Cheppakizhangu / Arbi is a tuber that is mostly ignored at home. Mostly it is the potatoes
that rules and mostly preferred by the kids as well. My mom makes a fantastic roast which I love very much but unfortunately since no one at home likes Cheppakizhangu much I never make it anymore. But I guess as the kids grow even their preferences and likes change with them. I wanted to grill instead of deep frying but may be some other time as I was not sure of the result, I did not want to put my kids off arbi permanently.
For this week’s Avant Garde Cookies
hush-hush week, my partner Priya Mahadevan
gave my secret ingredient as “Cheppakizhangu / Arbi” and I was like “OMG how am I going to get the kids to eat it”. But since my In-Laws are with me I had no worries. I do not want to be one to end up clearing off everything. And guess what the kids loved it and I had to make them twice in a row. Had it not been for her choice I would not have known my kids change of preferences and the wait would have been longer.
The first time I made them with the usual combo of rice flour and besan but my kids felt they tasted less spicy. So MIL suggested that I add the chilli powder in 2 stages. Also I remembered my Grandma making the same fry with pottukadalai (Roasted Gram Dal) so the next day I once more tried it her way and everyone loved it. The aroma was superb and the end result was crisp on the outer and soft at the centre at the same time.
Off to the recipe now...
Powder the roasted gram dal and toss along with the arbi / taro root.
Make sure they are well coated and deep fry the roundels.
Usually I used to press the arbi between my palms before cooking so that they resembled like a vada but this time I simply cut them into roundels which made them easy to cook and also to serve. I was able to control the portion. So from now on it is going to be this way...
Cheppakizhangu Fry / Arbi Fry
3 – 4
- Cheppakizhangu / Arbi / Taro Root – 300 gms
- Roasted Gram Dal / Pottu kadalai – 2 tbsp
- Corn Flour – 2 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder – 1 1/2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – to fry
1. Wash and clean the Cheppakizhangu / taro roots. Pressure cook in enough water with salt.
2. Once the pressure is released and cooled, peel the skin and cut into 1 inch thick roundels and keep aside.
3. Powder the roasted gram dal in a mixie. Add corn flour, 2 pinch salt, 1 tsp red chilli powder
and pulse once again so that everything gets mixed evenly. (Please note salt has already been added in step-1).
4. in a bowl place the roundels and sprinkle the ground powder evenly. Close with a lid and toss gently so that all the roundels are evenly coated with the powder.
5. Heat oil in a pan. Put the roundels one after the other and deep fry in 2-3 batches based on the pan size to golden brown. Remove on a kitchen paper.
6. Place the deep fried roundels in a bowl and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
and toss gently. (This step is optional)
In the end before serving along with chilli powder you can also use 2 pinch of chaat masala powder to enhance the taste.
The oil should be hot and brought down to medium flame while cooking.
Instead of roasted gram dal and corn flour you can also a mix of rice flour and besan (Chick pea flour).
Adjust the chilli powder according to your spice level.