Friday, June 5, 2015

Curried Colocasia Stems

Curried colocasia stems
Curried colocasia stems with potatoes
I had written about colocasia leaves in my last post. With the leaves taken care of, it was the turn of the purple stems. I made a curried dish today that we had with rice and other accompaniments. Colocasia stems and tender leaves are usually cooked on their own or mixed with dried/smoked fish or shrimps in our cuisine.
With the first rains in March, it is a common sight to see the still-not-opened leaves and tender stems sold in our markets. Here's a picture that I had taken last year during March.
Tender colocasia stems and leaves appear with the first rains
Ingredients:
7 colocasia stems (that I had cut yesterday)
1 large boiled potato, peeled and diced
1 large finely grated onion
8 cloves of garlic, ground to a rough paste
1" piece ginger, ground
6-7 chillies, scored lengthwise, seeds intact
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced fine
1 tsp coriander powder
A quarter tsp cumin powder
A quarter tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
3 tbs vegetable oil
Pinch of whole cumin seeds
2 Indian bay leaves 
Finely chopped serrated coriander for the garnish
Curried colocasia stems
Skin peeled and ready for the cooking
Remove the skin of the colocasia until the stems are clear of the purple skin. The action here is like stringing beans. Set aside.
Heat about 5 cups of water in a pan. When it comes to the boil, add the stems in the water.
Remove after a minute and drain in a colander.
Heat the oil in a pan. When it comes to smoking point, add the whole cumin seeds. Tear the bay leaves into halves and throw them in as well.
Add the onions and cook till they turn translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, chillies, and the rest of the spices.
Now add the drained colocasia stems. Stir well so the vegetables are coated with the spices.
After about 10 minutes, add the tomatoes. As soon as they turn mushy, add the boiled and diced potatoes.
Continue to cook for another 10 minutes. When the dish looks homogeneous, take it off the flame. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped herbs.
Curried colocasia stems with potatoes
 
This goes very well with either rice or roti. If you are worried about the itching (as most colocasias can be) you could add any souring agent to the dish. Like tamarind paste, lemon juice, or any sour berries. The tomatoes here turn more acidic with the rains (like now) so two tomatoes were enough for this dish.

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