Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gollai kalamasa (pumpkin tips)

In the interest of trying to eat a little more locally due to our lack of refrigerator space (most of the shelves are consumed by the rice and baking supplies to prevent mildew and rancidity), rising food prices, and a generally dismal state of imported produce quality, I bought some gollai kalamasa. I had never actually eaten this green before, but assumed that it would be okay in one of my favorite local dishes, gollai appan suni--otherwise known as taro leaves in coconut milk.

You can get a sense of how big the cut tips are here:

Before preparing gollai kalamasa, you first have to peel the slightly prickly skin from the stems.

As you can see from the thin threads that result from this peeling, you can imagine that this process takes a really long time. I think in the future I'll just cut off the stems since I didn't think they were particularly flavorful anyway.

The leaves are pretty large, so I would also suggest cutting them to quicken the cooking process and make eating easier.

The actual cooking process, according to, is fairly simple. Essentially you boil the leaves with coconut milk, lemon juice, onion, ginger, and fresh hot peppers. You can find the gollai appan suni recipe here.

It was only after I had cooked the gollai kalamasa that I found out from locals that the tips are usually cooked in soups with chicken. Since it's a relatively tough vegetable with leaves that are a slightly furrier version of kale leaves, that would make perfect sense--but in my defense, I still think this version of gollai appan suni turned out pretty mannge'!

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