‘Chembu roast’ was a speciality of Veremai (my maternal grandma - the unique term which means ‘another mother’ was ‘coined’ by me – her eldest grandchild). I still remember the crisp, molagappodi-coated chembu roast she’d prepare in a black iron kadhai – yummmm…. None of us have or ever will duplicate the same taste. I have to admit mine is a poorer version but it is a hit with my family – no one but me has tasted Veremai’s, you see!
Chembu (Colocasia) (arbi) – ½ kg
Tamarind – a small piece / ¼ tsp (paste)
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder / sambar powder – 1 tsp
Chutney powder ( dosa molagappodi) – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 2-3 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Asafetida – ¼ tsp
Peel the chembu (cheppangizhangu) and cut into long thin slices and wash well.
Boil it with turmeric, tamarind piece and salt till nearly (three-fourth) cooked.
Drain and set aside to cool.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan.
Add mustard seeds, urad dal and asafetida.
Then add the boiled chembu and stir gently.
Keep covered for 5 minutes on a low flame.
Continue to roast it without the lid, stirring intermittently.
When it becomes almost brown, add red chilli powder and molagappodi and stir.
Leave on slow fire till the chembu turns crisp and reddish brown.
Red chilli powder, sambar powder and dosa molagappodi can be used as per your discretion and availability.