Arbi Makai Matar
The other day, I was chatting to my friend Meher who told me that she had had one of the yummiest colocasia preparations for lunch, courtesy one of her work colleagues. She didn’t know the recipe except that the tuber was first fried in order to get rid of the stickiness.
This got me thinking about how I have not had colocasia in absolutely ages, probably years.
colocasia is also known as arbi, elephant-ear, taro and dasheen
Since it is a starchy root vegetable, the kooky side in me decided to look up its nutritional information in order to decide whether to cook with it or not.
Was pleasantly surprised to discover that although high in calorie (100 grams has 112 calories, more than potato), the root is very low in fat and protein and “is one of the finest source of dietary fibers“. It also contains minerals, potassium and vitamins from the B-complex group.
Since the calorie count is high, I decided to team it with a couple of other vegetables to make a balanced meal. I don’t mind the fact that it is sticky so I boiled the root before adding it to the curry. An alternative would be to saute the boiled slices to get a crust before slipping them in the sauce.
I made up the recipe as I went along and, if I am allowed to boast a little, this is one of my kooky triumphs. You know how sometimes you cook something and its like, “meh”. And other times you make something which turns out so stupendous that you want to share it with everyone and shout from the roof-top… Okay, you get the picture! Oh, and it smells totally divine.
Will go very well with any type of flat bread like roti, naan or even sliced. Can also be eaten with rice.
100 Grams colocasia
50 Grams green pea
50 Grams sweetcorn kernel
1 Tablespoon paste of ginger and garlic
1 Cup plain yoghurt (sharp/tangy/sour)
1 Teaspoon turmeric powder
1 Teaspoon chilli powder
1 Teaspoon coriander powder
1 Teaspoon cumin powder
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
3 Dry red chillies
A pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste
1-2 Teaspoons oil
- First, boil the colocasia till it is firm but tender. You can either do this in a pressure cooker or in boiling water.
- Once the colocasia is cooked, let it cool down.
- Wash, peel and slice it in thick rounds.
- Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
- Wash and dice the tomato.
- Wash the green pea and sweetcorn kernels.
- Whisk the yoghurt and add the turmeric, chilli, coriander and cumin powders to it. Mix well and set aside.
- Break the dry chillies into 2-3 pieces each.
- Heat the oil in a pan.
- Once hot, lower the heat and add fennel seeds, dry chillies and asafoetida.
- Stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped onion and salt to taste. Mix, cover and let the onion cook for 5 minutes.
- Uncover and add the paste of ginger and garlic.
- Stir well and let this cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Next, add the chopped tomato. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Uncover and add the spiced yoghurt.
- Stir everything together and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add about 2 cups of water, increase the heat and bring to boil.
- Once the sauce starts boiling, lower the heat and add the sliced colocasia, green pea and sweetcorn kernel.
- Cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Take the pan off the burner and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.