It was 14 years ago when I first came to Egypt. Lots of the foods I ate were prepared and cooked in ways I never knew before, but most of the ingredients were not new to me. And WHAM! Along came colocasia, also known as tora. Egyptians call it kolkas (pronounced ‘ool ass’).
What is colocasia?
Colocasia, also known as taro, is a root-like vegetable that has the texture of well-done potatoes: creamy and smooth! It’s also featured in some other ethnic Asian food.
How do Egyptians eat it?
Egyptians like to have colocasia as a stew over rice or with bread. Usually, swiss chard is added, imparting a dark green color to the dish and adding lots of calcium. We can find it both fresh and frozen here in Cairo, but I usually go with the frozen version, as you can see in the recipe below.
(for the stew)
1 bag of frozen colocasia (tora)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 liter of water
(for the greens)
1 tablespoon of oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 packet of chard (usually included in the bag of frozen colocasia)
1. Pour the frozen colocasia into the pot and keep the chard aside.
2. Add the tomatoes, onion, bouillon cubes and water to the pot.
3. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. In a separate shallow pan or skillet, heat the oil.
5. Add the garlic, salt, coriander and chard. Stir fry for 3 minutes or until garlic is tender and slightly golden.
6. Add the greens to the vegetable stew.
7. Simmer another 5-10 minutes.
8. Serve over rice or with baladi (pita) bread.
Nutritional Information per serving:
Calories: 152; Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 34g; Fiber: 6g; Protein: 3g
Alf Hana!!! (May you have a thousand delights!)