Mar 27

Who wants Arbi (Taro Root)? A simple recipe

Taro root or arbi, is among my favorite foods. Taro root is a low fat food and is rich in zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, potassium and manganese. They are also gluten free and are a good source of dietary fiber. However, it is high in calories and should not be consumed in excess.

Since it is slimy on the outside when raw, it is not liked by many. But there are recipes that can help get rid of the sliminess and provide an outstanding outcome.

The recipe below is my mom’s. This is a delicious recipe, but the only drawback is that it needs to be consumed right after cooking. Re heating takes away from it and it does not taste the same.


1 lb Arbi or taro root

Water for boiling

Oil for deep frying

Coriander powder

Red chilli powder


Amchur or chaat masala


First wash the taro root thoroughly. Use a brush to remove the fiber and dirt. Once thoroughly washed, the arbi needs to be boiled. This can be done in the microwave or using a pressure cooker. Boiling methods are very similar to potato, so make sure all the pieces are similarly sized. I prefer the microwave method. Put all the roots in a bowl and put in enough water to just cover all the pieces. Microwave for about 6 minutes, then check with a butter knife if the roots are boiled through. If not, put them in again for another 5 minutes and recheck. Ideally, they should cook through between 6-10 minutes. Once the roots have boiled, let them cool for a few minutes and then put them in cold water so that they completely cool down. Once cool enough to handle, peel the roots. The peel should come off easily.

Arbi boiled and peeled

Once this is done, put the arbi in the fridge and allow it to cool for a few hours. This works out very well when the arbi is left alone after boiling overnight and then cooked the next day. It is important to cool the arbi since it will become too slimy otherwise.

When you are ready to cook the arbi, heat oil in a pan for deep frying. You can fry one side at a time, so you do not really need too much oil.. Once oil is hot, take the arbi in your palm and press down on the other side using your other palm. This will flatten the arbi and provide a cutlet-like effect. Make sure you are gentle and avoid breaking the piece. If it does not flatten easily, it has probably not boiled properly.

Masala Arbi

Fry the arbi, one side at a time, for a few minutes. The arbi is done when the outside shell is dark brown and crispy. Be careful not to burn it.

Remove the arbi from the heat and place on a paper towel. Use the towel to absorb excess oil. Once the oil has been removed, sprinkle the dry masalas on top. Keep the red chilly powder to a minimum, and try and put equal amounts of coriander and amchur (or chat masala). Salt is to taste. These masalas should be sprinkled on top while it is hot so that they stick.

If you like, you can flip the piece and sprinkle the masalas on the other side as well. Adjust the proportions accordingly.

Transfer the pieces to a fresh platter and serve while it is hot.

If you are making this for a party, boil and keep the arbi before hand. Fry just before serving. If you attempt to reheat, it will lose its crispiness and will not taste as good.

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