The Americans call this Tarrow Root, and it’s easily three times bigger than the average Indian colocasia. Mum-in-law makes Sambar with these, and a different curry that’s mushy. Mum, however, always made the pan-roasted crispy curry that was a favourite. This recipe easily eliminates the deep frying process. With just a sprinkle of oil and a few sprays now and then, you’ve got yourself delicious Chepenkezhangu Roast.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1. Colocasia – 1 dozen
2. Sambar Powder, Chili Powder – 1 1/2 and 1 teaspoon each, respectively
3. Turmeric, Salt, Curry Leaves, Oil, Hing, Channa Dal, Urad Dal, Pam Spray
4. A damn good, wide nonstick pan - larger the better. Each single piece gets cooked well unlike when they're piled up in a smaller pan.
Here’s how you roast it up:
1. Pressure cook the colocasia with a drop of oil for 6-7 whistles. If it is not too hard, cook for 4-5 whistles. The oil helps you peel them easily.
2. Peel the colocasia, chop them and toss in the sambar powder, chili powder, a little salt, turmeric. Toss such that there’s an even coating over all pieces.
3. In a large wide skillet, heat some oil, allow mustard seeds to splutter and fry curry leaves and dals.
4. Add the colocasia, sprinkle salt as needed, spray some oil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Toss them, spray oil as needed and cook open till they turn as crispy as you would want them to be. When the dish is done, don't cover the pan immediately, until the dish cools down, else you'll have steam and sogginess due to the latent heat.
S is carrying forward the tradition that we grew up following – snacking on Chepenkezhangu, stealing a bite every time he’s in the kitchen… This goes well with any South Indian dish, but to truly honour this wonderful curry, it’d have to be eaten by itself. A lot of times, people end up making gooey, mashed up lumps of Chepenkezhangu, though they would have wanted them to turn out crisp. You will have to pressure cook them the right way - roughly till they're 70 percent done. This is a sure shot way of getting crisp, singled out pieces and with minimal oil as opposed to deep frying. Thanks Mum, for passing on this idea to everyone at home!