SOOKHI ARBI / सूखी अरबी (Stir Fried Taro Roots)

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Back with some more of simple home style north Indian recipes that I am trying to compile for my daughter via this blog. Since she wanted me to post simple everyday meals (curries and other such recipes), I have been in the process of doing just the same. Here is a dry dish of arbi / arvi or taro root (colocasia) that falls exactly in the category that she desires for – easy, simple and delicious. (there is another dry masala arbi recipe in case you are interested) This recipe is also perfect for the upcoming festival of Navratri where those who are fasting, abstain from eating onions and garlic in their food.

Although taro roots release slime when you cook them but frying, helps address that problem. This method especially helps get rid of all slime within no time and it even gets easier to digest it, cooked this way. It pairs well with rice and dal and can be enjoyed with flatbread (Roti) and some raita. It is a no onion, no garlic and even no ginger recipe. The taste of the dish rests totally upon spices – some whole and some powdered. The only pre–condition to making this dish is that you have a pantry that is well stocked with spices. The sabzi (vegetable) is breeze to make.

I would like to remark here that the amount of spices mentioned in the recipe are indicative of basic quantity. You can decrease or increase the same as per your taste. Here is what you will need,

450 gm Arbi / Taro Roots

3 – 4 tbsp Oil (as required)

½ – ¾ tsp Jeera (Cumin Seeds) {at least ½ tsp and max ¾ tsp)

¼ – ½ tsp Ajwain (Carom Seeds) {at least ¼ tsp & max ½ tsp)

1/8 tsp Heeng (Asafoetida)

1 tsp Lal Mirch (Red Chili Powder)

2 tsp Dhaniya Powder (Coriander Powder)

1 tsp Amchur (Dry Mango Powder)

½ tsp Garam Masala

Salt to taste (I used a little less than one teaspoon)

1 tsp Chat Masala

Boil the arbi (taro roots) till just done. (the cooking time will depend on how stout the roots are. I usually switch off the gas just before the pressure cooker gives off one whistle and allow the pressure to release on its own)

When the arbi is cool enough to handle, peel it and slice it in roundels (as shown in the pic). Don’t slice too thin as it will shrink a bit upon frying and if it is too thin, the pieces will dry out. Keep it somewhere around half a cm in thickness.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wide heavy bottom pan and add ajwain (carom seeds) and jeera (cumin seeds).

Stir it around and once they begin to crackle, add heeng (asafetida) and stir again. Spread the spices around the pan.

Now add the arbi by layering it all over the pan so as to cover the pan completely. (I usually take the pan off the heat and quickly do this job)

Mix all the spices (except chat masala) in a small bowl and sprinkle them evenly all over the arbi pieces. Do not stir.

Keep cooking the arbi on medium high heat for approximately 2 – 3 minutes or till it begins to turn golden brown at the bottom.

Drizzle the spiced side of the arbi and flip the pieces and cook the spiced side till the arbi is golden and done. Be careful not to burn the spiced side. (Drizzle more oil if required)

Now add chat masala and gently stir and mix the arbi pieces. Remove in a bowl and serve with chapati or as a side dish to rice and dal. Enjoy!

Serves – 3 – 4

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