Dear readers before we advance any further in this post, let me make an admission of our guilt. We have to admit that it took significantly longer for this recipe to materialize on our blog and our channel.
The fact that Missus finds her roots in the coastal city of Ratnagiri entrusts upon us the responsibility of preparing recipes that finds its roots here and Alu chi Bhaji is one such signature dish that is prepared and relished in all probability in every household of Ratnagiri. In all probability you may ponder about the reasons for what delayed this recipe. Well we have a reason, and a very genuine one- at least that is what we believe. Please allow us to explain.
The principal ingredient that is required for this recipe, as you may already have guessed by now, is Colocasia leaves. What’s the fuss about the leaves?-you may ask. Well folks, devil is in the details- there are essentially two varieties of Colocasia leaves- one a light green, smooth in texture with stems brown in color and other which is more darker in color, a bit firmer in texture, having stems green in color. Alu chi Bhaji requires usage of former variant of leaves while the latter one should be used for Alu vadi (Colocasia fritters). (Check out embedded video for more details). In the city that I inhabit, Pune, I have failed to procure the former variety of leaves while the latter is always available in abundance. Though I do not claim to be a purist in all respect, I would shy away from swapping the leaves for this recipe as my experiments with darker variety of leaves has not yielded much success. The taste and the texture of the final gravy differ significantly and has a dismal taste to the liking of my palate. This has been the primary reason, why I have shied away from documenting this recipe on this blog so far.
Having gone through the reasons for the delay and seeing the recipe on the blog it would not be difficult for you to guess that we did manage to procure these greens and get them in our kitchen. During our last trip to Ratnagiri while visiting my in laws, which is a biannual affair for me, a moment of brilliance (I am just being sarcastic- this idea should have occurred long back) struck me and I went around enquiring for these leaves that we could use for making the gravy preparation. Having acquired 15-20 leaves, we wrapped them carefully and packed them delicately on our way back to Pune. Driving back home for 8 hours did tire us but could not dampen our spirits and we rushed to our kitchen to make the preparations for the recipe. We shot the recipe video and cooked some steamed rice for our afternoon lunch. It was a fulfilling and satisfying meal that I must have had in a while.
The preparation in itself is a simple one and goes well with Jowar Bhakri or some steaming hot rice. As rains dampens the city and spreads its chill, make some hot Alu chi Bhaji with steamed rice for your Sunday lunch and if our likings match you may also indulge into the pleasure of after lunch sleep. Folks, now that’s a recipe for a perfect Sunday noon.
- 15-20 Colcasia Leaves. Separate stems from leaves. These variety of leaves that are used for gravy are light green in color and smooth in texture and stems are brown in color.The other variety is more darker and rough in texture and Stems are green in color. The darker variety is used for making Alu Vadi.
- 150 grams lima beans. Soak them for 4-5 hours before use.
- 4 tsp Malvani Masala
- 1 large sized onion chopped into cubes
- ½ cup fresh coriander
- ¼th cup grated dried coconut
- ¼th tsp turmeric powder
- 7-8 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp jaggery
- 1 marble sized tamarind ball
- For tempering: 4-5 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- For tempering: ¼th tsp asafoetida powder
- Cooking Oil
- Peel off the hard outer cover from the stems.
- Roughly chop colcasia leaves and stems and put them in pressure cooker container.
- In second container put Lima beans and ¾th cup water.We will put both the containers in a pressure cooker.Pressure cook on medium heat until 1 whistle.
- Meanwhile we will make a masala paste.Dry roast grated coconut in a pan.Dry roast until coconut turns brown.
- Add 2 tbsp Oil in a pan.Add garlic.As garlic turns brown, add chopped onions .Fry until it becomes tender.
- As Onion turns soft, add fresh coriander.Stir it in and turn off the heat.Put dry roasted coconut in grinder jar.Add onion, garlic and coriander. Soaked tamarind and soaked jaggery. Grind into a fine paste. Now make a purée of steamed Colocasia leaves and stems.Grind into a fine purée.
- Prep work is done. Let's start.In a pan heat 3 tbsp oil.Add crushed garlic,asafoetida powder,masala paste,turmeric powder. Bhunao. After 2 mins, add Malvani Masala,salt to taste. Bhunao. You may add couple of tbsp of water during bhunao.
- Bhunao for 4-5 mins.Oil oozes out at sides.Now add lima beans and Colocasia Purée. Mix .
- We will add ¾ th cup water for thicker consistency.Allow gravy to simmer on medium heat.
- As gravy comes to boil, turn off the heat and prepare to serve.
- Konkani delight- Colocasia gravy can be served with steamed rice or Jowar Bhakri.
Click here to watch recipe video