There are several occasions in the Konkani calendar where Khotte is made.At my place,the toppers were during “suthan punav” or “aavani avittam”-the yearly ceremony of changing jannave/sacred thread,various “parab”s throughout the year-Samsar padavo/Ugadi,Diwali,Aarat and many other.And yeah,how could I forget the main one-when I land in Ekm,that is one big festival right?*wink wink*.Jokes apart,amma makes it whenever she can lay her hands on khotte paan and she makes sure it is made for breakfast one of the days am there.
Same goes with my ma-in-law.She makes it at least once every fortnight.Khotte paan is available in abundance at her sis’s farm so that one is easy.I think,ma-in-law is the only person I have seen who makes the khotte with such ease.She makes it so fast,before you can learn to make one,she would have finished making the whole batch.Whenever she has family/guests coming over,it goes without saying that khotte is on the breakfast table.
I got some lovely khotte paan when they came here during Xmas.She made one big batch for breakfast one day and kept some leaves for me to experiment upon.Quite reluctantly,I started the process of making khotte.I had double duty,to take the pics too as I made it.I don’t think my khottes came anywhere near to my ma-in-law’s or amma’s for that matter and they didn’t look as pretty too,but as they say not even a single drop of batter leaked through it,so its fine.
Clean the jackfruit leaves by wiping them with a wet kitchen towel & arrange them together according to their size(small,medium&large).
Join the four leaves together using a shigir/stick-you could use more than one shigir for joining-whichever you are comfortable with.This is called "pathravali",this process is done first with all the leaves and then at the end the khotte mould is made.Once you finish making pathravalis,start making the moulds.Join two leaves together with the shigir like this,take care there isn't any gap between the leaves.Follow the same method at the opposite side of the joined part-this makes it easier for joining rest of the parts.
Now join the other two sides together and the mould will get this shape.
Do not worry if you don't get the perfect shape the first time you make it-keep trying and you'll get it right.I am satisfied if my khotte is made without any gaps/holes in between and it holds its shape when kept straight.Now you can start making the khotte-you could cut three stems and keep only one for easier handling.Pour batter in the moulds-do not fill it to the brim-upto ¾ is fine.
Incidentally,this is my 200th post and what better way to celebrate than having this special Konkani Breakfast!! I am very happy that I completed a double century and I hope to post many more traditional and experimental(!!) recipes!!