Growing up my dad or mom went to road side vegetable market every morning,where many sellers would be lined up with basketful of vegetable .Earlier you go,fresher the vegetable you will get and more selection you will have.
Assortment of greens like Indian mustard greens, amaranth, Indian chick peas green(oh how i miss that),basketful of okra(ladysfinger), eggplants(brinjals), cauliflower, cabbage and radishes to name a few,not to mention loads of potatoes and onions.Though most of them were common occurrence in our house but once in a while they will pick what we call in hindi ‘Arvi’, translated as ‘colocasia’.Traditionally we made gravy based curry using that,which gets sticky.Not very interesting,though at times my mom would simply slice it thin and saute it with minimal amount of spices like bhujiya.
Now let me take you back couple years ago to the beautiful island of Hawaii,where we went for vacation.I was AMAZED how popular this not so good looking root vegetable is there.I learnt another name for it ‘Taro root’.I tasted ‘Taro bread’,slightly sweet and purple looking bread.We had an opportunity to taste ‘Poi’,signature Hawaiian dish at ‘luau’,another must have Hawaiian culture experience in my opinion,more so if you are a first time visitor.So I decided to give another chance to ‘Taro’ to redeem itself and was i pleasantly surprised.
- I decided to stick with sauteed Taro fries.I know…fries.. sauted.
- I went the easier route,where i boiled,peeled,sliced and then sauted the taro.Make sure that you boil just until it is fork tender.I was distracted and over boiled it ,as a result i had hard time keeping it as fries and not mashed taro(which i like too).
- My hard working sister on the other hand went more on traditional route.She didn’t boil it but peeled and sliced and then sauted,which takes longer.
- You will notice that my sister’s dish in right, is not only visually appealing it is also much more tastier then my version :-).
- I substitute ‘taro’ for sauted potatoes side dish many times and lucky for me i haven’t heard anyone complaining about it on the dinner table.
- Taro root have very big leaves and my neighbor aunt made very tasty side dish using that and always sent some for us to taste growing up.Mouth watering with rice.I have yet to make it,if only i can find it here.
- Remember that stickiness does not go away completely but as long a you are not adding water to the dish,it will not overwhelm the texture.
- I didn’t feel it in US varieties but i remember when my mom used to slice it back home in India,little juice which comes out of it while slicing can make your hand bit itchy. Seriously we never felt it as not a reason to eat.A bit of info for you.