Chaamagadda Pulusu and Vepudu ~ Andhra Style Recipes

taro root or slippery potato as we called it as kids is a low on glamour kind of veggie….added to which the sliminess can put a person off it for life….yet, if handled well, it can bedazzle you with its versatility…..curried, fried, baked, roasted or mashed, it can lend itself as easily to any dish as its other more sought after cousin the potato…….

taro root boiled and then stewed in a melange of spices and tamarind extract was the most acceptable preparation of this vegetable….. pulusus are a pretty vital part of andhra cuisine…..for that matter, all south indian homes have their own version of making a curry of a tangy saucy base….with vegetables in it….they are all over the blogosphere in their various avatars…..i personally like them really tangy and nicely spicy….a full on assault on your taste buds…..

I usually make most of it into a dry stir fry as a side dish for rice and sambhar or even with rotis….and reserve a few boiled taro roots to make into this pulusu which will keep well for a couple of days (refrigerated of course) and given the time it sits on the fridge shelf, the flavours intensify…..siphoned off this way, two meals are ready in no time at all…..

chaamadumpa / chaamagadda / taro pulusu is off to JFI: Tamarind . The brainchild of Indira of Mahanandi, who started this event to celebrate and showcase a different natural ingredient every month, this edition is hosted by the lovely Sig who loves err lives to eat!!

Chaamadumpa / Chaamagadda / Taro Pulusu – Serves 4

8-10 medium taro root, boiled and peeled and slit lenghtwise into half

i use the pressure cooker and cook for two whistles…any more cooking time will result in a glorious glob on hand!!

2/3 cup tamarind extract (from a large lemon sized ball)

2 t coriander powder

1 t cumin powder

1 t red chilly powder (or less if you prefer)

a pinch of turmeric

1/2 t sugar

1 c water

salt to taste

for the tadka

1 T oil

1/2 t mustard seeds

2 dry red chillies

10-12 curry leaves

a pinch of asafetida

2-3 cloves of garlic

in a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the oil and splutter the mustard, add the dry red chillies, asafetida, curry leaves and garlic and fry for a few seconds till the garlic emits a nice aroma. add the tamarind extract and cook for a couple of minutes till the tamarind extract stops smelling raw. add all the spices and sugar, cook till well blended. at this point it will be very thick. add the boiled taro and stir sparingly till it is coated with the spices. add the cup of water and simmer about 10 minutes. garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with hot rice or rotis or dosa.

you can also omit all the masala powders above and simply add 2-3 tablespoons of sambhar powder to make this dish.

chaamadumpa / chaamagadda / taro root vepudu (dry fry)

12-15 medium taro boiled and skin peeled, cut into 1/2 inch round discs

salt to taste

1 t red chilly powder

a pinch of turmeric

1 T rice flour

for the tadka

2 t oil

1/2 t mustard

1 t each of channa dal and urad dal

10-12 curry leaves

in a non stick kadai, heat the oil, splutter the mustard seeds, add the dals and toast till golden brown, add the curry leaves.

add the boiled and sliced taro and cook on lowest heat for 3-4 minutes. add the dry masalas and salt to taste, cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes, turning gently a few times to ensure it is fried golden on all sides. sprinkle the rice powder evenly and continue to fry uncovered for 6-8 minutes till the ends are crisp and brown. serve hot with rotis or rice and dal/sambhar

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17 Comments Add yours

  1. Cynthia says:

    I love the dishes you’ve made here with taro.

    thanks cynthia!! its really yummy, especially with hot rice doused with some ghee!! 🙂

  2. sig says:

    slippery potatoes.. love the name 🙂
    I can tolerate most veggies if they are immersed in enough spices and tamarind , but taro is something I can have just boiled with salt… So this dish is going to score for sure. Thank you for this entry dear Arundati!

    i think i wont come across another person who can eat taro boiled!! ;)…..or maybe i should try it!! 🙂

  3. Sujatha says:

    Fabulous recipe.. I usually make them dry as a side dish for rice.. but never tried this way.. Looks appetizing.. will soon try..

    taro pulusu can be pretty addictive!! do try some sujatha…

  4. Hetal says:

    lovely recipe….i have never used Taro root..

    thanks hetal

  5. Raaga says:

    I just bought a bag again last weekend 🙂

    you are simply a girl after my own heart

  6. Aparna says:

    Everyone in our families are in love with this vegetable in any form. I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole (figuratively speaking, but I don’t like it) so I can’t comment on this.:D

    haha!! i know some other people too who run from it like the plague!! 🙂

  7. lakshmi says:

    isn’t taro root – seppankizhangu or arbi? JZ and bhags have never had taro?? or am I missing something here.

    if this is seppankizhangu/ arbi – i am great fan of arbi roast 😀

    yes lakshmi…it is seppankizhangu/ arbi!! you will not believe the number of arbi haters who have eaten it at my place and fallen in love with it!! 🙂

  8. i am also wondering what taro root is!? i’ve seen it in the shops….anyways, it looks yummy!! 🙂

    its called arbi in hindi…:)

  9. skribles says:

    i love taro – and both ways of cooking are yummy! nice pics and methods …. 🙂

    thanks skribles

  10. Swapna says:

    My grandma used to put this in her signature prawn curry…it was amazing , though we never appreciated it then..and we used to dig up loads of these from our backyard every year..along with tapioca, yam, etc etc..she also used the stalks of the leaves, and put in curries too..God! so many things I am sure people have never tasted these days!!!

    funny how we learn to appreciate stuff we never thought we would !! wow!! you had fresh taro!! the leaves make excellent bajji’s / pakodis and its also yummy cooked in dal….

  11. Mallika says:

    Ooooh, I didn’t know much about Taro. Very informative and interesting post.

  12. rachel says:

    I’ve never made taro either….looks temptingt though

  13. Kalva says:

    Wow.. u must be from andhra.. my mom makes both these dishes and i love pulusu a lot.. Infact it is my all tiem fav…

  14. bhags says:

    I dont think i have ever cooked taro root, and dont remember eating it…..:)
    But this post intrigues me to knw more about the slippery potato

  15. TBC says:

    I usually end up overcooking taro! I’ve used taro root to make a sambar once. It was the best sambar I’d ever made!
    I’ll try a pulusu the next time.:D

  16. Jyothsna says:

    Ah, I disliked it too, until I discovered it cooks fast. Love the taro roast.

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