Chembu Roast / Arbi Roast (Colocasia) / Seppankizhangu Roast / Taro Root Roast
Do you know that I started cooking / making Chembu Roast or Seppankizhangu Roast only post marriage? Well, I had never tasted it earlier, as Ma never made these at home in the form of a vegetable. So, needless to say, this is my MIL’s recipe, as described by my husband. This is made atleast once a month at our place and generally on days when Narayan is at home for lunch as this is the only sabzi which he manages to eat on its own until the kadhai or the pan is wiped clean. Yes, he loves it to the core and over the years, I have also enjoyed having this.
We Palakkad Iyers, generally make a Mor Kootan or Kozhumbu that has boiled Arbi or Taro Root as its main vegetable which is made with a gravy of coconut and green chillies and some buttermilk for the tangy effect. I only knew how to eat Arbi in the form of Mor Kootan so was happy to eat this vegetable in a spicy avatar. One always tends to go overboard while consuming this delicious roast and if paired with a coconut gravy based dish then it is quite hard to stop from overindulging. Some fresh appalams on the side and hot rice with ghee over it will send you to food nirvana. Good food does amazing benefits to your body. The ocassional indulgence is also required to ensure sanity and positive thinking.
I love promoting dishes with tubers, gourds etc on the blog as they are many a times the neglected lot of vegetables. If you see my earlier post on Koorkai (Chinese Potato) and Plantain Mezhukuparatti and also a recent post on Bottle Gourd (Lauki) Dal spiced with Sambar Powder you would know many health benefits that they offer. They are very economical to buy, needs less cooking time and is highly nutritious to the body. So sometimes, try including gourds and tubers in your diet and just feel the fibre working its magic in keeping you off those unwanted cravings post lunch. Tubers like Taro Root or Arbi have a good amount of fibre and one serving of this vegetable is enough to provide you the much needed dose of fibre for a day. Nutritionists emphasize strongly on the importance of having fibre rich foods over empty carbohydrates to control cravings and in turn lose weight naturally without feeling constipated or bloated.
As you may be aware from many of my earlier posts where I have highlighted the importance of an ingredient’s health benefits, you would be surprised to read some of the amazing benefits this humble tuber has to offer.
Loaded with dietry fibres, it has great ability to improve digestion which is important for our gut health. As we all know, fibre helps us deal with problems like constipation, boating, flatulence etc by adding bulk to our stool and ease our digestion during the process. When you eat less fibre, you will never feel fresh, will always be lethargic and all this is because your stomach and intestine are working overtime for you to perform your bodily functions.
Another huge plus is that since it is fibre rich, it helps diabetics to control blood sugar spikes by keeping them full for longer. Taro Root or Arbi is also known to prevent certain cancers, decrease blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
I know so many people who have avoided Taro Root or Arbi just because they are diabetics but I am sure after reading the health benefits, you must be amazed at how well the vegetable works in providing the much needed dose of fibre to the body.
Keeping the health factor in mind, I have tried making this recipe on low heat for a long time since I am adding only 1.5 tblsps of oil to make 250 gms of Arbi which should be enough for 3 portions. The trick is to allow it to roast, without disturbing it too much by tossing or mixing with a spatula. However, all said and done, if you make this vegetable with atleast 5 tblsps of oil, the result would be mouthwatering! Arbi would be soft as butter and melt in mouth of all the oil that gets soaked by it. My MIL made it in the similar way, as informed by husband and how he wishes his wife makes it in the similar way.. haha!
As I always emphasize in all my posts, none of the vegetables should be avoided, instead focus on the cooking methods by trying to create healthy recipes and in turn make the most of nature’s gift.
Read the recipe, enjoy the visual treat!
Recipe for Chembu Roast / Arbi Roast (Colocasia) / Seppankizhangu Roast / Taro Root Roast
Prep Time – 20 mins
Cook Time – 20 mins for a good roast
Serves 3 nos.
- Arbi – 250 gms
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsps
- Whole red chillies – few roughly torn into pieces
- Sesame Oil – 1.5 tblsp
- Hing – a big pinch
- Salt as per taste
- Curry leaves – few sprigs
- Wash the Arbi well under running water. One trick is to soak the whole arbis in some water for atleast 15 minutes so that the mud softens and quickly washes out under running water. Best way to save water and clean too.
- Once washed, pat dry and cut them into large chunks. Cutting them into smaller chunks would mean it would get mashed while being roasted as Arbi is a bit sticky and cooks easily.
- Pressure cook these arbis or chembu minus any water in a pressure cooker for just 2 whistles.
- Once the cooker cools, remove the arbi, allow it to cool thouroughly before peeling the skin off.
- After peeling the skin, sprinkle turmeric powder, red chilli powder and some salt. Mix it well with a clean and dry spoon and keep aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a non-stick kadhai, add the required quantity of sesame oil, then add the mustard seeds and allow it to crackle.
- Add some hing in the hot oil along with curry leaves and the whole red chillies.
- Now add masala coated arbi and just mix it very lightly with a spatula.
- Turn the heat to its lowest point and allow it to roast slowly.
- Since we are adding less amount of oil for the roasting, allow it to cook on very low heat with just few seconds of tossing in between
- After 20 minutes of cooking, they will turn nicely roasted and flavourful.
- Switch off the gas and serve it with hot rice, ghee and some dal as an accompaniment.
Recipe Notes –
- Smearing of red chilli powder and turmeric powder over the boiled arbi ensures the masalas get coated evenly and it roasts well with a golden brown top.
- If you find the quantity of red chilli powder used here to be slightly more, you may reduce it according to your preference. Usually this is a spicy stir fry.
- If you are making this for lunch box, you can smear the masalas over arbi and store it in your refrigerator and cook it the next morning.
- Do not place a lid over the pan while this is being roasted, it won’t provide the golden brown exterior.
- Don’t add any water for cooking the arbis. If you can, steam them for 15 minutes but I somehow prefer pressure cooking method, it cooks perfectly keeping the shape of the taro root intact.
- Few people add curry powder or sambar powder too but I have not added the same. You can add if you prefer the taste.
- I have used sesame oil as we do the same for our regular cooking esp South Indian food. You can add a vegetable oil for making the dish.
Disclaimer – I am no expert nor a nutritionist but have been on a quest to lose weight and in the due course, have found the use of certain fruits and vegetables that have benefited the process, in my case. Feel free to consult a doctor or an expert before including any new ingredient in your diet and knowing its health benefits. Thank you!
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