Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Colocasia Stem curry or "Venti Thalasani" in Konkani


"Venti Thalasani" is nothing but a side-dish made using the stems of the Colocasia leaves.
The Konkani just like many other communities in India, are known for using all parts of a vegetable for making tasty dishes.
In coastal Karnataka, they use the leaves for making "Alvatthi or Hot n Sour Colocasia leaves", "Pathrode or Stuffed and Steamed Colocasia Rolls" and "Ganti thalasani or Saute'd Knotted Colocasia leaves"and the stems are used for making this dish.
The consistency of this dish is a bit like Rasam so it can be used as an accompaniment with rice.
The flavors and juices of the stems are so well merged with the dry red chilly and garlic, that its hard to believe that such a simple dish so little ingredients could be so tasty.
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 "Alocasia" or "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.
Although the stems are not itchy like the leaves, you can use a bit of tamarind to provide a bit of tang to the dish.



Serves 3
Ingredients:
Colocasia stems - 2 bowls full
Tamarind juice - 1 tsp
Dry red chilly - 6
Garlic flakes - 8 - partially mashed with skin
Oil - 1 tsp
Water - 1 to 2 cup

Method:
Wash the colocasia stems well. 





Take a heavy bottomed pan, keep on medium heat, add oil and fry the garlic flakes till lightly brown. Now add the dry red chillies and fry for 1 minute, then add the Colocasia  stems, 2 cups water, tamarind juice and salt and cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes, till the required consitency has been achieved.
Keep mixing from time to time and add more water when required during cooking.
There should be enough water at the end of the cooking.
Serve hot with rice.

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