Here is a traditional Kerala dish made using Taro or Colocasia – Chembu Kuzhachathu or Smashed Taro. As I have mentioned in my previous posts, Malanga root can be used in this recipe instead of Taro and they taste almost the same. This dish was made my mother-in-law and the picture was taken long back. Just like Tapioca/Yuca, Taro is used as a staple or as a side dish in Kerala cuisine.
You can serve this Smashed Taro as a main dish or as a side dish with Rice.
- Malanga Root/Taro (Chembu/Arbi) – 3 to 4 large ones (1 kg approx)
- Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (Alter according to spice tolerance)
- Dried Red Chillies – 3 or 4
- Diced Shallots – 4 or 5
- Curry Leaves – a sprig
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Salt – taste
- Water – as needed
- Peel the skin from the Taro/Malanga root and wash it thoroughly. Chop into medium sized pieces.
- Take the Taro in a deep pan and add water so as to cover it. Add salt and little turmeric powder.
- Bring everything to a boil. Cover and simmer the taro until it is tender. This will take atleast 10-15 minutes depending on the variety used.
- When the water has almost evaporated, open the pan and add red chilly powder and coriander powder.
- Mix the taro pieces with a spatula smashing the big chunks.
- Meanwhile for seasoning, heat 1 tbsp oil in another pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add shallots, dried red chillies and curry leaves. Saute till the shallots are brown and remove from heat.
- Add the seasoning to the smashed taro. Mix everything and saute for a few minutes and remove from heat.
- You can alter the consistency of this dish by increasing or decreasing the water content. I prefer to have a bite to the dish and so I haven’t mashed all the pieces.