“Khatta Meetha Teekha Venti / Colocasia Stem Gojju” … Venti / colocasia stems / taro stems / Kesavina kaalu (Dentu) / Taal / Arvi Stems … has immense health benefits … loaded with dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as Vit. A, C, E, B6, and folate and many more minerals too. Never throw away these stems but include them into you diet and enjoy the health benefits … Easy to cook, yummy to taste … Enjoy this with hot rice or dosa, idly ….....
** Venti / colocasia stems / taro stems / Kesavina kaalu (Dentu) / Taal is the stem part of colocasia also known in Marathi as Arvi and Taro in English. Like Banana Plant and Coconut tree, each part of colocasia plant too is of full use and there are many dishes that can be prepared with the leaves, stems and roots. The whole plant is of full health benefits. While the leaves are used in preparation of Patrado which is very famous amongst Saraswat’s the root which in konkani is called Alvamande is also cooked into many delicacies. The stem is peeled off its outer skin and then used in many dishes along with some other veggies or as it is. In Konkani it is called venti.
** Venti / colocasia stem is loaded with health benefits and has very significant amount of dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B6, and folate, as well as magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, and copper. Amongst Konkani Saraswat’s this venti / stem is cooked along with garlic and give to women post delivery for faster body recovery.
** My mother always prepared venti upkari / bhaji with addition of losun which I have already included in the Blog before. Many a times, when I purchase these leaves the vendor just cuts off the stem portion and throws it away and gives it to us. I always insisted on having the stem too and he gladly gave me not only that which I had purchase, but some more where people has bought after cutting it off. People always looked towards me in amazement and queried about the same. I told them its benefits and how to peel the skin and use etc. and many of my friends now take it home to prepare the same.
** My hubby loves these stems prepared into gojju, chutney or talasani / upkari and always insists I make it. Today I prepared Khatta ~ Meetha ~ Teekha Gojju out the stems. This chutney sort of dish tastes Spicy ~ Tangy ~ Sweet and can be relished as a side dish with Dalitoy ~ Rice or Idly / dosa. Simple to make and also if store in refrigerator remains good for 2-3 days.
** A word of CAUTION : The only precaution one must take is buy these leaves from reliable sources. These leaves, stems and roots all have itching properties when grown on unhealthy conditions. Usually while handling them with hands if they tend to itch, do not use the same. Most of the time the one’s available in market are ok. As I myself have never come across such leaves.
** Also the second point is to use plenty of tamarind to the preparation as this is said to ward of the minute itching sensation that may prevail in the leaves, stems or roots. Do not cut down on the quantity specified in the recipes while preparing any of the said items.
** Ingredients :
Colocasia Stems / Venti : 15 - 17 thick ones.
Tamarind : One lemon sized ball.
Haldi / Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Sambar Powder : 3 tblsp
Garlic : ½ cup peeled and chopped
Curry Leaver : 8-10 fresh
Jaggery : 75-100 gms. (grated)
Red Chilly flakes : 1 tblsp
Coarsely powdered Pepper Corns : ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp
** Soak the tamarind in one cup of hot water for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out the pulp and strain the juice. You should remove as much of the thick juice as possible.
** Peel off / string the outer blacking or dark greenish skin of the Venti and cut them into pieces. Wash in plenty of water and keep them ready aside.
** Add the chopped venti / stem pieces along with the strained tamarind paste and a litle bit of salt into a pressure cooker pan. Add about ½ cup of water and pressure cook on medium flame to 2-3 whistles. Let the pressure drop on its own. Remove and let cool a bit.
** Grind half the cooked venti in mixer grinder to a smooth paste. Retain the other half by cutting them into small pieces to be added later on.
** Now heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan, when hot add in the garlic pieces and fry till light brown in colour. Now add in the curry leaves, haldi powder, sambar powder and fry for a few minutes.
** Now add in the ground venti / colocasia stems and the grated jaggery and mix well. Add water only if necessary. The final texture of the gojju is thick, so do not add much of water. Bring all to a boil, stirring often till the jaggery has melted.
** Add in the remaining venti / colocasia stems that were cut and retained. Mix all together very well. Add salt to taste. Be careful as a little bit of salt has already been added while cooking the venti / stems.
** Cook the gojju till it comes to a thick consistency. The thickness should be that of thick sauces. Lastly add in the chilly flakes and pepper powder and mix well. Remove from fire and let cool completely.
** Khatta Meetha Teekha Venti / Colocasia Stem Gojju is ready to be served with hot rice or dosa / idly. This gojju remains good for a few days in fridge. When it is warm enough pour it into a tight lidded box and put it in the fridge for further use. Enjoy this yummy gojju with family and friends.
** Note : You can prepare the same with colocasia / patrade leaves too.