Taro Root Fritters
Taro is a common name for the corms and tubers of several plants in the family Araceae. Of these, Colocasia is the most widely cultivated, and is the subject of this article. More specifically, this article describes the ‘dasheen’ form of taro. Taro is native to southeast Asia. It is a perennial, tropical plant primarily grown its edible starchy corm, and also used as a leafy vegetable. A staple in African and Asian cultures, it is believed to have been one of the earliest cultivated plants.
Taro root is available only for a month or two here in our region. The root is very long and we prepare phodi (Fritters) like the other vegetable phodi of kantolas, raw banana, and the like. When we shallow fry it, the hard root softens and turns crispy. The slices dashed with ground masala and deep fried make for very tasty phodi to be enjoyed in cold and damp weather with rice and dal. The leaves resemble the Colocasia leaves that we use to prepare “Pathrade” a popular Konkani dish – peel the root, cut it into slices, apply some masala and either shallow or deep fry or cook as an upkari/side-dish. Today, with taro root fritters, I’ve added to a list of crispy snacks. Here it is.
Taro leaves(Courtesy wiki)
Fresh Taro root veggie
What you need to have:
1. Chopped taro slices – 25
2. Tamarind pulp – 1 Teaspoon
3. Salt to apply to it – 1/2 Teaspoon
Tamarind pulp & salt being applied to Taro slices
Ingredients of Masala powder:
1. Rice atta – 4 Tablespoons
2. Chick peas Atta – 1 Tablespoon
3. Thin sujee – 1/4 Tablespoon
4. Chilli powder (Byadgi) – 1 Tablespoon
5. Dhania-Jeera powder – 1 Teaspoon
6. Turmeric powder – 1 Teaspoon
7. Asafoetida powder – 1 Teaspoon
8. Salt – To taste
9. Cooking oil – To shallow fry
What you do with what you have:
1. Cut Taro root into 1/2″ thick circular pieces and then cut the same into semi circular pieces. Apply tamarind pulp and salt to it and keep it aside for about 15 minutes as shown in image-3. The reason to apply tamarind is to avoid sense of itching that the veggie gives at times.
2. Mix all the ingredients of the masala powder and apply it to each slice of the taro and keep it aside for about 5-10 minutes so that it settles down and does not separate on frying. The remaining masala powder can be preserved in the refrigerator and used whenever needed.
Masala powder applied to the taro slices
3. Place dosa skillet on medium flame and splash little oil on it. On heating, place the masala garnished slices on it, splash a little more oil and close it with a lid adjusting the flame accordingly.
Taro slices being shallow fried
4. When fried/cooked, flip and fry on the reverse. Splash oil if required.
Taro slices being fried on the reverse
5. When done ,transfer it to a serving plate and enjoy hot as a snack or as a side dish with rice and dal.
Ready to serve Taro root fritters