Amchi Fav. Dish .......... Alvati With Corn And Ambado / Colocasia Leaves Curry with Corn And Hogplum .........
Alvati … the name needs no other introduction to an Amchi / Saraswat Konkani. The name itself is enough to recognize the dish. It’s the most favourite dish of one and all. The dish is prepared even in temples during most of the auspicious days. Ganesh Chaturti is one such day when it is prepared in Temple where they worship the Idol of Lord Ganesha. The saying goes that Lord Ganesh loved this dish that is prepared out of Tender Colocasia Leaves / There paan / Alva paan. The taste of the one’s made in temple is unmatched to my humble attempt in preparing the same.
Tender colocasia leaves along with its stems are used in preparing this curry using finely ground spicy masala. De-vein the thick veins of 25-30 tender colocasia leaves / Alva paan. Chop them finely, wash in plenty of water, drain and keep it ready aside. Remove the skin off the stems (Blacking and thick) and cut them into 1 inch piecs. Wash and keep them also ready aside.
Put the drained finely chopped leaves in a pressure pan along with the chopped stems. If adding hogplums, wash, wipe, slice off the edges of 4-5 hogplum, mash them a bit if tender or slice them completely on sides and add them to the pan.
Add into the pan 2 cups of corn kernels or tender corn cobs cut into 2 inch rounds after washing the same. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook to one whistle. Then lower the heat and cook for some time till you take another 4-5 whistles. This is necessary, as the texture of the leaves should be well mashed and some leaves take time in cooking. Remove and let cool completely.
To be Ground : Grind to a fine paste 2 cups of finely grated fresh coconut with 6-8 red kashmiri chillies. The ground paste should be very fine. Do not add excess water. Remove and keep this aside ready too. (If not using hogplum’s add lemon sized tamarind while grinding the same)
When the pressure of the pan has dropped open and remove the cooked leaves, corn and hogplum into a thick stainless steel vessel. Add the ground masala and salt to taste. Mix well. Add water if necessary. The texture / consistency of the curry should be a bit on the thicker side and not thin or runny. Add in 3 tblsp of grated ginger to the curry and 3-4 green chillies slit lengthwise.
Bring the curry to a boil on medium flame stirring often to avoid it getting burnt at the bottom. If you find the curry still too thick to stir, you can add another cup of water to the same and mix well.
Once the curry comes to full boil, lower the heat to minimum and simmer for 10-15 minutes till the curry has blended well with leaves.
For Tempering : Heat 3 tblsp of oil in a small pan, when hot lower the heat and add in 2 tsp of rai (sasam), when it starts spluttering add 10-12 curry leaves and fry for a minute. Remove and pour over the simmering curry. Remove from fire, cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes before you serve for the flavour of the seasoning to seep into the dish.
The curry is now ready. Serve hot Alvati / Colocasia leaves curry with Rice / Idly / Roti.
Note: Adding of Corns and hogplums is Optional and you can leave out the same if you do not wish do add them. Hogplums are added for sourness. If not adding them add lemon sized tamarind to the masala while grinding.