There are countless varieties of Colocasia in our region. But this one pictured above with droplets of rain, happens to be my favourite. Why? Because this variety does not cause any irritation or burning of the tongue and throat. If not cooked properly, consuming other cultivars can be a most unpleasant experience.
Locally known as Neel kosu, it grows to a height of 5 ft. or so. The stems are a deep purple. It does well in full sun too but mine has partial shade. A south-east Asian native, this is a popular vegetable.
Edible and non-edible varieties grow side by side. Ignore the haphazard planting, and the weeds!!
The stems can be made into a delicious dish, after chopping them into smaller pieces. I usually cook with green chillies, onions, garlic, coriander, salt, tomatoes,cumin, and ginger paste. My favourite garnish? Chopped culantro/serrated coraiander.
The leaves can be fried in a batter of chick-pea or gram flour. I made some today and they vanished in a jiffy! Rice flour also works out well. You need to make a batter with the flour and add salt, chilli powder, coriander and cumin powder. You can add more masala (spices) but even with these basics, they taste good.
Remove the hard portion from the centre of the leaf and cut it into two or four pieces, depending on the size of the leaf. Rub the batter on the inverted side and fold as shown in the photo. Secure with a toothpick. Dip the folded leaves in the batter and shallow fry in oil.
Embellishments, in order to enhance the look of a particular dish may be attractive, but sometimes they take away the attention from the main object of discussion. Keeping that in mind, there's no garnish here. Just the folded leaf, fried to a golden brown.
Glory be to God for dappled things- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. Gerard Manley Hopkins
The first flowering shrub I planted on our land
Every flower is a soul blooming in Nature.-Gerard De Nerval
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? -Henry David Thoreau