Aati masa according to the traditional calendar is a month of special traditions and cuisine. Extending from July 15 to Aug 15, this time period is marked by special customs which is unique to the Western Ghats. In Kodagu, this time is said to have the coldest of days and nights and the cuisine typical to this time has been passed on from generation to generation. These cuisines are usually made from the rare vegetables that particularly grow during the onset of monsoon and these vegetables on consumption end to warm the body or cause ushna.
And one such vegetable is Colocasia. This miracle vegetable is a zero-waste, edible from head to toe prodigy. It has various delicacies revolving around it by utilizing its leaves, stems, roots, and also its tuber. It is of many types, black colocasia ( black stem elephant ears), pathrode leaves, white colocasia ( Taro ) etc,.
This recipe specifically calls for the black colocasia. This is a purple stemmed Colocasia found near marshy areas and is a perennial plant. As a cuisine, the young leaves and the stems of this taro is used. The vegetable alone can be very itchy during preparation. If the itchiness is intolerable, some tamarind juice or black vinegar ( something mildly acidic) can be applied. It’s an excellent source of fibre and has many health benefits. Let’s get onto the recipe, shall we?
- Colocasia leaves and stem ( Diced, shredded and washed)
- Tamarind and hot water ( Tamarind juice)
- Vegetable oil
- Garlic cloves ( Crushes with the peels) ( 6-8)
- Mustard seeds
- Green chili ( optional )
- Red dried chili
- Curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- Turmeric powder
- Prep the Colaocasia stems by cutting of the root end and pealing the outer skin. The peel comes out in thin layers to leave a lesser purple shaded stem.
- After peeling the stem, snap them or cut them into even pieces. While snapping the extra peel can be removed.
- To prep the leaves, first open the rolled wilted leaves.
- Fold them on the axis of the stalk and stack them as shown in the video into a bundle.
- Chop them along the bundle to get easy leaf shreds.
- Wash them in tap water and drain it.
- Heat your kadai/ pan on medium flame and pour in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
- Prep the tamarind juice by adding tamarind to hot water. Soak it for some time and squeeze out the juice.
- After the oil is heated add some crushed garlic cloves with the peels ( 6-8).
- As the garlic browns, add some mustard seeds and let them pop.
- After they have popped, add in green chili ( Optional, for extra spice) and then dried red chilies ( 5-6).
- Add in the curry leaves and sauté it.
- Add the washed and drained colocasia stems and leaves.
- Add salt to taste and then add a pinch of turmeric.
- Add a little water and stir it in. Cover it with the lid and let it cook for another 15mins.
- After it has cooked and all the fibrous stem has turned squishy, add some jaggery and crush it in. ( or you can simply add the jaggery powder )
- Now add the tamarind juice ( earlier prepped) and stir it in. Let it simmer for a couple more minutes.
- Take it off the flame and it is ready to serve!
Facts for you:
- The tamarind juice is used to reduce the itchy aftertaste of the colocasia curry leaves on the throat. It can also be used to reduce the irritation during prepping the vegetable.
- Unlike most Colocasia, the black stemmed elephant ears’ tuber or root is not used in culinary. Only the young leaves and the stems are used.
- The stems are extremely fibrous and are an excellent fibrous and starchy diet. It has many health benefits like improving digestion, heart health, controls blood sugar, etc.