Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chembu Curry

     I love the beautiful colocasia leaves more than it's root that I eat. Chembu, as I know colocasia, found in plenty obviously made its way into Kerala cuisine as well. There are different ways to make this and a simple style I used the other day was quite pleasing. By adding or subtracting a ingredient or two the root favorably alters the taste making for versatile dishes.   Esssentially,  it’s starchy root. The taste of chembu is close to yam, tapioca etc and yet distinct with its own subtle differences. Cook this root and then season to your liking by sautéing, adding a gravy or you could even eat it dipped in a simple green pepper and shallot dip.

  I can’t help but talk a little about the leaves. Popularly known as elephant ears they are beautiful. My grandfather would call it a weed, invasive and destroying other vegtation.  My cousins and I on the contrary  enjoyed them. The colocasia thrived and lent a verdant beauty to the river bank which is our back yard.   There is a wild one that grows with pink and green leaves.  I am not sure of it's scientific name  but I know their colors like the back of my hand. Green elephant leaves mottled with a brilliant pink.  I can’t explain the joy seeing them spread out in the yard. A very interesting passtime of my cousins and I was to wake up in the morning after a rainy night and go walk in the yard. The droplets of water cradled inside this leaf was a never ending fascination.  We would gather around it watching the water drop sliding beautifully like pearl in its shell. For a more vivid picture imagine how mercury moves.  Wonderful! Gliding water droplet on a velvety rich green!

Getting back to the root of the business here is the recipe for Chembu curry. Just remembered we used to play with the leaves using it as umbrella. Disclaimer: Please do not try this at home some varieties are toxic and can cause rashes. I told you I have a fetish for the leaves.

Chembu Curry
 
Ingredients:


Chembu – 7 – 8 small ones (I pick the smaller ones since I like them whole in my curry)
Coconut - ¾ cup
Red chillies – 4 or a tspn of chilli powder
Turmeric – ¼ tspn
Garlic pods – 2
Shallots – 2 – 3
Kokum – a small piece (this helps to prevent scratchiness if any of this root)
Salt to taste
 
Chembu Curry
Method:
1. Cook the chembu in enough water and salt till done. If you want to retain the shape be sure not to over cook. I generally pressure cook the chembu for two whistles with the skin on and then peel and add to the coconut gravy
2. Grind coconut, shallots, red chillies and garlic to a smooth paste
3. Take the chembu out of the water used to cook and add the kokum and coconut gravy
4. Bring it to a boil and turn off the fire/heat
 
Chembu Curry
Notes:


1. You can either pour coconut oil on top or do a tempering with mustard, shallots, curry leaves and pieces of red chilies with oil of your choice
2. If you like the orange color that I have got you will have to add chili powder and be aware that its quite hot to taste

Contributor: Sunitha

57 comments:

  1. The curry is just too tempting to ignore. We like the roasted version of this root. This might be a delightful variation.

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  2. Looks yum. I have never tasted those but looks like baby Potatoes! :)

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  3. are they related to yam/taro? The curry looks good!

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  4. Never heard about it before..an interesting post about the chembu leaves too.. Nice pic Sunitha.

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  5. The dish is mouth watering dear.

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  6. Looks good but never thought of preparing them before..will try soon and thanks for sharing:)

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  7. Great to learn about Chembu and what a beautiful dish!

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  8. I have not had chembu after getting married, and that was 19 yrs back. When ever i go back i never seems to get the time to ask fro something with chembu. This looks so so yummy.

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  9. This dish looks so delicious....

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  10. wow mouthwatering dish... tempting..

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  11. beautiful...colour of the gravy is so nice and tempting...

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  12. This is a real interesting curry recipe!

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  13. This is a real interesting curry recipe!

