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Friday, April 1, 2011


The Tamil language is not short of interesting adjectives when it comes to describing food.

"Vazha-Vazha (Slippery) Kozha-Kozha (Mushy)" is how most people would describe the Taro (Seppankizhangu in Tamil, and Arvi in Hindi). Though the vegetable itself has this inherent quality, it is compounded in most cases by people not giving it the much needed attention when cooking.

Here is how you can make a "Gara-Gara (Crispy)" Taro dish without literally deep frying it in oil.

I steam cook my Taro (about 2 lbs) in a pressure cooker on high for about 5-6 minutes. The key is to cook them until they are just about done but not cooked all the way through. You will have to figure out the exact timing based on how efficient your pressure cooker is. I know folks whose pressure cookers have worn out with gaskets that let half the steam out and extend the cooking time.

I skin them and sliced them into smaller pieces. You can see that they are not mushy but cooked enough that it is easy to take the skin off with your hand.

On the side, mix the salt, Red cayenne Pepper, Turmeric (optional, but it is anti-carcinogenic so why not) and either Corn Flour or Chickpea Flour. Add all these to taste.

Once you have these mixed together you can sprinkle this onto the cooked Taro and coat it nicely. Once it is coated, spray it with some Olive Oil spray and microwave it for about 5 minutes.

Once it is out of the microwave, put it onto a nice Cast Iron Pan with about 3-4 Tbsp of Olive Oil and let it roast on the stove top on a low flame for 15-25 minutes

This post has been lurking in my drafts for more than a year, and now with some renewed enthusiasm to update my should see more recipes from my old drafts.

PS- I have not tried to grow these in my garden. It might go on the list for next year and hopefully I can find some resources to point me in the right direction on how to grow these.

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