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Keladi is long and cylindrical, approximately 8-10 centimeters in diameter and 16-28 centimeters in length. The rough, uneven outer skin is a mixture of shades of brown and white, and the corm is typically bulbous towards one end and then tapers to a point. The inner white flesh is firm and moist with spots and speckles. Keladi is starchy and has a mild, sweet, and slightly nutty taste.
Keladi is available year-round.
Keladi, botanically classified as Colocasia esculenta, is a stem-tuber that is commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical climates. Also known as Eddoe, Dasheen, Taro, Madumbi, Malanga, Gabi, Talo, Colcas, Kalo, Ndalo, and Amateke, Keladi is one of the few crops that grow well in wet, flooded regions. It is cultivated across Southeast Asia, India, and New Guinea and prefers swampy soils. Keladi is used as a vegetable in culinary preparations and over thirty different varieties have been found growing wild, in home gardens, and in cultivated areas.
Keladi contains vitamins A, B6, E, and C, and iron, fiber, potassium, zinc, and magnesium.
Keladi is poisonous when raw and MUST be consumed in cooked applications such as boiling, steaming, and frying. It can be sliced and boiled and served in coconut milk, spiralized and sautéed to make noodles, shredded and fried to make crispy pancakes, or even sliced and baked as chips. In addition to savory dishes, Keladi is also used in sweet dishes such as pumpkin buns, cakes, pies, bubble tea, and ice cream. Complimentary ingredients include meats such as duck and pork belly, shrimp, rice, pea shoots, green onion, shallots, chilies, coconut, sugar, and tomato. Keladi will keep for a few days when stored in a paper bag at room temperature in a cool and dry place.
Keladi has recently increased in popularity in Southeast Asia and the leaves, stems, and corms are all used in traditional cooking. In the Philippines, Keladi has grown in importance because it is a reliable crop that can be used in place of other vegetables when food shortages arise. Keladi is commonly used in the Philippines national stew, sinigang, where it is used as a thickener. It is also used in laing, which uses Keladi leaves cooked in coconut milk and salted with fermented shrimp.
Keladi is believed to be native to New Guinea, and there are reports of Keladi dating back to 10,000 years ago. Today, it is widely cultivated around the world and can be found in local markets and specialty grocers in Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United States, the Caribbean, and tropical Africa.