Taro is consumed almost in all parts of the country in different forms. In Western India, it’s the large taro leaves that are much loved. Bengal is dotted with water bodies in the form of lakes and ponds and hence, different varieties of taro or kochu as we call it, grow in abundance. We use the stems to make a stir-fry that’s almost a mash and we call it kochu shak er ghonto
Kochu shak er ghonto is a pure vegetarian recipe, ie, cooked without any onion and garlic. It’s not something you will love instantly. It’s quite an acquired taste and I think, you can either love it or hate it. There is no mid-way about kochu shaak. Once cooked, the texture becomes slimy. Boiled Bengal gram (kala chana) and freshly grated coconut are added to kochu shaak’er ghonto to make it interesting.
You can also check out this recipe of shapla’r bhyala – Water lily stem fritters
The difficult or rather, time-consuming part is prepping kochu shak before cooking. It is notorious for causing throat ich if not properly prepped. We have a video on how to prep it on Instagram
How to Clean Kochu Shak
Cut the long stems into small portions and as you do that, pull out the outer fibrous layer. Then thoroughly wash the stems under running water. In a large vessel, place all the stems and then cook that on low to medium heat. Cover the vessel and after a few minutes, you will see that a lot of water will release from the stems and it will drastically reduce in quantity. Once the stems have become very soft, turn off the heat and discard the water. Make sure you have discarded every last drop of water. This is now ready to be cooked as a niramish ghonto or with ilish macher matha.
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Kochu Shak er niramish ghonto recipe
In a kadai, heat mustard oil and then add nigella seeds and green chillies. After that add the prepared kochu shak. Fry that in mustard oil, and sprinkle some water if needed. You may or may not add turmeric powder. Then add a handful of boiled Bengal gram or kala chana, grated coconut, a little bit of sugar, salt to taste and a tsp of tamarind paste. Cook all this together, add split green chillies and serve with rice.
Here is an easy guide to make Kochu Shak er Ghonto –
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Kochu Shak er Ghonto
- 3 large taro stems
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp nigella seeds
- 4 nos green chillies
- 1 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ cup boiled kala chana Bengal gram
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Prepare the taro stems as mentioned above.
- In a kadai, heat oil and add nigella seeds and a couple of green chillies.
- Add the prepared taro stem to this. Add turmeric powder and fry the taro stems in that oil. Sprinkle a little water so that it helps in cooking.
- Once the raw smell of the turmeric powder goes off, add boiled Bengal gram and 1 tbsp of grated coconut.
- Give it a good mix, then add tamarind paste, sugar and salt as per taste.
- Add split green chillies and give it a good mix. Finally, add the rest of the grated coconut and serve with steamed rice.
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Do try this recipe and share your feedback. You can also reach out to us at our social media handles: Instagram, Facebook or any of our personal Facebook (Madhushree and Anindya) and Twitter profiles. Post a picture and tag us.