Saturday, May 26, 2012

Colocasia

Colocasia, which belongs to the plant Family Araceae, is a considerably large genus containing many species. The main feature of this genus is the presence of air spaces in the leaf stalks and the presence of underground stem called corm. This succulent underground stem can be mistakenly thought as the tap root of the plant. The difference between stem a root is the ability to produce buds; stem can produce bud but roots only give rise to smaller roots. One of the most common species in Malaysia could be C. esculentum.

Vegetative reproduction is through formation of rhizomes. These rhizomes grow outwards from the position of the rhizomes, produce above-ground parts and then start new 'colonies'. Basically, the leaf stalk can be of two colour, which are brownish purple and yellow to slightly greenish.

In Malaysia, the plants are collectively known by the name "keladi". Edible Colocasia are eaten in a few different ways. First the young leaf stalk (those found to the inside) can be used as vegetable in preparing a dish called "gulai lemak keladi". This food preparation contains the leaf stalk and small corms submerged in a yellowish and slightly hot 'gravy'. Sometimes dried salted fish is added to add flavour. Eat this with rice when it is still hot, theeth!!!! yummy!!!.

The corm, cam be fried. It is cut longitudinally into thin cylinders or in cases of large corm into half cylinders. The pieces are them dipped into a specially blended flour paste and then put into boiling oil for deep frying. See the picture below showing sliced and halved fried colocasia corm with two preparations of fried banana. In Malay language (Bahasa Melayu) they are termed as keladi goreng and goreng pisang, repectively. In Malay language the correct terms should be keladi goreng and pisang goreng, where the noun is put before the adjective. However, in the term goreng pisang it is the reverse. It has been traditionally used and retained until today. Nowadays, it is common to hear people of the younger generation to use both terms. May be in the future the term goreng pisang will disappear.

Some Colocasia spp. are poisonous causing severe localised and systematic pains.













Below are some examples of species of the Genus Colocasia

Colocasia alba
C. albescens
C. coryli
C. deleta
C. electa
C. esculentum
C. gigantea
C. grisescens
C. infanta
C. jezoensis
C. melanotica
C. weymeri

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