.
Bebinca was prepared by the chef using a pizza oven. And among these among these 12 dishes, an Assamese delicacy has found its way into the list of dishes introduced by Chef Vikas Khanna.
This Assamese meal known as ‘Khar’ is generally prepared from unripe papayas and is known to be the favourite among the people and a healthy dish too.
The ingredient is made by drying and burning the skins of banana( to get the ashes), preferably a variety called bheem kol ( I don’t know the English name for these bananas, but they are quite big, full of seeds and have a very thick skin). Water is then filtered through the ashes.This water is called kola or kol khar ( kol= banana) and is then added to the main ingredients, which may vary from raw papayas to bottle gourd to rice to fish to lentils . In the absence of the traditionally made khar from banana skins, baking soda is the generally accepted substitute.