With the first few showers of rain, you get a variety of interesting leafy vegetables which are available just for a short time. One such vegetable is Dragon Stalk Yam which is mainly available just before the monsoons begin. Though you do get it during the rains too though the ones you get just before the rains are said to be tastier.
Scientific Name: Amorphophallus Commutatus.
Other names: English-Dragon Stalk Yam; Marathi- Shevale, Mogari Kanda; Hindi-Jungli Suran
Appearance: It consists of a single stalk with a spathe (leaf kind of structure) and beautiful hollow spadix (pod/bud) inside. The color of the spadix determines the stage of maturity/ development.
Purchasing and storing: Very few vegetable vendors keep the Dragon Stalk Yam mainly because not many today are aware of this vegetable or eat it. When you buy it, buy it from a known vendor. It can stay in the fridge for 3-4 days but it’s best to be used fresh.
*If you are in Mumbai some of the places where you will easily get this are in the Virar, Vasai, Palghar, Borivali, Goregaon, Dadar markets.
Taste: It has a very earthy, meaty taste. Not everyone likes it since it’s an acquired flavor.
Nutritional value: Not much literature is available about the nutritional content but it sure is high in fiber.
Cleaning and usage:
- Use gloves for cleaning or rub some sour kokum liquid (Aagal) to your hands before you begin cleaning to avoid any sort of irritation or itching.
- Remove the Spathe.
- The orange band that you see needs to be removed as it causes itching in the throat.
- Only the Spadex is used. Though in some regions even the Spathe is used.
- Along with Dragon Stalk yam, you often get around vegetables called are kakda which are more off like amla in appearance and texture. They are used to reduced or avoid itchiness.
*Shevale is very much common in the Pathare Prabhu cuisine but unlike us, they do not use kakda. They prepare shevale with sode (prawns).
Shevale- 1 ½ cup, finely chopped
Kakda- ¾ cup, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste-2 tbsp
Red chilli powder- 1-2 tsp
Meat Masala/ Garam Masala-1-2 tsp
Salt-as per taste
Kokum (aagal) -1 tsp * or use tamarind a little bit
Ground to paste:
- Heat oil in a wok. Add oil then cumin and let it splutter.
- Then add in ginger garlic paste and let it fry nicely.
- Add in salt, red chilli powder and let it cook slightly.
- Put in the finely chopped shevale and sauté it well for 5-8 mins and then add in the finely chopped kakda. Cook for few minutes.
- Pour in the coconut paste and let it cook.
- Finely add in the kokum, garam/meat masala and lastly salt as per taste.
- Serve hot with rice or bhakri.