Sambar Rice always cries for a crispy stir-fry to accompany it; be it Potato Fry, Yam Fry, or then Arbi Fry. The other day I spotted fresh arbi/chama dumpa in the market and got them in advance for a Sunday afternoon meal. 🙂
Chama Dumpa (aka Arbi in Hindi and Taro Root or Colocasia in English) has an unsavoury reputation for being slimy and becoming a mashed mess if not cooked properly. In my home, the only way to cook Chama Dumpa is frying it to a crispy state. It, however, needs some patience as slow stir-fry is the only way to get it to be crisp.
Also, this is one dish that should be eaten immediately. Somehow, I don’t think reheated arbi fry tastes as good. 🙁
Preparation Time: 45 Mins
Cooking Time: 45 Mins
- Chama Dumpa or Arbi – 300 gms
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Udad Dal – 1 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 3/4 tsp or to taste
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Curry Leaves – A Few
- Salt to Taste
- Scrub the chama dumpa thoroughly to get rid of all the dirt.
- Add the chama dumpa to a large vessel that will fit in your pressure cooker.
- Add enough water so that the water level rises to about 1/2″ above the arbi.
- Add 1/2 tsp salt.
- Pressure cook the arbi for 2 whistles (2 releases of pressure).
- Let the cooker cool a bit.
- Drain the water and rinse the arbi in cold water.
- Peel the arbi.
- Cut in 1/2 along the length and cut into 1/2″ pieces.
- In a kadai, heat the oil.
- Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
- Add the udad dal and stir-fry till it is golden brown.
- Add the curry leaves and stir-fry for a few seconds.
- Add the cut arbi pieces and mix well.
- Over low to medium heat, let the arbi pieces fry while turning them over at 2-3 minute intervals.
- Fry till all the pieces have started to turn golden brown on all sides.
- Turn off the heat.
- Add salt and red chilli powder.
- Mix well.
- Serve hot with sambar rice or curd rice.
- Be careful not to overcook the arbi. If you do you will have to serve arbi mash.
- Arbi is done when you feel a little bit of resistance while cutting through it. If a knife goes through it like butter, you are in trouble. If the arbi is very hard, you ae still in trouble but at least can cook it some more to rescue the situation. 🙂
- Adding salt while boiling the arbi reduces the risk of over cooking.
- Do not cover the arbi while stir-frying or after. Then you will not have a crisp stir-fry. 🙁
- I use a kadai with a broad-base so that the arbi pieces are well spread out and fry evenly.