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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Taro Root and Okra Sabji (A curried side dish)

Taro root and Okra are both my fav tuber and veggie. A little tricky to cook, as they both have slimy characteristic.  I am sure all of you are familiar with Okra here, but may be not with Taro root. (if want to read up on Okra, refer to my recipe Simple Bhindi Masala on this blog)

What is Taro root? The taro root, as with other tubers, is recognized by other names. This tuber is also known as the Arbi (India) dasheen, eddo and kalo in many areas of the world including West Africa, Asia, Central America, South America and the Caribbean and Polynesian islands. This root is most well-known as the ingredient of the Hawaiian dish poi, which is mashed taro root.


Select tubers that are firm and hairy, with no wrinkling. Store the roots for up to one week in a cool and dry location, making sure that the roots do not dry out.
The hairy outer coating on a taro root is similar to a coconut. The hairy outer layer is always removed before cooking. These roots are starchy and generally treated like potato.

Ingredients:

6-7 tubers of Taro root

2 lbs of Okra sliced in to desired thickness
1/4 cup of olive oil or vegetable cooking oil
2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of  mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon of Asfaetida
Juice from 1 fresh lime
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of Turmeric powder
3-4 tablespoon of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1-2 tablespoon of Mango powder (to taste)
1 tablespoon of  cayenne pepper or to taste
1/4 cup of cilantro leaves chopped for garnish

Method:

* Peel Taro root and chop in to desired size cubes
* Pressure cook them or boil them in salted water until cooked tender. (see suggestion below to decrease the sliminess)
* Heat oil, when oil is  hot add cumin, mustard seeds
* When these seeds crackle add asaefoetida
* Add sliced okra and lime juice and salt.
* Stir fry on medium high heat until tender and all the slime disappears with occasional tossing ad  stirring.
* Add cooked taro root cubes and all the spices.
* Mix well until everything is well incorporated
* Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with chapati or naan.










Suggestions:
 
* May add onion, garlic, ginger and chopped jalapenos/hot peppers, If you do decide to add these, may want to  saute these in oil first until golden brown before adding Okra. (may need more oil)
* If like to add tomatoes or tomato paste add these before adding taro root and spices and cook for 2-3 min then add spices followed by taro root.
* To decrease sliminess of taro I toss them with 1./2 cup of yogurt and salt before I pressure cook them.
* Okra always yields less in quantity after cooking
* This recipes yields 4-6 servings depending on size of serving and guest's appetite ;)

















Recipe and Photographs by Surekha.




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