When I could not find clothes for him in the toddler section, I ventured into the ‘big boy’ section. No more cute T-shirts with “Mommy’s Boy” written on them. From now on it was all solids, stripes and plaids. I almost cried on the floor of the shop except I remembered that he still liked his Toy Story backpack and I had to go look for a matching lunch box.
Fortunately, I found the TS lunch box while shopping for school supplies. Once the mile long list of markers, pencils, erasers, folders and notebooks was done, I was back at home preparing for his first day of school. Lunch was agreed upon, a PB&J sandwich, pencil box filled according to the teacher’s specification and clean socks and clothes were ironed and ready for next day.
Sprouting Taro: my entry to Susan's B&W Wednesdays
Amidst the weak long running around, I totally overlooked the arbi (taro root) lying in the pantry. It is a vegetable reserved for the kid's dad, just like this one is. In Maharashtrian households, arbi is called alu and the stir fry alu chi bhaji. The picky eater that I was, I never did take to it. My mom would cook it with some potatoes thrown in to camaflouge the arbi.
As an adult, my fondness for arbi stops at the musty, earthy smell that emanates from it. Unlike bhindi (okra), it is not a sticky vegetable when raw. But boil the little spuds and the starch oozes out and seeps into the water it is boiled in. From there, it is all downhill – peeling, chopping, stir frying is a big sticky mess. The good news is that with enough frying, the stickiness goes away and the vegetable turns crispy with a meaty bite to it, not unlike crispy, stir fried boiled potatoes.
To avoid the stickiness of the arbi, you can do one of the following two things:
1. Peel, chop and stir fry the raw arbi roots. It will take longer to cook through but you will avoid a sticky mess on the chopping board and the knife.
2. Do what I do and par-boil the arbi. It will still be sticky but not as much, plus it will cook faster.
Alu chi bhaji / Arbi Stiry Fry
5-6 arbi roots
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds (carom seeds)
1/2 tsp asafetida powder
1 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
Wash and remove as much outer fibers as possible. In a microwave proof shallow container cover the arbi roots with enough water. On high power, zap for five to six minutes. Let cool and peel the skin. Cut into thin half moons or quarter moons.
Heat a non-stick pan with a tablespoon of oil. Turn the heat to medium low and add the turmeric powder, carom seeds and asafetida powder. Give it a quick stir, taking care not to burn the carom seeds. Add the red chili powder and the cut quarter moons. Mix in the arbi with spices so that the arbi is coated evenly with turmeric powder. Add salt and cook till done through and crispy.
Serve with whole wheat tortillas or as a side with rice.