Monday, February 1, 2010

ALavati - Konkani taro Leaves Curry

My grandmother used to make this delicious curry from ALu/Taro leaves/Colocasia leaves. Every spring, I throw some taro roots in a pot of soil and in no time, beautiful taro leaves come out ready for ALu vadi, paatra, pathrode, paataL bhaaji/phatphatay, ghasshi and aLwati.

This curry has a beautifully refreshing flavor due to the addition of ginger.

Taro leaves-Ginger curry
20-25 taro leaves, shredded along with stems, approx = 3 cups
1 tbsp peeled & minced fresh ginger
1-2 green chilies, slit

Grind to a smooth paste
1/3 cup fresh coconut
4-5 byadgi chilies, roasted in few drops of coconut oil
1 tsp tamarind pulp

1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 sprig curry leaves

1. Pressure cook leaves and stems adding ginger, chilies and 3/4 cup water. Set aside.
2. Grind masala to a fine paste.
3. Mix ground masala and cooked leaves. Adding water to get curry like consistency, bring to boil
4. Add salt to taste. Switch the gas to low. Let it simmer.
5. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
6. Pour sizzling oil over the simmering curry. Cover immediately with a lid. Switch off the gas.

Note -
1. I have substantially reduced the amount of coconut and coconut oil.
2. These were the homegrown leaves. I needed 20-25 leaves to get 3 cups of shredded leaves.
3. There are two types of taro leaves available in market. The ones with light green color with smaller size are used for curries. The bigger darker green with dark stems are used to make paatra and ALuwadi.
4. You need to add some sour agent in any dish made with taro leaves. Sometimes , after consuming, they give an itchy feeling to the throat. Souring agent like tamarind, kokum, yogurt etc. removes that itchy characteristic of the taro leaves.
5. You can add some corn on cobs in this curry. In that case, pressure cook along with the taro leaves.


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