post on kolokasi, from four years ago, is, by five-to-one, the most popular I’ve written – who cares about Cyprus, Thucydides, Castoriadis? – I’m providing the classic recipe for one of the signature dishes of Cypriot cuisine. Kolokasi is a root vegetable, similar to the potato in texture and taste, and known as taro in English.
One large kolokasi, peeled, then cleaned with a damp paper or kitchen towel and cut into large chunks
One medium-large onion, chopped
Two tablespoons tomato puree
Three stalks of celery, chopped
Juice of one to one and a half lemons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
750g-1kg pork neck, shoulder or cutlets, cubed. (Meat is optional).
Do all this in a large saucepan or casserole pot.
I prefer kolokasi without meat, but pork or chicken can be added to the dish. For pork, you need, for the purposes of this recipe, approximately 750g to one kilo of pork shoulder or neck – pork cutlets are even better. Cut the pork into cubes, fry in two tablespoons of olive oil till brown, set aside.
1. If you’ve just fried your pork/chicken, then use the same olive oil to cook the onion. Otherwise, heat two tablespoons of olive oil, soften the onion.
2. Add the celery, followed by the tomato puree. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Throw in the chunky pieces of kolokasi.
4. Shake pot, so that sauce coats the kolokasi. Do not stir. (If you’re adding pork/chicken, add it now). Cook for further 7-8 minutes, shaking pot another 2-3 times.
5. Add plenty of salt and pepper. Shake pot again to make sure kolokasi is well coated with the tomato sauce.
6. Add enough hot water to cover the kolokasi, and bring to the boil.
7. Add juice of one to one and a half lemons, depending on taste.
8. Cover pot, cook for one hour or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.
You can serve kolokasi as a side or main dish. I recently had kolokasi with stewed hare, which my uncle shot in Scotland, and carrot tzatziki.