The Mondays of the holy ‘Kartika’ month in Odisha are never complete without a good quality ‘khatta’ or sweet and tangy gravy. The somewhat astringent taste of the Habisa dalma definitely needs to be delicately balanced by the presence of this tang/sweetness on the side. And after getting bored with ‘Aau’ and ‘Ambeda’ khatta, I wanted a ‘Sakkara’ with my next Monday meal. Unlike the ‘khatta’ that does not rely on a external souring agent and depends primarily on the natural tang of the vegetable being cooked, the tamarind is an integral part of the Sakkara.
With good quality ash gourd (pani kakharu) not being easy to find in the markets, I decided to go ahead and experiment with some Ambeda that I got from the HAL market . Since the ambeda is not very sour, adding a tiny bit of tamarind and some extra jaggery to balance it out seemed the obvious choice. Left out the boiled Bengal gram and added loads of freshly grated coconut instead. The Ambeda Sakkara urned out to be nice and tangy.