Friday, 16 September 2016

Anantha Chaturdashi Special - "Alvatthi" or Hot n Sour Colocasia leaves

"Alvatthi" is a traditional Konkani dish or should I say delicacy made especially today, ie on the festival day of "Anantha Chaturdashi" ie the last day of the Hindu festival of Ganeshotsav.
It is generally the tenth or eleventh day after Ganesh Chaturthi.
I have always eaten this dish in the traditional meal at our mutt/temple on this day but never really made it.
I also had this dish several times cooked by my Co-Sister, and got this recipe too from her.
The taste of this dish, lies in the leaves ie Colocasia leaves which we also use to make Pathrode.
Its a fairly simple dish to make, although until now I thought it was difficult to make mainly due to difficult the pronunciation of the dish.

Try making this dish, am sure you will love it too!
I know its not so easy to find colocasia leaves, but the solution is simple, grow them in your own garden or balcony.
In India and parts of Asia it is known as "Colocasia" and is a food crop.
But in other parts of the world like USA, Canada and Australia it is also known as "Elephant Ear" and is an ornamental plant.
Do buy the bulbs and plant them at home, you will be able to make these new dishes very easily.
Make sure to use enough tamarind in your dish to get rid of the itchiness.
However, these leaves are available in so called "Mangalore/Indian stores" everywhere.
Serves 4

For boiling

Colocasia leaves - 10 - thick veins removed and then chopped
Bimbul  - 4 or Raw Mango pieces - 4 or Tamarind - 1 big lemon size
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 1 inch piece

For the masala:
Coconut grated fresh/desiccated - 1/2 cup
Dry Red chillies - 7 or 8
For seasoning:
Oil - 1 tsp (preferably coconut oil for authentic mangalorean taste)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 5
Dry red chilly - 1 ( Optional)

Boil the Colocasia leaves, Bimbuli/Green Mango, Green chillies, Ginger and 1/2 cup water for about 10 minutes in cooker or about 20 minutes in a covered vessel on medium heat.

Meanwhile grind the grated coconut and dry red chillies into a smooth and thick paste.
Now take a heavy bottomed vessel, add the boiled vegetables and the ground paste and mix well.
Boil for 2-3 minutes mixing continously. Add salt to taste.

To season:
Take a seasoning pan, add oil, keep on medium heat, add mustard and allow to crackle, now add the curry leaves and red chilly, when it crackles. pour over boiling curry in the vessel.
Serve hot with rice.
It also goes well with chapatis.

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