Monday, February 16, 2009

Seppankizhangu (Colacasia) Fry

Seppankizhangu, called Colacasia scientifically (I remember the scientific name of it from my VIII standard botany class when we used to collect samples for tubers :-) Also, the way my botany teacher used to say Colacasia would sound really funny since she had a strong Telugu accent), is very tasty when fried. I don't know the Hindi or the common name for this, but I think it is also called taro root (not sure though). Here is a link to its image (Google is great!). It was a long lost dish for me until last summer when my Mom identified seppankizhangu in a local, Asian grocery store. I had been to that store many many times since I came to New Hamsphire but didn't have the faintest idea that that store carried seppankizhangu. So, now that my Mom found seppankizhangu, my happiness knew no bounds. It had been nearly 5 years since I had eaten my Mom's seppankizhangu fry. Ever since, this dish has entered my very own cuisine :-).

Ingredients (about 2 - 3 servings):

Seppankizhangu - 4 - 5 medium sized ones
Coconut oil (a must) - about 1/2 teaspoon
Cooking oil - 2 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1.5 teaspoons (vary to suit your taste, but you have to be sure to add enough to balance the tamarind)
Tamarind soaked in very little water - about the size of a 1/2 inch ball
(If using tamarind paste, about 1/2 teaspoon of it)
Salt to taste


1. Pressure cook seppankizhangu (I normally cook for 3 whistles), peel, cut into small pieces and set aside.
2. Extract a very thick essence of the soaked tamarind and set aside. You need not worry about this step if using tamarind paste. Sometimes, seppankizhangu has a tendency to cause an itchy sensation on your tongue. Adding tamarind takes that off completely and you can enjoy your fry.
3. In a pan, heat some cooking oil, add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. After the mustard splutters, immediately add the asafoetida, cut seppankizhangu, tamarind extract or paste, red chilli powder and salt and mix everything well. Fry for about 15 minutes on medium heat until the seppankizhangu turns crispy. Turn off the stove.
4. Add the coconut oil, mix everything well once again and you are ready to eat!!!!

Recently, I figured that seppankizhangu fry goes well with chappathis, but once again, curd rice and seppankizhangu fry are an unbeatable combo (Btw, I know the picture doesn't look like this is a fry type side, but with the seppankizhangu that I get near my place, I HAVE to pressure cook them for a long time and they get mashed. Anyway, the taste is all that matters, at least to me ;-)). Try it and you will also love it :-).

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