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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Taro Leaves Alu che paan Arbi Ka Patta How to Make Alu Vadi Tips to prevent Itchy throat after eating Taro leaves dishes


Taro Leaves Alu che paan in Marathi Arbi Ka Patta in Hindi Colocasia Leaves and How to Make Alu Vadi.
Leaves used for making delicious Alu vadi. Heart shaped leaves ,  white roots growing in damp and wet places.  They are great energy booster, used by athletes and also there is a lot of mention  of medicinal and health benefits of eating taro. Taro can be used in many dishes along with vegetables and meat or in soups replacing potatoes. Old grannies used to say to eat Arvi in monsoons and also the alu vadi made by leaves.
One common share is that Taro roots are used in  weight loss as it is high in fiber , have good content of vitamins and nutrients.
We saw these in private farm house where they are flourishing and growing great. No care required and loads of Alu ke paan.
Some Taro leaves contain tiny particles of calcium oxalate that causes itching in the upper part of palate. If the taro leaves are uncooked or partly cooked this releases the crystals thus causing itching in mouth and throat. Even while cutting taro leaves one must be handled with care.
Ingredients for the snack, Alu Ki vadi, Chick pea flour , ginger, green chillies, lemon, jaggery,  tamarind , salt, for taste.
Clean the leaves well without pressure other wise they tear. Remove the central thick vein of the leaf. Apply besan paste, with paste of all spices,  on the thicker vein side. Again put another leaf and apply paste. Take four to five leaves and when complete roll together carefully so that all the batter does not come out. Steam then over boiling water for about fifteen to thirty minutes, see that they look cooked. They look firm.
Allow sufficient cooling before slicing them in thin or 1 cm slices and then fry them. They taste great,  a very healthy snack for monsoons. Mustard, hing, cumin jeera tempering adds a lot of flavor and taste, pour over the fried Alu Vadis. The vagar, with fresh curry leaves and these herbs makes the tasty treat snack complete with chutney, either spicy one or sweet one as you prefer, coriander mint spicy or sweet jaggery and tamarind one for the taste.
While I have seen people grow this Taro plant in containers  in childhood we had grown the plant in plastic tub. The plant needs side space as the leaves grow huge and heart shaped falling outside of the container . There is also the elephants ear plant that has very similar leaves and grows plenty in the wild and hence mistaken for arbi leaves .
Taro Plant growing in Private farm land

Huge Flowering Bud on taro Plant
 I was attracted by the heavenly fragrance of the creamish yellow blooms of Arvi plant. They are so large sized, and look similar to a large call lilly or Peace lilly flower, just a very larger version. And the fragrance is unique, wild, woody, great!
Heavenly Woody Fragrance of Taro Plant Flower

 So we just cannot pluck leaves from wild as they may be dangerous and poisonous for health and not real taro plant leaves. It is always better to buy taro leaves from reputed stores, and your known vegetable vendors or from plants that you know are original Taro plants.
If you are growing from the tuber of arbi in soil allow the leaves to mature and grow in size for the distinct taste and flavor for making Alu Vadi. Smaller leaves are not good.  In containers always remove the larger leaves and leave some small centre part for future growth.
The Taro plant needs dampness and wet soil and does not tolerate dry periods. Hence it is seen as flourishing in marshy lands.It is attacked by white fungus,aphids and bugs as the Taro plant is always in more water and damp soil.
Another bud coming out of Taro Plant
Taro roots are used to make so many dishes and are a healthy replacement for potatoes. Taro  can be fried as chips, used in soups and cooked as vegetables. Boil Arvi properly, pressure cook with salt to avoid itchy throat. Even while handling, cleaning, skinning,  Arvi the hands also start itching , apply oil while handling and cleaning taro roots.
Tips- For making the snack take care to clean them well, add lemon, tamarind, which is very important and also cook it well, uncooked or half cooked leaves leave the throat itchy and mouth scratchy. In case the throat is itchy after eating taro leaves suck on slice of lemon immediately to counter the effects.
Also dry off the leaf well after washing before applying paste as wet leaves do not hold the paste well and we are left behind with only rolls of leaves.
One great tasty treat for monsoons, along with herbal hari chai ki patti , lemon grass tea, will share later growing your own lemon grass plant,  enjoy!
Do share your experiences with taro plants leaves, Arbi Ka Patta dishes and also what you did when your throat got itchy after eating a bad Taro leaf dish, Alu Ki Vadi! 
All the Best from Rizwana!