Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Chembu /chamma dumpa/ taro root/ arbi /colocasia is a root vegetable. It's leaves are also widely used in cooking in India and in many parts of the world. I still remember the first time I had it. My mom made a fry out of it and it tasted awesome. It has a mild sweet tinge to it. It's a bit viscous when you cook it and you can feel the viscousness when peeling the skin. So I always thought frying is the only way to use this vegetable. However, one day one of my andhraite friend gave me the pulusu made of this vegetable. I am astonished by the smell and the taste of it. So I learned it from her. Thanks Sushmitha. Whenever I make this I do remember her.
The preparation is very simple. So now the recipe:
Chembu- 6 nos
Onion- 1 no
Green chillies as you wish
a small piece of palmsugar (vellam)
Tamarind- size of a small lemon ( soak it and extract the juice)
Fenugreek seeds- 1 tspn
Mustard seeds, few dry red chillies and jeera seeds for tempering
Chilli powder- 1 tspn
Cut the chembu into two and cook it till it becomes soft (take care not to overcook, it should be cooked but should retain the firmness). Cool the cooked pieces and then remove the skin. After that cut them into bite sized pieces. When you cook them, they emit a very nice aroma. I just love that. Now heat a pan. Heat enough oil for doing the tempering. When the oil gets heated add fenugreek seeds, when they become brown and emit a nice aroma add mustard, whole red chillies and jeera seeds. When they splutter add onions, curry leaves and a pinch of turmeric. Saute them well till the onions become translucent. Then add a piece of palm sugar ( how much you need to add depends on you, if you like it more sweet add more, but the rule is it should balance the sourness of the tamarind). Then add the cooked chembu and mix well. Now add the chilli powder followed by tamarind juice. Let this mixture boil well for 5 minutes. Then simmer for another 5 min. Add enough salt at the end and continue simmering for one more minute or till the oil seperates. This gravy/kuzhambu/pulusu is very flavourful and tasty. You will definitely get carried away by it's taste. My hubby doesn't even eat carrot poriyal because of its sweetness but eventhough this pulusu has a sweet tinge he doesn't mind.
Few taste enhancing tips : Add more curry leaves when tempering. This pulusu should be watery. If you need it thick, mash some chembu when they are cooked well. But it tates excellent if it is bit watery. If you like you can add a pinch of asafoetida (perungayam). Hope you enjoy this dish and happy cooking!!!