My family has been growing Taro for over 100 years now. In Hindi it’s called Arbi , I have also heard people call it Guhiya. Here is picture of our Taro farm, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, about 250 KM from Delhi.
My first culinary experience with Taro leaves was during summer vacation at my grandmother’s place. She used to spend whole afternoon, intricately cleaning and layering leaves with gram flour , to make fried dumplings, which were then cooked with most amazing spice combination.
I used to watch whole process from outside kitchen door as entering kitchen was tougher that entering class-1 clean room environment, you were suppose to wash your hand and feet, wipe them dry and not touch anything else on the way.
In America , Hawaii, has significant history Taro with cultural importance as well. It’s a staple snack in any Gujarati American house. Usually , leaves available in Indian Grocery stores are bruised or discolored, I was lucky to find some good quality leaves in Jackson Heights, NY.
I obviously wanted them to prepare in a healthy way , so frying was not an option, so I thought about steaming them. To give you a background on my craze about steaming. Topic of steaming came-up during a culinary discussions with my mother on the phone, where I told her about Burmese tofu and to my surprise she told me it’s her favorite snack from her childhood, her grandmother used to make a tofu like preparation from homemade Gram Floor (details in future post).