Hittus / khottos are an another example of how GSB s refine foods to their taste & give it more flavour & make food more attractive to eat! Plain idli batter is made more tasty by adding chopped ginger , green chilies ,& jeera & steamed in jackfruit leaf cups giving it an ultimate taste …plain batter steamed too will get a fresh flavour of the leaves . Now to learn how to weave these khottos ( baskets – literally )
First of all collect Jack fruit leaves and the spine of coconut leaves ( vhiru as we call it ) . Cut the vhiru into 2 inch long sizes. soak them in water to make them pliable . You may also try with tooth picks . Halve them if they are too thick .Clean the leaves thoroughly & dry them with a cloth . Now keep the leaves & vhiru ready!
First of all take four leaves of same size !
Now keep two leaves as shown – overlapping and join them using the vhiru as shown !
Take a third leaf and place it at right angles to the first pair . join them as shown .
Add the fourth leaf opposite to the third one .
Now join two sides of the leaves keeping the dull side inside and the shiny side outside .
Join all the sides likewise to form a cup .
Now trim three leaves , leaving one leaf untouched so that it can be lifted like as shown .
Now add finely chopped green chillies , ginger & Jeera to the batter ( you may also use it plain .)
Now fill about three – fourths of the cup with the batter.
Now keep this along with the other khottos in a pedavan / steamer . and steam for atleast 20 minutes .
Check for doneness .
Now remove the sticks at the sides remove the steamed hittu from the leaves .
Now enjoy this hot with Chutney & sanbhar!
In case you are not able to get the leaves you may also use greased steel glasses to make hittu!
Hittus are a must for Parabhs & all festival days ! . so the next festival season ..dont miss making this !
Pics by Maya Rupesh … Text by Usha Bhat