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  14. hi,
    Beautiful description about the colcasia ..we Mangloreans too love the leaves and roots alike :)
    as a kid I too used to marvel how the water would turn into a slippery pearl on this beautiful leaf :)
    My amma makes wonderful dishes with these.
    Ur ingredients for the dish is very different from what we use, thanks for sharing the nostalgic recipe :)
    TC

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  15. sunitha and Namitha,

    Chembu eilayile mazha vella thuli kanan eppoyum nalla rasmanu. I miss our backyard and leafs and millipedes etc. Chembu curry looks really good. we like chembu only problem when i remove the skin i get itchy.

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  16. I do fried chembu but never as curry...looks fantastic and yummy...

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  17. Adipoli chembu curry....Njan red color chembu curry try cheythittila..looks super delicious..

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  18. I love how perfect you make every meal look!

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  19. its been ages since i had this...nice yummy curry...

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  20. Its so good to learn about new things... thanks a lot for posting this delicious recipe along with the infos:)

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  21. When I was a kid this "taro Root" was my favorite root veggie of all time. I love your curry sooo much. I just boil them and eat most of them before they get a chance to go into the curry.

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  22. Hey, I love this root and make quite a few variations with them , my favorite being the DUM version. Love ur version with coconut and shallots.

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  23. My family grew chembu in our backyard growing up, we call it taro root. It was a staple. This dish looks terrific!

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  24. I also love this veggie!! It is so versatile and can be used in so many recipes :) I love this recipe and will try it very very soon!

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  25. Never cooked with this veg before interesting curry.Nice click.

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  26. that' must be a hearty meal, full of sunshine and warmth brought from the homeland to your plate!!!

    I have never tasted these chembu, the way you've makes me crave for some!!! the description of the leaves and the droplets at your back yard , hum, pleasing and soothing to my mind !!!!lovely post!!!

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  27. Another fabulous dish! This looks so good!
    I love the photos- the bright orange is so beautiful!
    Have a wonderful week!

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  28. this is the first time i heard about this dish..but looks so delicious will give this a try sometime

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  29. Wow what a delicious version to eat this root veggie! Look like Koftas!

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  30. Wow, that curry looks simple irresistible! Never had it b4 I guess...:)

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  31. Very delicious curry...it was reading about your childhood memories :)

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  32. looks wonderful. I love the pix - looks like yummy eggs...

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  33. What a lovely dish and pics are great too...

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  34. Is this taro root? The curry looks so tempting... never did a curry just with chembu... should try this out!

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  35. Woo! I love this curry from now! I too used to watch the droplets falling but from a different leaf. The curry is slurp! Yum!

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  36. wow!nice curry...i never tried curry...i used to fry...will try it soon.

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  37. gravy with chembu,quite new to me.Looks very rich.

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  38. Wow they chembu here looks like kofta.

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  39. I liked the way u presented the curry in the ramekin!

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  40. I usually make chembu roast .This is new to me .Must try as it looks so tempting

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  41. Never tasted chembu, but your curry tempts...lovely photos too.

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  42. Arvi curry looks tempting! if you are fasting you can eat this too, without onion and garlic...

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  43. I make the roasted version of chembu. Never tried this. Will definitely give a try next time I purchase them.

    Chitchat
    http://chitchatcrossroads.blogspot.com/

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  44. Adipoli chembu curry....colour is superb.

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  45. I have never cooked with this in the States but I love the curry!!It looks wonderful!

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  46. ah, thanks for the introduction! chembu sounds like an interesting and tasty ingredient, both in leaf- and root-form. lovely recipe and amazing pictures!

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  47. Never seen a chembu before. Is this taro?

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  48. Chembu curry sounds great....Nalla kuthari chorum koodi ponotte...

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  49. seeing this gorgeous picture in my dashboard I was curious as what could this be. it simply is WOW. looks lovely

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  50. hey this is something new to me..the clicks are so yumm..looks really delicious..

    www.foodlyrics.com

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  51. I love Chembus, in any form. They come next after my love affair with potatoes :)
    Yummy gravy!

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