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Sunday, November 26, 2000
What's cooking?

Art of cooking arbi
By Geetu

Arbi (Colocasia) is an easily available, inexpensive vegetable with which every home-maker is familiar. A rich source of carbohydrates, this vegetable has high calorific value. However, if not cooked properly, it can irritate the throat and tastes best when cooked with ajwain over slow heat. Ajwain not only enhances its taste but also makes it easier to digest.

The leaves of the plant are also used in many dishes. Mouth-watering pattod (arbi leaves cooked with gram flour and chutney) can be served as tea-time snacks as well as a meal-time dish.

Try the following variations, since there is much more to this humble vegetable than the usual dry or masala arbi, dishes.

While buying, however, prefer hard and firm ones. Discard the yellowing ones and ones with dark patches. It should be stored in airy baskets in an open place to avoid wastage due to rotting.

 

Masala arbi:

Ingredients

kg Arbi (large or medium-sized)

2 tsp jeera, roasted and powderedLayered arbi mathris make a delightful snack

2 tsp garam masala powder

1 tsp coriander power

2 tsp mango powder

2 tsp salt

Oil for frying

Method

Boil arbi in salted water till done. Peel the boiled pieces and flatten each piece by lightly pressing between palms.

In a plate mix all the masalas, salt and mango powder.

Heat oil and deep fry the flattened arbi till golden brown.

Take out from oil and roll in dry masala so that each piece of is fully coated with the masala. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with naan or tandoori roti.

Sweet and sour arbi

Ingredients

250 gm arbi,

2-3 medium potatoes

Oil for frying

1 medium onion For sauce:

1 large tomato

1 t bsp corn flour

1 cup water

1 medium cucumber

3 tbsp malt vinegar

sugar

2 rings of canned pineapple

3 tbsp pineapple juice

24 tbsp comflour

2 tbsp thin soya sauce

1 tsp grated ginger

2 tbsp tomato ketchup

Salt to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Boil arbi and potatoes till tender, mash well. Add grated ginger, salt. Add 1 tbsp comflour to make a smooth dough. Take small portions and make lemon-sized balls (apply oil on your hands if it is sticky). Roll the balls in comflour and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Keep aside.

Quarter the onions, divide into peels. Cut the tomato into chunks. Peel and cut cucumber into thick slices. Cube the pineapple rings.

Heat 2 tbsp oil and stir fry the onion for 1 minute. Add cucumber, tomato and pineapple (preferably in this order) and stir fry after each addition. Saute for 2 minutes. Add arbi balls. Mix the sauce ingredients together and pour over the fried balls, stir until the mixture thickens and becomes translucent.

Layered arbi mathri:

Ingredients

200 gm arbi

kg maida

cup curd

1 cups white butter

1 tsp ajwain

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

tsp pepper

1 tsp amchoor

Oil for frying

Method

Boil and mash arbi. Heat 2 tbsp oil and add ginger garlic paste, stir till it becomes light brown. Add salt, garam masala, and amchoor.

Add mashed arbi and stir till mixture becomes dry. Keep aside.

Knead maida adding white butter, curd, salt and ajwain. Use water when required. Make very small balls. When all balls are ready, roll/ball on a wooden board with rolling pin once. Apply arbi paste cover with another ball and roll twice. Seal the ends. Continue till all balls are done.

Heat oil in a frying pan and fry mathris on slow fire till brown. Serve as a tea-time snack.

Baked arbi puffs:

Ingredients

250 gm arbi

2 green chillies

1 tsp onion paste

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 egg

tsp ajwain

tsp butter

tsp mango powder

Salt and pepper to taste.

Coriander leaves

Method

Boil arbi till tender and peel and mash. Add onion and ginger garlic paste. Grind chillies and coriander leaves. Mix in mashed arbi and add salt, pepper, butter, ajwain and beaten egg. The mixture should be of thick dropping consistency. Grease a baking tray. Put the mixture in an icing bag and make small knobs on the baking tray.

Bake for 15-20 mix at moderate heat.

Spicy delight:

Ingredients

1 cup basmati rice

1 cup shelled peas

1 carrot diced

6 arbi leaves

2 tbsp refined oil

1 tbsp chill sauce

1 tsp salt

Method

Boil the rice. Parboil peas and carrots. Wash arbi leaves, pat dry and brush the inside with a little oil.

Heat oil in a karahi stir fry the rice till i is well coated with oil and heated through.

Add peas, carrot, sauce and salt.

Divide the rice equally in between the arbi leaves. Fold the leaves over the rice. Make neat package, secure with thread.

Steam for 15 minutes in double boiler. When they are done remove the thread. Serve with curry.

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