When I cook arbi (colocasia/taro), my default recipe is the tomato-based curried colocasia. Last week I tried something different and loved it: a pairing of colocasia with yogurt.
Colocasia curries can take on souring agents in plentiful – they balance the natural slime of the vegetable. If the yogurt you have on hand is so sour that you have misgivings about using it in raita, go ahead and try it in dahi arbi.
- Homemade yogurt – 1.5 cups
- Arbi (colocasia) – 300 grams
- Green chili – 1 (optional)
- Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon (adjust for heat)
- Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
- Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
- Tumeric powder – a pinch
- Salt – to taste
- Coriander seeds (crushed) – 1 teaspoon
- Red chili flakes – 1/2 teaspoon
- Garlic – 2 cloves (or 1 teaspoon, when crushed)
- Oil – 2 teaspoons
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander leaves – a few sprigs (for garnishing)
- Roasted cumin powder – 1/4 teaspoon (for garnishing)
Clockwise from the top-left: boiled arbi (colocasia/taro), green chili, mustard seeds, bowl of homemade yogurt, bowl of coarsely ground spices (red chili flakes, coriander seeds), bowl of powdered spices (red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder)
Keep yogurt outside the fridge for some time to bring it to room temperature. Whisk well, adding half a cup of water or more if you want a thinner sauce.
Place the arbi in a wide pan and pour in water, enough to submerge it. Boil covered for about 30 minutes on medium heat, or just enough to let the skin come off without the arbi becoming mushy. Sometimes the arbi is not even-sized, in which I take out the smaller pieces earlier with a slotted spoon while the bigger ones continue to cook.
Let cool for a bit, then peel the arbi. Cut into 1-inch pieces if the arbi is large in size, and let the small ones remain whole. Prick the arbi with a fork or toothpick all over the surface.
Peel and crush garlic. Slit the green chili vertically.
Mix the dry masalas together in a small bowl: turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, chili powder. Add to it a tablespoon of water to make a paste.
In a non-stick kadhai or skillet, heat two teaspoons of oil. Add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add crushed garlic , red chili flakes and crushed coriander seeds. Stir and follow with the masala paste.
Cook for half a minute on low heat, stirring continuously to make sure the masala paste does not burn. Add boiled arbi.
Sprinkle salt. Turn the arbi around in the pan so that the masala coats the arbi evenly.
Close the lid and let the arbi soak in the spices for 10 minutes. Move the contents around in between a couple of times.
Now, pour in the whisked yogurt and stir to mix the arbi and spices well with it.
Bring to a gentle boil on low heat. Adjust salt if needed.
Serve dahi arbi hot, topped with chopped coriander leaves and bhuna jeera, along with chapatis.