Chatti Masiyal (Taro Root, Arbi Curry)

Chatti Masiyal is a dish from Tamizhnadu, I suspect; though I am not 100% sure. It was not a dish that was prepared in my home when I was a kid. I was therefore unfamiliar with the taste of this curry. I had, however, heard the term in my early days and it seemed to have stuck in my mind. A couple of years ago, when I was researching another dish, I accidentally stumbled upon the recipe for chatti masiyal. Triggered by the memory in my mind, I decided to try out the dish. And immediately fell in love with the taste, texture and aroma of this wonderful curry. Needless to say, it now features on my dining table regularly.

Ingredients
250 gms taro root (arbi, chembu, cheppankizhangu)
1 small lemon sized ball of tamarind (soaked and juice extracted)
1 green chilli, chopped fine
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1/2 tsp sambar powder (please refer to the section on Chutneys & Powders) – optional
A pinch of asafoetida (hing, perunkayam)
Salt to taste
For The Seasoning
2 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dhana, venthiyam)
1 sprig curry leaves
Method
Cook the taro root in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles
Let the steam release naturally and open the lid
Peel the taro root and cut into medium sized cubes
Heat a heavy bottom vessel
Add the tamarind extract, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and 1 cup of water
Boil for 10 minutes
Add the sambar powder and green chillies
Boil for a minute more and remove from flame
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the red chillies and fenugreek seeds
Roast to about 30 seconds
Add this to the cooked taro root curry
Garnish with curry leaves
Serve hot with steamed red/brown rice
Enjoy!

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