Dum Ki Arbi ~ Fried Arbi in a rich Gravy!

I have a long time love affair. I know this might sound very strang. Even eccentric. Yet its true, I am talking about my affinity towards the humble tuber, the Arbi. We call it Samagadda in telugu. You may call it, by whatever name you may want. But it pulls my heart in many ways. Do I sound strange? Thank you! I can't hide my love for long, right. I have cooked it many times in almost the same type. Like a deep fried one or a shallow fried one. This does has a thing about getting fried in oil. The taro pieces selflessly scarifies itself in the piping oil to please our palate.

Though this is quite a common vegetable, if I may call it a vegetable, at home, today is the first time, I have actually tried to learn more about this tuber. While I was reading about it, it was interesting to note the different ways this gets cooked in different parts. Did you know that this is the main ingredient in the famous Chembila curry of Kerala or Patra of Gujju cuisine. I didn't know it till now. Rather I choose not to know. I was content cooking this in the most simplest way.

More healthy stuff on Taro

Taro, is a tropical plant grown primarily as a vegetable food for its edible corm, and secondarily as a leaf vegetable. It is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. Taro is extensively used in South Asia. Typical of leaf vegetables, taro leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and zinc, and a very good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, copper, and manganese. Taro corms are very high in starch, and are a good source of dietary fiber. Oxalic acid may be present in the corm and especially in the leaf, and these foods should be eaten with milk or other foods rich in calcium so as to remove the risks posed by ingesting the oxalate ion, especially for people with kidney disorders, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis. Calcium reacts with the oxalate to form calcium oxalate which is very insoluble. - Source Wikipedia

Knowing this small tuber have so much value, makes me reach more for it. This quest for a different version started, when hubby dear once commented that he used to eat a delicious dish in Delhi. He said it was a gravy one and it used to be yummy. Since then I have been on the look out of a gravy made with Arbi. Then one day, I suddenly remembered I can very well google for this, to see if there are people out there, who like it in other ways than I know. Well you know how it is right, ask google one and it will give you 100! For many days I was swamped with so many Arbi gravies. Finally I decided on one. Since its from Sanjeev kapoor, I knew I can just go through it blindfolded.

When I declared to hubby dear that I am going to make this for dinner, he looked dismayed as he planned to take Konda for swimming. Boy, did two left hands suddenly crop up! My twins suddenly realized that they loved their momma very much and wouldn't let me a sec away. I was looking at the time and dreading the impeding catastrophe was going to fall on me. Finally I managed to rope in somebody to distract the kids and in a marathon run, completed the dinner. Infact I had that extra few mins for a photo session.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 35 mins
Cuisine : North Indian


Colocassia / Arbi - 250 gms
Onions - 2 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Curds / Yogurt - 1 & 1/2 2 cups
Poppy seeds / Khus Khus - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Garam masala powder ½ tsp
Nutmeg powder - ¼ tsp
Green cardamoms - 2
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp + about 2 tbsp to deep fry

Fresh cream - ¼ cup

Method to prepare

To get things running in parallel, have most of this going at the same time to get this dish out in record time.

Wash the arbis and let it soak for a while. At times, we get arbis that have lot of mud, so soaking gets all of it out. Best and easy way to cook Arbi, would be to pressure cook it for almost a whistle but not full whistle. This way its half cooked, yet not soft. Once the stream is out, run them in cool water and peel them once they are not hot. Make sure the knife and the board is dry, else you have sticky and running arbis on hand. Chop them to 2" size pieces as in the picture.

Meanwhile, boil one cup of water and drop the chopped onions. Let it come to boil. Drain the water and let it cool. If you have ground ginger garlic paste, you can use, else grind ginger, garlic and onions to a smooth paste.

As you have one burner having the boiling onions, dry roast the poppy seeds in a skillet and soak in water for half an hour. This was the hard part for me as I don't have a smaller jar nor a mortar and pestle to grind the poppy seeds to fine paste. I just ran the soaked seeds with water and then using dal masher, mashed down the gravy. It did come out smooth.

Whisk the yogurt along with red chilli powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Keep it aside.

Heat a pan with oil, add green cardamoms, after a min, add boiled onion paste. Sauté till light golden brown. Then add ginger-garlic paste and coriander powder. Mix well. Stir in poppy seeds paste and cook for about 5 mins.

When the onion paste is getting cooked, heat a kadai with little oil, to deep fry the half boiled arbi. Fry them till crisp and golden brown. Drain onto a kitchen towel and keep aside. Use little oil as arbi tends to leave out pieces.

When the onion paste with poppy paste is well cooked, add the whisked yogurt, bring it to a boil. Add little water to this and add fried arbi, grated nutmeg, garam masala powder and salt.

Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and simmer for thirty minutes. Dum can be done by covering with aluminum foil or sealing the lid with wheat flour dough, so that the aroma does not escape. Since I didn't have either on hand, I just inverted a heavy pressure pan on it. This also allowed me to stir in between. This has to be little on the gravy side, mine got very thick, though it tasted yummy.

Just before serving open the lid and stir in fresh cream. Infact I add the cream to the bowl.

When I served hubby the Dum Ki Arbi, I was looking eagerly at him to check his reaction, he said it tasted yummy. I asked if it was the same from Delhi, he gave me one funny look and said, actually I don't remember how it tasted since it was very long ago, just that it was good. It can all be this, for all you know. Do make a tick against this, we can have it again. Well that got me in finally!

Other avatars of arbi always on my mind:
Arbi Fries
Arbi Deep fry with Idli batter
Arbi Stir Fry
Arbi / Colacasia / Samagadda Deep fry

Sending this to Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen, who is hosting her own event this week, the Weekend Herb Blogging. Thanks for hosting this lovely event Kalyn!

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