Saturday, June 22, 2013

Seppankizhangu (Arbi, Taro) Roast

Sundays were special when I was growing up.  My mom, a working woman, had the day off.  Everyone was a bit more relaxed.  We did not have breakfast on Sundays, but would have an elaborate lunch.  This was one day of the week that we could eat the food as soon as it was ready – instead of taking it in our lunch boxes.

My mom would make araichuvitta sambar, or mor kozhambu, rasam, either a kootu or avial, and either urilaikizhungu (potato) roast or seppankizhangu roast.  I would keep walking into the kitchen to taste the seppankizangu as it was being fried.  Aaahhh! Brings back fond memories!

People either love or hate this root vegetable.  Luckily for me, my husband loves it.  I make it once or twice a month – and still continue to “taste” it as it is cooking in the pan.

Seppankizhangu (Arbi, Taro) Roast

Here is what you need:

  • 15 – 20 Arbi
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. split urad dal
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 – 3 tsp. fresh masala powder (recipe below)
    • dry roast 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds, 2 Tbsp. channa dal, 1 Tbsp. urad dal, 1 Tbsp. black pepper corns, 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds, 4 -6 red chilies. Coarsely powder and store in airtight container.


Here’s how I make it:

  1. Boil the arbi.  You can do this on your stovetop in a big pot with water, or use your pressure cooker.  I use the pressure cooker I got from India.  As soon as the first whistle blows, I reduce the heat to low and turn it off after a couple of minutes.  This gives me firm, but cooked arbi.
  2. Peel the arbi and cut it into big cubes.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds and urad dal.
  4. When mustard seeds sputter, add the arbi, salt, turmeric powder, and chili powder.  Mix well.
  5. Cook it on low heat with minimal stirring.
  6. When the arbi is cooked well, sprinkle the freshly ground masala.  Toss to coat all the arbi.
  7. Turn off stove after a few minutes.
Serve hot with rice, rasam or sambar or vathal kuzhambu.


  1. I made this taro roast twice now and I must say its simply delicious! Great alternative to making the usual potato side dish. Thanks Meena for sharing this yummy recipe!


    1. Glad you liked it, Neerja! I tried oven-roasting this and it came out great. Less oil too.


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