Kolmou Haak

Xaak or khaak or haak…whichever spelling you use, it means green leafy vegetable in Assamese, the ones of which, only the leaves and tender stems are consumed as a side dish with a meal. I love haak, the veggie that is, and yeah the spelling too :-).
Kolmou haak
Yesterday I made Kolmou haak and loved it (hey, I love all kinds of haak for that matter). It was a little gravy-ish with one potato cut in wedges style. We had rice with that and two more side dishes to go with it. Now, since it was the first time I was making this haak, I had to call my moma darling back home to ask for the recipe. I made it like an obedient pupil and I am happy with the output. Once lunch was over, I wondered about the goonagoon, nutritional value of the haak and was amused and amazed by what I have learnt. Here I am sharing a few things about Kolmou.
Ipomea Aquatica – Kolmi Sag
  • Kolmou is known as Ipomoea Aquatica and it is known as the water spinach as well, because of its nutritional properties that come close to spinach.
  • Water spinach is most commonly grown in East and Southeast Asia. Because it flourishes naturally in waterways and does not require much care, it is used extensively in Malay and Chinese cuisine, especially in rural or kampung (village) areas.
  • The vegetable is a common ingredient in Southeast Asian dishes. In Singapore and Indonesia, the leaves are usually stir fried with Chile pepper, garlic, ginger, dried shrimp paste (belacan/terasi) and other spices.
  • In Penang and Ipoh, it is cooked with cuttlefish and a sweet and spicy sauce.
  • During the World War II, the vegetable grew remarkably well and easily in many areas, and become a popular wartime crop.
  • In Chinese cuisine, there are numerous ways of preparation, but a simple and quick stir-fry either plain or with minced garlic is probably the most common. In Cantonese cuisine, a popular variation adds preserved bean curd – a method known in the Mandarin language as furu (The Chinese Cheeses).
  • In Hakka cuisine, yellow bean paste is added, sometimes along with fried shallots. The vegetable is also extremely popular in Taiwan, where it grows well.
  • In Thailand it is frequently stir fried with oyster sauce and shrimp paste. It can be eaten raw with Lao green papaya salad. Though eaten raw, there is a chance of transmitting fasciolopsiasis, a parasite of humans and pigs.
  • In Vietnam, it once served as a staple vegetable of the poor. In the south, the stems are julienned into thin strips and eaten with many kinds of noodles and used as a garnish as well.
  • Over the course of time, Ipomoea aquatica has developed into being an ingredient for many daily vegetable dishes of Vietnamese cuisine as a whole.
  • In the Philippines, it is usually sautéed in cooking oil, onions, garlic, vinegar, and soy sauce. This dish is called “adobong kangkong”. There is an appetizer in the Philippines called Crispy Kangkong, where in a mixer of with eggs, water, cornstarch, flour, salt and pepper these leaves are coated with the batter and are fried until crispy and golden brown.
  • Some of the common names include water spinach, swamp cabbage, water convolvulus, water morning-glory, kangkung (Indonesian, Malay, Sinhalese), Hong Sum Choy (Hakka), Thooti koora in Telugu; Kalmisag, Sarnali, Ganthian in Hindi; Kolmi Shak or Kolmi Lota in Bengali and finally In Kolmou in my mother tongue Assamese.

Ø http://aquat1.ifas.ufl.edu


2 Responses

  1. this is pretty nostalgic M, i am almost smelling the waft coming from maa’s kitchen. these are the real traditional VEGAN food i guess. Thnks M for sharing.