Kolokas (Taro Stew) Recipe

This is a popular traditional Turkish Cypriot recipe.

Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, a root vegetable most commonly known as taro (/ˈtɑːroʊ,ˈtæroʊ/), kalo, dasheen or godere.


It is the most widely cultivated species of several plants in the family Araceae that are used as vegetables for their corms, leaves, and petioles. Taro corms are a food staple in African, Oceanic, and South Asian cultures (similar to yams), and taro is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants.

Taro stew or casserole is a popular dish in Cypriot households. It can be made with lamb, beef or chicken or if preferred vegetarian. It is also possible to add various vegetables like chopped onions and celery.


Ingredients:

1/4 cup cooking oil

1/2 kg chopped lamb, chicken or beef mince, as desired (omit for vegetarian version)

1 large taro corm, peeled and ''cracked'' into pieces (see video below)

2 tomatoes, grated

1 tbsp tomato puree

3 cups water

1/2 lemon

salt and black pepper to taste


Note: Do not wash the taro corms. Washing them will affect how they're cooked and the desired texture will not be achieved. Simply hold by the root and peel (with a sharp knife) from the tip downwards. Wipe clean with paper towel before starting the cracking/cutting process (see below (starts at 2:00))


Preparation:

Heat the oil in a medium-sized deep saucepan, add the meat pieces/chicken/minced and fry. Add the pieces of taro corms, fry for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the water, salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Occasionally stir and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes or until both the meat and taro corms are soft. Serve with rice.


Nutritional Benefits:

  • Taro root contains fiber and resistant starch, which both slow digestion and reduce blood sugar spikes after meals. Fiber and resistant starch also helps lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • Taro root has good amounts of various nutrients that people often don’t get enough of, such as potassium, magnesium and vitamins C and E.

  • Taro root contains polyphenols and antioxidants that may combat cancer growth and protect your body from oxidative stress. Yet, more research in this area is needed.

  • Due to its high fiber and resistant starch content, taro root may increase feelings of fullness, reduce overall calorie intake and increase fat burning, potentially leading to weight loss and reduced body fat.

  • The fiber and resistant starch in taro root are fermented by gut bacteria to form short-chain fatty acids, which may protect against colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.


Raw taro contains proteases and oxalates that can cause a stinging or burning sensation in your mouth. Cooking deactivates these compounds.



Sources: Tastes from Cyprus, Wikipedia, Healthline, Kıbrıs Yemekleri YouTube channel




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