There are more than one way I have eaten this root growing up, but necessarily in savory preparations. Never saw a sweet prepared with it, quite unlike the way it is used in the rest of south asia – in making puddings and ice creams or even candy.I thronged our asian grocers almost every weekend until last week I spotted these hairy skinned, mud coveredÂ arbi tuckedÂ inside a grumpy cardboardÂ box in theÂ corner. Oh my! I notched a little closer, one touch between my palms and in a blink I knew they wereÂ perfectly ripe and ready to come home with me.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 1 lbÂ arbiÂ (taro root)
- 3 tablespoon mustard oil
- 1/4 heaped teaspoonÂ ajwainÂ (carrom seeds)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/8 teaspoonÂ hingÂ (asafoetida powder)
- 1-2 green chillies (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoonÂ amchoorÂ (dry mango powder or squirt fresh lemon juice at end)
- salt to taste
- Chopped cilantro – for garnish
- Sprinkle of chaat masala (optional, to taste)
- Grease your palms liberally with oil or wear gloves when handling raw taro root. It could be quite itchy without.
- Finish the dish with some sour element, dry mango powder (amchoor) as in the recipe, vinegary or fresh lime/lemon juice. Sometimes, the cooked vegetable can itch the throat. But not to worry. The sour element only adds to the taste.
Using the peeler, peel off the skins of theÂ arbi. Wash under running water. Completely dry with a kitchen towel. Slice length wise into half. Cut batons from each half.
Heat up the oil in a saute pan on medium. Temper the oil withÂ ajwain, cumin,green chillies andÂ hingÂ powder.Immediately add theÂ arbiÂ and stir around to coat the batons in oil. Sprinkle the red chili powder andÂ amchoor. Also add the salt. Stir again to combine.
Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for 12-15 minutes till theÂ arbiÂ is soft but not mushy.
On high heat, saute for 1-2 seconds.
Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve.