Chembu Asthram / Taro Root Curry

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Asthram is a Pathanamthitta special dish that is served as part of an offering, along with kanji (rice gruel), muthira puzhukku (horse gram stir-fry) and mango pickle, during kumbha bharani festival in Chettikulangara, Kerala. It is so easy to prepare and makes a great accompaniment with kanji/rice. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients (Serves 5 – 6)

1. Chembu / taro root / colocasia – 6 – 7, small

2. Green chilies – 2 – 3, slit

Turmeric powder – 1/2 – 3/4 tsp

Chilly powder – 1 tsp

Salt – To taste

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Water – 1 – 1.5 cup or as required

3. Grated coconut – 1.5 cup

Shallots – 3, small

Cumin seeds – 1/4 – 1/2 tsp

4. Yoghurt – 1/2 cup

5. Shallots – 4 – 5

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

6. Oil, preferably coconut oil – 2 – 3 tsp

7. Salt – To taste

Method

1. Grind the grated coconut along with shallots and cumin seeds to a very fine paste.

2. Peel the taro roots and wash them. Cut them into slightly large cubes. Cook them covered, over medium heat, along with ingredients numbered 2, adding enough water.

3. When the taro root pieces are done (do not overcook them), add the ground coconut paste. Mix well. Cook for a few minutes over low heat until the raw taste of coconut is gone. Switch off. Set aside to cool a bit. Add 1/2 cup yoghurt and mix well. Taste-check for salt.

4. Heat 2-3 tsp coconut oil in a small pan. Fry shallots until light brown. Now add curry leaves. Fry until the shallots turn golden. Pour on top of the curry. Close with a lid and keep aside for 15 mts. Serve with kanji / rice.

(You can use tamarind juice instead of yoghurt. Add it once the taro root pieces are cooked (before adding coconut).

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Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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About Maya

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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