Chembu fry or Mezhukkupuratti (Arbi Fry/Taro Root Stir Fry) is a popular South Indian dish where cubed Taro roots are cooked and stir-fried with spices. Colocasia or Taro Root has amazing health benefits including a significant amount of vitamins, carbohydrates, and dietary fiber.
Chembu Fry can be put together in a jiffy and doesn’t need any out-of-the-world ingredients. Chembu (in Malayalam) or Arbi (in Hindi) is believed to be native to South India and is available in abundance. It is a thick and starchy edible root, just like Tapioca.
Some are sensitive to Taro Root as it causes itchiness. Wear gloves before peeling off the skin, cut and then soak in tamarind water.
Mom loves Chembu and she prepares it all the time. The first time I had it was when I went home in November. Yup. You heard that right. It was almost like a potato stir fry and I loved it.
Served best with steamed rice and Rasam, Chembu fry is going to be your go-to side dish from now on. Must-try easy-peasy dish!
How to Make Chembu Fry or Arbi Stir Fry
Parboil cubed Taro Roots with salt, Turmeric powder, and curry leaves. Remove from water and let it cool. Sauté in oil and add red chilies powder. Serve hot. This is the basic recipe, just like how Mom prepares. It tastes as good as a potato stir fry. However, you can add mustard or Cumin seeds, Chilli flakes, chopped garlic, onion, and pepper powder to it.
Chembu Mezhukkupuratti Recipe
2 cups Chembu / Colocasia / Taro root, diced into cubes
2 sprigs Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
Salt, to taste
Water to boil
Preparing Arbi Fry
Parboil diced Taro roots in salted water along with Turmeric powder and a sprig of curry leaves.
Remove from water and let it cool.
In a pan, heat oil. Sauté curry leaves and add cooked Taro roots. Mix well and let it cook for a couple of minutes more.
Sprinkle red chili powder and you are good to go!