5/28/2012

dinengdeng nga aba, stewed taro leaves/stems/roots

Aba. Gabi. Taro. Somewhat a staple root vegetable in Pinoy cuisine, specifically in Bicol where its stalks especially its leaves, fresh or dried, is prized for the hot (spiced with lots of chilis) and coconut-milky laing or ginataang gabi (cooked in coconut milk). Ilokano simply make dinengdeng nga aba (stewed,boiled in bugguong broth)or sour it as paksiw nga aba, stalks (stem), leaves and with the root (called corm; laman, bagas). Yes, we Ilokanos usually gather taro as a whole plant, pulling it out from its roots. Which is a no-no for some in Bicolandia as they retain the roots so that new stalks and leaves will grow for the next gathering/harvesting--they love and prize their taro plants that much that they can't afford to uproot it and eat it whole!

Aba for sale in a roadside talipapa in Gattaran, Cagayan.
[click on photo for a larger view]

Aba with roots and stalks. And some tender leaves. The mature leaves of taro is not usually cooked as dinengdeng because it's itchy. 
[click on photo for a larger view]

Panagdalus or panagimuri. This is how I clean and prepare the aba for my dinengdeng. I removed the thin peel of the stalks. Careful when cleaning taro stalks as the hands might got some itchiness, an allergic reaction to the sap. Use gloves or sprinkle salt on your hands to prevent getting itchy.
[click on photo for a larger view]

The aba cooking in a pot. I boiled the bugguong first, put in some crushed ginger and garlic and some onions and then the cut aba stems and corm, plus some leaves. It's that simple. Cook the aba for some time and don't stir else it becomes itchy (on the mouth, especially on the throat!). Undercooked aba is also itchy, sometimes. Some old folks believe that not all can cook a not itchy dinengdeng nga aba. I tend to believe because there are some friends I know that never cook an aba dish because when they tried it, it so nabudo (nagatel, itchy)! But I believe more it's on the way you cook it, just cook it well and avoid stirring while the aba is being cooked. Meanwhile, besides plain dinengdeng, a more delicious dish is paksiw nga aba or soured. I made mine paksiw by adding little vinegar. Instant tamarind mix is also good. But if you have fresh tamarind fruit, use it instead. Green mangos is also a perfecty souring agent. As well as fresh pias (kamias). 
[click on photo for a larger view]

Dinengdeng/paksiw nga aba done! Fortunately i've made it again--it's not that itchy although honestly the aba has made some parts of my hands red with itch. The broth is just minimal, thickened by the corm (root). Sagpaw or add-in is usually a must for this kind of dish, but I opted to make it just pure aba. You can add in dried or smoked paste in it, or even meat.
[click on photo for a larger view]

This is my other aba dish I cooked months earlier: ginettaan nga aba (semi-laing in that it has bagas or corm. I used freshly squeezed coconut milk, not the canned one.
[click on photo for a larger view]

Ginettaan nga aba and its usual partner in crime: sili! :-)
[click on photo for a larger view]

Another dinengdeng/paksiw nga aba. Photo by Leilanie Adriano.
[click on photo for a larger view]

Another laing dish. Photo from Ilokano Food.
[click on photo for a larger view]

Yet another ginettaan nga aba, cooked dry and soured with pias.
[click on photo for a larger view]




.....

0 comments:

Post a Comment