“Venti~Karate~Ambado Talasani / Colocasia Stems~Bitter Gourd~Hogplum BhajiWith garlic seasoning” … Here is a simple bhaji that is prepared with Bitter Gourd and colocasia stems with the addition of Hoplums, that can be prepared and relished with roti / paratha / dosa or even Dalitoy – Rice ......
** A little about Colocasia Stems : 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. Venti / colocasia stem is loaded with health benefits so never throw away these stems but include them into you diet and enjoy the health benefits. I have already written about the benefits of venti before in this blog when I blogged the Venti gojju recipe. So will not repeat the same again.
** 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 or any other souring ingredient 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.
** A little about Bitter Gourd : All of us are fully aware that karela / karate is very good for health, many of us love it too. Again I have already written a lot about the benefits of bitter gourd while posting bitter gourd and starfruit talasani so wont repeat the same. Again if you want to cut down on the bitterness of the vegetable buy light coloured bitter gourds. Though they are similar in composition, the bitterness content is much less in lighter one’s compared to darker bitter gourds.
** The best way to enjoy the benefits of both karela and colocasia stems is to adapt them into our diet as often as possible. A little bit of jaggery / gud added while cooking makes it less the karelas less bitter while addition of tamarind or any other souring ingredient remove the itching properties of the venti. Slowly the taste will get adapted to by our taste buds. So make it a habit to add this into your food habits and give your children that healthy life that will be continued by them too and so on. And to their delight you can always lure them into eating it by offering those sugar toffees once they have the food.
** Ingredients :
Colocasia Stems / Venti : 12 - 14 thick ones.
Bitter Gourd : 2 medium sized.
Hogplums / Ambado : 3-4
Haldi / Turmeric Powder : 1 tsp
Sambar Powder : 3 tblsp
Garlic : ½ cup peeled and crushed a little bit.
Jaggery : 50 gms. (grated)
Salt to taste
Oil : 2 tblsp
** 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.
** Wash the bitter gourds. Slice of the edges of the bitter gourd. Cut them into half lengthwise. Remove the inner seeds and now slice them into 1/8 inch thick slices. Once again wash them and drain off the excess water.
** Wash the hogplums, slice of the edge at stem side and then with a heavy weight just crush the hogplums. If the are tender, you can slice them vertically into four pieces too. Keep this ready.
** Add the chopped venti / stem pieces, the bitter gourd pieces along with the hogplums into a pressure cooker pan with a little bit of salt and enough water to cook the ingredients. Say about ½ cup of water and pressure cook on medium flame to 2 whistles. Remove and keep aside. Let the pressure drop on its own. Remove and let cool a bit.
** Heat the oil in a thick bottomed kadai, when hot enough lower the heat to medium and add in the crushed garlic cloves and fry till lightly browned. Now add in the haldi powder and sambar powder and mix well. Do not allow the masala to burn, sprinkle some bitter gourd-venti cooked water if necessary.
** Now add in the cooked ingredients from the pressure cooker pan along with the remaining water, grated jaggery, salt to taste and mix well. Be careful when adding in the salt as you have added it while cooking the ingredients.
** Cover with a tight lid and cook on low heat till all the veggies are well combined and are evenly cooked. There should be slightly trace of thick liquid / gravy for the talasani / bhaji when done. It taste awesome when chapati is dunked into it and relished. Serve the talasani . bhaji with dosa, dal-chawal or roti. Tastes simply awesome.