Khatti Arbi / Colocassia

Arbi(Hindi)/Colocassia(English)/Alu(Marathi - the 'l' is pronounced with the tongue rolled)/Chepankazhanga(Tamil)

As a child I hated arbi because of the slimy feeling it leaves on the fingers. It came into my good books when Mum started making pakodas/fritters like one of my paternal aunts. I still retain a vestige of my aversion and generally avoid buying arbi but, since the time P has taken over the 'supply of veggies' to the kitchen, arbi makes a regular appearance. Not that P loved it earlier. It all happened because I tried making it 'B' Style once, and ever since the family is hooked to it. In the South we generally use arbi to make sambar or arbi roast, and both the dishes taste yummy! My daughter is especially fond of the sambar and I of the roast, and the only dish all of us commonly like is 'khatti arbi'. P generally says - 'B waala arbi banaa naa'. In case this sounds like an algebraic equation - P is my husband, and B is one of my best friends (Psssst....a lot of it has to do with the yummy lunch box she packs to office:)).

B happens to be a Sindhi friend, and we both have come a long way from being just acquaintances to becoming the best of friends which means that sometimes I can call her at 8:00a.m. saying - Arre yaar!, I do not enough rotis left, could you bring two for me in case you have?, and she knows I will do similar stuff for her (You know? That sounds so much better in Hindi but that's the essence of it!). I have acknowledged B's culinary skills in my post on 'Gutte ki Subzi in green gravy', and 'Koki - Sindhi Flatbread' earlier. Today's 'Khatti Arbi' is yet another delicacy that I first tasted from her lunch box, got crazy over, and took the recipe.

What I really love about Sindhi food is that it is very easy to cook, what I do not love is the amount of fat used:( !! I have made a low-fat version of 'khatti arbi', but this one tastes as good as the original.

9 to 10 long plump arbis/colocassias
Salt to taste
A pinch - Turmeric powder
1 tsp - Red Chilli Powder OR to taste
1/4tsp. - Amchoor OR Chaat masala
1 tsp. - Dhania powder - Coarsely ground
1/4 tsp. - Jeera powder
1 tbsp. of Dhania/Coriander leaves to garnish

Pressure Cook arbi till done. Peel and set aside.

Flatten each arbi slightly. The original recipe calls for deep frying or shallow frying the arbis in a pan which renders the arbi crisp.

I greased a baking tray and place the brushed arbi to grill till browned well. I found this good though texture wise this one is a little tough on the exterior. Hmm....I would rather compromise as the difference becomes obvious only when you are told about the method.

Update: Grilling took a good 15 to 20 minutes in my oven.

Mix all the dry ingredients.

Heat a tbsp. of oil. You may splutter jeera if you wish. I just sauteed the arbis alongwith the powders till the arbis are coated well with the powder. You may adjust the quantity of powders to your taste. My chilli powder is the kind that adds more color - Kashmiri.

If you would like to squeeze half a lime over the arbis - this is again optional. I prefer no lime:)

This can be served as a starter if made with small arbis, as a side dish with roti. OK! The Tamilian in me loved it best with........what else but curd rice:). I served it with rice and matki makhani I posted earlier. I really have to make this at the last moment or hide it somewhere as P and Jr.H gulp it down the moment it is done!

P.S: I really hope the kids will make use of this dishy legacy I am creating for them:)


Vaidehi of Chakli passed me on the 'Rockin' Girl Blogger' award yesterday. Vaidehi's blog features delicious, simple and authentic Maharashtrian recipes, and I for one am hooked on it! Thanks - Vaidehi! I have updated this on the side bar, and I sincerely think each blog I have visited so far rocks in one way or another - Classic, Punk, Hard! All you ppl in blogosphere deserve this badge!

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