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K'kong thoran

Written By ambili valsan on Sunday, February 10, 2013 | 6:51 PM

KangKong – The Chinese Water Spinach
I was on the look-out for leafy vegetables in the market. That’s when I saw beautiful bunches of Kangkong leaf. The name on the counter read – K’kong J. It is said to be used for stir fried South Asian Cuisines with ginger, garlic, pepper and dried shrimp paste. In Philippines, an appetizer dish called the crispy Kangkong uses the leaf coated with batter and fried until golden brown.

However, my idea was to try it for my usual spinach or the traditional kerala ‘cheera thoran’ recipe. As soon as I brought it home, I washed them and placed on the chopping board. I admired the spiral stems and the fresh pretty greens and decided to quickly take pictures. Now did they come handy for sheer sharing pleasures !?

The medicinal value – It has blood sugar lowering effect by inhibiting intestinal absorption of glucose on pregnant mothers and babies, supposedly manages gestational diabetes.

Kkong thoran

K’kong Leaves and stems washed and chopped fine.
White onions, sliced in thin circles
A garlic clove finely chopped
Green chillies 
Grated coconut
Salt  & pinch of turmeric powder
For garnish : quarter spoon of Mustard seeds, few Curry leaves, quarter spoon urad dal (black lentil skinned)  & one dry red chilly.

Method : Pour a spoon of oil into hot pan, add mustard seeds, when they sputter and pop, add the rest of the garnish ingredients and stir until they leave aroma. Then, add chopped onions, chopped garlic, green chillies slit and chopped and mix well. Add the chopped leaf vegetable, salt and turmeric powder and keep the flame reduced. Cook till the water leaves from the sides. Sprinkle grated coconut. Place a lid on the pan for two to three minutes. Open the lid, mix well and remove the pan from the stove or flame.

My mom uses a pinch of rice grains instead of the lentils in the garnish, they give a crunchy bite in the dish and gives almost the same effect as the slightly fried lentils.

The recipe works best with the Amaranth, called ‘red cheera’ in Malayalam. The most popular stir fried version of this recipe is ‘cheera thoran’ in Kerala.


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Divz said...

the stem of the spinach is so unique-hollow!! thats nice! iam sure it must have been yummy..