green banana leaf

Basically, a food blog. But, don't expect too many recipes. I am a foodie, alright, but hardly a nice, little cookey !

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Enough about hunger. Let me talk about food. It is 2005. And, the hunger of Forties is History.

We call it 'koorkka kizhangu.' I don't know the English name. It seems to be not so popular outside Kerala. I've found that it belongs to the Coleus family. Farm journals refer to it as 'coleus tuber.'

Whatever be the name, koorkka is an all time favourite with me and R. It is a special treat. Really so, as the cleaning is a bit messy. The tubers will be invariably coated with mud. May be a trick of the shop keepers to add to the weight. The tubers have to be washed thoroughly. Then, the skin has to be scrapped off, one by one. It takes time. And leaves a tell-tale brownish stain on the fingers. Using a glove might help.

Koorkka is not itchy, like the chembu family. And, it has a herby, delicious smell, which makes the skinning a little bit pleasurable.

This tuber can be prepared in a multitude of ways. Koorkka upperi, koorkka erisseri, koorkka masalakkari... like that. I like the most simple preparation that preserves the fragrance. Boil or pressure cook the cleaned tubers (large ones could be chopped a bit), with salt. Turmeric powder could be added, if you need. Its ok without haldi. Once done, strain the water used for boiling (to avoid over cooking) and season with shallots and broken red chillies. Fry a little bit in the oil. And, there's nothing to beat it.

Today, for lunch, we had rice, koorkka upperi and a plain rasam.

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