Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kochu Chingri (Shrimp with taro/arbi root)

Colacasia is a plant grown for its root vegetable, known as Taro or Arbi/Ghuiya in Northern and western part of India and Kochu in Bengal and eastern part of India and Patra in Gujarat. Taro root looks from outside like a potato, but has a hairy outer coating on its surface just like on a coconut shell. Taro roots can be used as an alternative to potato. Taro roots are very nutritious as they are very high in starch and are a good source of easily digestable dietary fibre. Its stems and leaves are also cherished in all over India. The tube like stems are used as a starch staple in India. Taro leaves are rich in vitamins and minerals.
In Bengal, we use this root vegetable extensively in veg. and non-veg. preperations like in fish dishes with Prawn or Hilsa. Another favorite relish of Bengal, Kochu shager ghonto,(which is one of my favorite dish & my mom always makes it whenever I visit her) made from the stems of this plant.
But you have to careful before buying taro roots. Choose more whiter ones(as shown in the picture) than dark gray or blackish ones. As whiter ones cook faster than the blackish ones. And when cooking with stems and leaves, One must put oil on both hands as some leaves and stems are acidic and cause scratching.
Today the recipe I'm citing here is Kochu chingri(Shrimp with taro roots), is one of a kind shrimp preperation, very simple but very tasty. I always prepare this whenever I have both in hands, as both are in my favorite food items list.........

Ingredients :
Shrimp(medium) : 12-15 pieces (Frozen or fresh)
Taro roots/arbi/kochu : 5-6 pcs.
Onion(medium) : 2 (chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste : 2 tblsp.
Chopped tomato : 2/3 cup
Green chillies : 2 (break in half)
Turmeric powder : 3 tsp.
cumin powder : 2 tsp.
Coriander powder : 1 tsp.
Chilli powder : 2 tsp. (adjust to your taste)
Sugar : 1 tsp.
Salt to taste
Oil(preferably mustard oil) : 3 tblsp.
Bengali Garam masala powder : 2 tsp.(Grind 2 cardamoms, 3 cloves & 1(1/2") cinnamon stick)
Coriander leaves for garnishing(optional)
For tempering : bayleaf 1, cardamoms 2, cloves 3 & Cinnamon stick 1(1")

Method :

  • Cut taro roots/arbi in medium cube like chunks. If using frozen clean shrimps, then defrost, wash the shrimps well. if using fresh shrimps, then remove the hard shell, devein them and then wash properly. After washing marinate the shrimps with 1 tsp. of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Keep them aside for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly shallow fry the shrimps until golden brown on both sides.Do not fry them for long time, then it tends to get hard and rubbery.
  • In another pan, heat rest of the oil, add the tempering ingredients, wait for them to splutter, then add chopped onions and sugar. Fry onions until brown, then add ginger-garlic paste.
  • Stir for 2-3 minutes, then add arbi/kochu, chopped tomatoes and green chillies. Stir until tomatoes get pulpy. In a bowl, mix all powdered spices with 3 tblsp. of water and a pinch of salt. Pour in the pan, mix and stir until oil seperates from the spices.
  • Add fried shrimps now and mix well with the spice paste. Pour about 1 cup of water. Add a little salt, not much at this time, as it's gravy prepeartions, you should add final seasoning at the last.
  • Close with a lid and medium flame let it cook. When gravy dries up and arbis are cooked, check the seasoning. Take the pan out of heat and sprinkle garam masala powder over it.
serve hot with rice or pulao.
Sending this awesomely delicious authentic Bengali fish preperation to my event Spotlight : Fish, expecting lots of awesome fish preperation from my fellow bloggers for this event. Send them over to me...................

Check ou this pulao made with prawn  and sweet potato: Sweet Potato & Prawn Pulao



Tulip said...

eta pore Mayer haater ranna mone pore gelo. dekhei khub khete iche korche :) amar ol kochu ar aloor torkari khub valo laage, jeta sedhho-o khaoa jay..etai ki seta ?? i never cooked at home...tai kochur diff types thik chinina. tai baire eshe kenar kothao kakhono vabini!! maybe i can try this some time.

Indrani said...

thanks, tulip..try karte paro, khub tasty khete hai, makha makha kare, ol kaochu ta holo jetake amra "yam" boli english-e, aar ami jeta use karechi seta holo, arbi ba Taro in english, amra jetake gathi kochu boli

Tulip said...

oo achcha...thanks for clarifying... :P :D

Malini said...

nice chk my last post for a set of awards to you...

talat said...

Taro root is used a lot in Asian cuisine. I absolutely love its starchiness. Great pairing with shrimp, it sounds delicious. Check my version of use of taro at

Mili said...

Thanks Indrani, barite eta khubi kheyechi maayer hathe .. chingri diye .. kintu ekhane eshe bohudin arbi kei je Gathi bole chintei parini ... Kaal niye elaam aaj banabo .. tomar ei recipe-r jonnye dhonnyobaad ... khub authentic recipe-ta .. tomar arro kichu ranna-r recipe diyo, jemon kochu bata, narkol diye .. ota ki USA te paowa jaye ? Gele, ki naame ?

Nila said...

This is the first recipe I could cook decent.... Thanks for posting this!!

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