Taro plant is loaded with nutrients and dietary fiber, it contains complex carbohydrates which is excellent for energy. It can be made into soup, buns, fritters, desserts and is used by many cultures around the world.
I love this vegetable as it very comforting. In Coastal Karnataka the leaves of this plant is used to make ‘patrode’. Patrode is the leaves of this plant are layered with spice paste coated in between and then rolled, cut and steamed. That will be a separate post reserved for later. ‘Patra’ as it is called in western state of Gujarat is somewhat similar to patrode the way it is made but the ingredients used are not.
Arbi can be tricky to cook because sometimes when you handle raw taro or arbi it can be irritating to the skin. To minimize this you can apply oil or even tamarind paste which will reduce itching or irritation.
This is a simple recipe to make but you must ensure that the taro is properly pressure cooked. Taro is primarily bland, dry spices coat the taro and making it more flavorful.
- 8 taro root or arbi
- ½ tsp carom seeds or ajwain
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp amchur or dry mango powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- 1 tsp each cumin and coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- ¼ tsp hing or asafetida powder
- 1-2 green chilies, chopped
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 2-3 tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
First wash the taro and place in a pressure cooker or IP (Instant Pot). Add about 2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt and cook for 2 whistles in cooker. Release pressure immediately. If using IP, place taro, salt and water pressure cook on high for 2 minutes, release pressure immediately.
When cool, peel and cut into bite size pieces and keep aside.
Take a pan add oil heat. Add cumin seeds and mustard. When it splutters add all the powders and stir well.
Now add salt, cilantro and green chilies. Lastly add taro and mix well. Mix well but with light hands, the taro can mush easily. Cover and cook for 5 minutes so the taro absorbs all the spices.
Serve hot as an accompaniment with dal and rotis or parathas.
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The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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Taro was consumed by the early Romans in much the same way the potato is today. They called this root vegetable mentions several methods for preparing taro, including boiling, preparing with sauces, and cooking with meat or fowl. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the use of taro dwindled in Europe. This was largely due to the decline of trade and commerce with Egypt, previously controlled by Rome. When the Spanish and Portuguese sailed to the new world, they brought taro along with them. Recently