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 covered arbi tucked inside a grumpy cardboard box in the corner. Oh my! I notched a little closer, one touch between my palms and in a blink I knew they were perfectly ripe and ready to come home with me.
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
- 1 lb arbi (taro root)
- 3 tablespoon mustard oil
- 1/4 heaped teaspoon ajwain (carrom seeds)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon hing (asafoetida powder)
- 1-2 green chillies (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon amchoor (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 the 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 with ajwain, cumin,green chillies and hing powder.Immediately add the arbi and stir around to coat the batons in oil. Sprinkle the red chili powder and amchoor. Also add the salt. Stir again to combine.
Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and let cook for 12-15 minutes till the arbi is soft but not mushy.
On high heat, saute for 1-2 seconds.
Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve.