Friday, January 27, 2012

North Cyprus Vegetables - Kolakas


 Kolokas/Kolakasi/Colocasia/Taro - this vegetable is known under many different names, but is essentially a root vegetable which is widely known as Kolakas in North Cyprus. Generally, Kolakas is eaten like a potato, as it tastes quite similar when cooked but with a nutty flavour. Generally the Kolakas from North Cyprus are quite large, certainly larger than in other countries.

Care must be taken when handling the Kolakas, as the skins/leaves (if there are any) and the root are all poisonous before they have been cooked, and cannot under any circumstances be eaten raw. To prepare the Kolakas, you should first wash it, then peel off the brown skin, (you cannot eat the skin even when cooked) then chop into medium pieces and boil in water, as you would potatoes. It is recommended that you add a pinch of baking soda to the water. You will notice while it is cooking that you will get a white froth on the top of the water. Once the Kolakas is cooked, you must then drain it from the saucepan and give it a good rinsing to get rid of all of the froth. You can now eat your Kolakas by adding it to a stew, or eaten on their own with meat or fish. 

You can also roast, bake, mash or chip them, as many different countries around the world use them in all different ways. For more information about how they are prepared around the world, you can visit the Wikipedia page here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taro  

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