Nduma Patties/Taro Root Patties
THEME: #167 ROOTING FOR ROOTS
Mondays come so fast and disappear equally fast. Imagine we’re over and done with Navratri, soon Diwali will be knocking on our doors and we’ll have barely just finished our Diwali celebrations and Christmas will be round the corner. And then the year ends. As fast as it came it will disappear just as fast and will only then be mentioned as history.
What will I remember this year for? Well, so far its been an exciting year of meeting up with family and enjoying short holidays with them. In March had a great beach holiday with my side of the family, my dad, kaka, kaki, my fois, my brothers, bhabhis, niece. Then came the amazing albeit short holiday I had in Goa with my mother in law, hubby, his sisters and their family and my 3 grown up kids. Next weekend off to another short family holiday, again a beach holiday with hubby’s cousins and their families. Also a year when my foi celebrated her 90th birthday and my mother in law her 85th. Both women have stood the test of time and have been strong as ever. If I can be even 1% of what they are then I’ll consider myself lucky. Next year is going be another year of family time as my 3 nieces are getting married. More fun, getting to meet new family and embracing new members to our ever expanding circle of families.
Coming to today’s recipe, Sujata Shukla, a new member of our group and who blogs at PepperOnPizza excited us with the theme title Rooting for Roots. Her blog has some unusual recipes which I have bookmarked but haven’t got a chance to try them out as yet. Sujata suggested using roots other than potatoes as our theme. I decided to use a root that is a staple in Kenya and considered a poor man’s tummy filler. However this root, known as Nduma in Kiswahili and as Taro Root in English has many health benefits. It is sometimes mistaken for yam and arrow root but this root or tuber is from the Colocasia Esculenta. Nduma is very different from the taro root or arbi that is available in India. This root can be very thick, sometimes with a diameter of about 3 inches or slightly more. A cross section of the root will reveal purple strand or fleck like patterns. This purple colour is due to the presence of phenolic pigments. Be cautious as both the roots and leaves of this plant cannot be eaten raw as it can be toxic due to the presence or calcium oxalate.However, after cooking both have numerous health benefits. Its mainly consumed in a stew, or boiled or mashed or fried into crisps.
When my kids were young, I use to make roasted nduma, nduma chips(French fries), nduma crisps and also fry thick sticks of them for them to enjoy with some salt, red chili powder and lemon juice. I’m sure the only reason they loved to eat nduma was because of the purple specks.
Health benefits of Nduma/Taro Root:
- Rich in dietary fiber
- Rich in folate which is beneficial for pregnant women
- Rich in potassium and therefore good for the heart as it helps to regulate blood pressure
- Aids in weight loss as when one consumes taro root, they tend to fill full for a longer time
- Rich Vitamin C and therefore helps to build immunity
- Rich in Vitamin B complex which has enzymic properties to metabolize fats, starch, proteins.
- The dietary fibers present in taro root helps to regulate blood sugar.
- Has antioxidants that help to prevent or fight cancer.
- Its a rich source of Vitamins A and E which a beneficial for good skin. Vitamin A also helps to maintain good eyesight.
- A rich source of magnesium that helps to maintain good muscles.
- Presence of carbohydrates reduces fatigue.
For this theme, I decided to make Nduma or Taro Root patties which resulted in a lovely light pink colour. I made the patties without any onion and garlic and more as a fasting food to be enjoyed during Navratri Fasting or on Ekadashis.
Here’s the easy to make recipe.
NDUMA PATTIES/TARO ROOT PATTIES
Makes about 14
500g nduma or taro root
¼ cup fresh grated coconut
¼ cup sabudana/tapioca pearls
½ cup roasted and shelled peanuts
1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp arrowroot or water chestnut flour (singhada)
2-3 green chilis finely chopped or paste
1½ – 2 tsp sendha namak (rock salt)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (dhania)
oil for shallow frying
- Soak the sabudana in water for about 30 minutes. Drain out the water when required and dry them on a kitchen towel to remove the water.
- Peel and cut the nduma or taro roots into big chunks. Wash the pieces.
- Put the pieces in a saucepan. Cover it with water.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and let the root boil till done. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Immediately remove nduma from the water into a bowl or plate and let it cool down completely.
- In the meantime, lightly crush the peanuts to get a coarse powder.
- Mash the nduma or taro root.
- Add all the remaining ingredients to it including sabudana.
- Mix well.
- Lightly grease your hands, take about 2 tbsp of the mixture and roll it into a ball.
- Flatten it slightly and shape it into a patti.
- Repeat steps 10 and 11 with the remaining mixture.
- Let the patties chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or till required.
- Heat some oil for shallow frying in a wide frying pan or tawa over medium to high heat.
- When the oil is hot, gently arrange the patties in the frying pan. Let the underside cook till it becomes golden brown in colour.
- Gently flip them over using a spatula and a spoon.
- Let it cook till it turns golden brown.
- Remove from the frying pan and put the patties on a kitchen towel so the excess oil gets absorbed.
- Repeat steps 15-18 with the remaining patties.
- Serve hot patties with your favorite chutney or with a coconut and yogurt dip.
COCONUT AND YOGURT DIP
1½ cups thick plain yogurt
¼ cup grated fresh coconut
¼ cup coarse peanut powder
¼ tsp sendha namak (rock salt)
½ tsp green chili paste or 1 chili finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Mix all the ingredients for the dip in a serving bowl.
- Let it chill in the fridge till required.
- When you peel the roots, leave them in water so that they do not get discolored.
- Don’t buy tubers or roots that are soft.
- Use a sharp knife to peel the outer tough skin.
- Don’t overcook the roots.
- Add spices according to your taste. Can also add other veggies to it.
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