Though colocasia is not a favourite, like potatoes, it is used in a variety of preparations, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. I call this dish varuval because it is deep fried, though it is not crisp and doesn’t crackle like chips. The carbohydrate in the colocasia is slimy in nature and also very soft. Usually, colocasia is sliced thin and deep fried, giving it a chewy texture. I have cut the colocasia only into 2 chunks, making the outside of the deep fried colocasia crisp and the inside soft. I have also created the masala by adding roasted and powdered sombu to the usual turmeric and chilli powder mix to add a bit of wallop to the flavour.
Colocasia is the most unappetising-looking root, and cooking it is also a tedious process. The photo below shows the uncooked colocasia, the peeled colocasia, and the sliced colocasia, except that this preparation has the colocasia cut only into 2 chunks.
Colocasia provides 3g protein and 97 Calories per 100g. The deep frying of the colocasia increases the fat content and thus the energy value. It is an energy rich side dish that can be included in a packed lunch. Be warned that patients who are on a low-potassium diet should not be given colocasia as it contains 550 mg of potassium per 100 g.
- 750g Seppangkizhangu (Colocasia)
- 1 ½ tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Sombu (Aniseed), roasted and powdered
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- Coriander Leaves for garnishing
- 1 ½ C Vegetable Oil for deep frying
- Wash the colocasia 3 times in water, or till the water shows no trace of earth.
- Remove (pull off) the fine roots that are sticking to the skin.
- Pressure cook the colocasia for 10 minutes. Cool and remove the skin.
- Cut the colocasia into 2.
- Heat the oil in a medium kadai or wok.
- Fry the colocasia till it is golden brown and crisp.
- Remove and drain on kitchen towel.
- Mix the salt, chilli, turmeric, and sombu powders. Toss the colocasia in this mixture.
- Arrange on a serving plate and sprinkle with coriander leaves.
- I use Kashmiri chilli powder for its mild flavour and glorious red colour.
- I use sunflower oil supplemented with rice bran oil for its high smoking point and cholesterol-lowering properties.
- Colocasia becomes slimy when cooked. If overcooked it will become too mushy to hold its shape.