Stewed taro leaves is a classic Mauritian recipe. Leaves of the taro plant are cooked over a long period of time with light spices, tomatoes and tamarind. The result is a creamy silky texture that is really unlike any other greens.
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: taro leaves
Author: Teenuja Dahari - veganlovlie.com
300gtaro leaves and stemsabout 10 - 12, depending on size of leaves and stems
1shallot or small onionred or white
1 - 2clovesgarlicfinely chopped
1tablespoonminced gingerwatch this video for some tips on how to mince and store ginger
60gchopped tomatoes[1/4 cup] either canned or fresh
½teaspoontamarind pastediluted in a little warm water to remove the seeds (optional, omit if tomatoes are sour)
75gchickpeas[1/2 cup] cooked, optional
1tablespooncookingor sunflower oil
Salt to taste
Start by preparing the taro leaves and stems.
Separate the leaves from the stems by cutting them right at the base of the leaf.
The stems contain a substance that can cause irritation if they come into contact with the skin. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to wear rubber gloves while preparing the taro leaves.
Wash the stems. Then peel and cut into small pieces. If the stems are rather tender, I usually do not peel them. I just cut them into smaller pieces. When cooked for long enough the stems will melt along with the leaves.
Cut the leaves in half lengthwise. Then stack a few and roll them. Cut across into very thin ribbons. Cutting them thinly will allow them to cook better into a smooth texture. Once cut wash them thoroughly and drain the water.
Keep the leaves and stem pieces separate as we are going to start cooking the stems first.
In a large pan on medium-high, add one tablespoon of cooking oil.
Add in the minced ginger followed by the chopped onions and garlic. Saute for about 1 minute.
Add the cumin and a little water if required, if the onions are sticking to the pan.
Next add in the stems. Stir, add little water and then cover. Let them cook for about 10 minutes.
Add in the leaves and just a little salt to help the greens cook. Don’t add too much salt at this stage as you may be misguided by the volume of the leaves and the dish might end up too salty.
Add a little water, stir and then cover. Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 45 minutes.
Stir occasionally during this time and add water as needed so that the greens do not stick to the pan. You may mash the leaves to help them reach a creamy texture.
After about 45 minutes of cooking, the taro leaves will change colour to a deeper green.
Add the chopped tomatoes and diluted tamarind paste (if using).
Add the chickpeas. Stir, then cover and let cook for another 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and adjust the salt if necessary.
Serve with roti or rice accompanied by some other curries like a butter bean or white bean curry and condiments like our tamarind chutney and assorted pickles.