Arvi Kabab (Taro Root Kababs)

Arvi Kabab

Arvi KababLast night I had one of those moments when as a mom you are just about to burst and you just try your best to keep it all inside. Well, I might have had a little outburst still but lets just act like that never happened!

Arvi KababSo it was a busy day, like any other and I was just trying to “smooth sail”, like that that ever happens! Morning rush, followed by a good one hour at the gym (which was probably the only highlight of the day!), followed by work, which you must know if you “work from home” that it also means picking up the toys from the floor while on a conference call, doing the dishes while dictating an email, and eating cereal for lunch while working on the assignment. So somehow got some work done and left a lot undone because it was time to pick up the kids from school. Kids got picked up, then rush to the butterfly’s piano class. By the time we make it home I am already done for the day but the kids still need to be bathed, dinner still needs to be cooked, story books still need to be read, homework still needs to be finished and…….. yup!

Arvi KababArvi KababNow like a good mom (that I can only try to be!), I patiently strive through all of that and end up on the dinner table, ON TIME…. with hot cooked food in front of us. The little one, takes the first bite, gags and spits it out. I tell her, that’s not how you treat your food. She takes another bite and spits it out again. AND that it… I was just about done at this point and I just burst. Luckily god sent the husband back from work, right then and nobody got hurt! Not proud of myself for doing so but definitely empathetic….of myself.

Arvi KababBut at the same time I cannot blame anyone because I was exactly that kid years ago. Equally picky about what I chose to eat, if not more. No, definitely more! One of the many things that I hated to eat was taro root. The slippery slimy texture of it was just a big turn off for me. So much so that I’d imagine things just by the smell of it and even ended up throwing up a couple times. Arvi was an enemy! Mummy was so done with it, just like the current me. But then she also knew magic, mums just do.┬áSo she waved her wand and did magic.

Arvi Kabab

She made the most delicious “machi kababs” or fish cutlet, I had ever tasted. It was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with clean flavors, nothing too bold and spicy. Something a child would love. And I devoured. I ate and I ate and that dish became one of my favorites for years to come. And then years later well into my adulthood I realized that my mom lied to me and those weren’t fish kababs but actually a kabab made of the most hated root vegetable in my life. Yup, you guessed it… it was tarro! I felt cheated but also amazed by my mothers skills to make a hated vegetable into a favorite. And although I gave her a hard time at the time but tarro still continued to be a favorite and this recipe, one of my favorite ways to cook it.

So I guess instead of getting disappointed because your kid didn’t like something you worked hard on, you can just get more creative and present it in a more fun way. Lesson learned Mummy… lesson learned!


2 lbs Arvi (tarro roots), approx. 10-12 in no.

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoon amchur (raw mango) powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or red chili powder)

3 tablespoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon nigella

1 medium sized red onion, thinly sliced (approx. 1 cup)

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

Salt to taste


Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to boil. Drop taro roots in the boiling water and boil them until cooked through, approx. 30 mins. Drains the water. Allow taro roots to cool. Once cool to handle, peel the skin off. Oil your palms for cooked taro roots can be sticky and press taro roots between your palms to flatten them into tikkis or patties. Line on a plate and set aside.

In a small bowl bring together, all the dry powdered ingredients. Sprinkle evenly on tarro patties, both sides.

Heat oil in a heavy bottom, shallow pan. Add nigella. As it sputters, add sliced onion and sprinkle some salt (1/4 tsp). Cook onion for a couple minutes until they begin to sweat.

Carefully line taro patties on the pan and cook on medium low heat, until both sides are golden brown, flipping them in intervals. Approx. 8-10 minutes.

Serves hot with a spicy chutney as a dip, chilled beaten yogurt drizzled on top and garnished with cayenne and cilantro or as a side with steaming hot lentil soup and rice.


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