Seems to me like its harder and harder to find new vegetables and other plant derived products to satisfy my New Veggie Quest. I don't think its because of lack of trying or because of a dirth of new things to try - cause there is a rather vast list of things that I have yet to try (Wikipedia List of Culinary Vegetables). I think my big problem is that I live in rural America and some of the exotic, or seasonal varieties have not crossed paths with me ye. Anyhow, on my quarterly visit to the Indian store to stock up on spices and other things that are best found there, I did come across New Veggie #30 - Taro. In India, taro (Arbi) is used throughout almost every state and made into a variety of traditional curried and fried dishes. This is the first time I have cooked it myself and hence it gets the honor of being Veggie #30.
Prep Time: 30-40 min, with pre-steamed Taro
- 2-4 medium Taro corms, steamed and sliced.
- 3-4 tbsp whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup Non-Dairy Milk
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Roasted cumin powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1-2 tsp Amchoor (Dried Mango powder)
- 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
- 1-2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Lemon/Lime juice
- Pam, or other Cooking Spray
Under running water, and using a vegetable brush, or scrub pad, remove all dirt and hair from the exterior of each corm. Place in a pressure cooker, or stock pot and cover completely with water. Add 1 tbsp salt to the water, and steam until the corms are fork tender. Allow to cool and then peal the skins. Refrigerate overnight, or until use.
In a shallow dish, mix flour and all dry spices together.
In another shallow dish, add the soy milk and dip each slices of Taro in the milk
Next transfer each milk soaked slice into the flour spice mix and coat it thoroughly with the mix.
Prepare a cookie sheet by spraying with Pam and set each coated slice on the sheet, in a single layer.
Spray the top of the slices with Pam and broil on high for 5-7 minutes on each side until golden brown.
Sprinkle the slices with lemon/lime juice and chaat masala and serve with hot sauce and fresh basil leaves.
My Assessment: I liked it, but didn't love it. I know the reason why. Taro is one of those vegetables that likes oil. Traditionally, these slices would be deep fried and I tried to keep my recipe low-fat. But I ate the crispy slices with fresh basil leaves and that was just awesome!! It added a fresh crunch and I loved the soothing minty flavor of basil with the hot sauce and chili powder.