Saturday, 17 December 2011

Arbi/Seppankezhangu Podimas (Taro Root/Colocasia with spicy powder)

Arbi/Seppankezhangu Podimas (Taro Root/Colocasia with spicy powder)

There are some vegetables that are called ‘naatu kai’ and that simply means it belongs to that particular place. Back home such vegetables include snake gourd, chayote squash ash gourd, arbi etc. Beans, potatoes, carrots etc. are considered ‘english’ vegetables. When I was in India, I had taken the native vegetables for granted but once I moved to Scotland, I was quite shocked to barely find any of the wonderful vegetables I was used to. So every visit to an Indian grocery shop (which was once in a quarter), I will try to get as many vegetables as possible. That week would be exciting because I will recreate many yummy dishes that my mom and grandmothers used to do prepare and enjoy them. On a recent visit to my brother’s place, I got to make this arbi podimas and again because I seldom get arbi around where I live, it was a treat and did not miss my opportunity to photograph the steps. Here is the recipe...

20-25 numbers of small arbi
Cooking oil
1 teaspoon tamarind puree diluted in 2-3 tablespoons of water
Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Curry leaves
Couple of pinches of dessicated coconut/freshly grated coconut
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

For powder:
3 tablespoons channa dal
2 tablespoon coriander seeds (dhania)
4 dry red chillies
Cooking oil

Wash arbi well as it could be covered with mud. Steam them until a knife would comfortably slide in

Allow to cool so it is easy to handle, then peel the skin

In the meantime heat little oil in a kadai and roast the channa dal until golden brown then coriander seeds until aromatic and dry red chillies until they begin to change colour. Keep aside to cool and powder

Once powder is ready and arbi is peeled, heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. After it splutters add asafoetida and turmeric powder

Add the arbi, if some of them are big, cut it else I would put them straight in as they are likely to get mashed when we stir. I cooled the arbi well so they retain their shape and do not get mushy. Add the curry leaves as well

Mix carefully so all the arbi are coated with the oil, mustard seeds and turmeric. Then add the tamarind water and again stir carefully

Fry for 8-10 minutes and then add salt and the ground powder and mix well. Roast for 10 minutes adding little more oil if needed


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