Arbi (Taro Root) curry with Prawns {with Panch Phoron}

Taro root or Colocasia is commonly known as Arbi in Hindi. It is a a very popular vegetable in South India. However this nutritious veggie has not failed to leave an impact on the North Indian diet too.

We should regularly include this nutty vegetable into our diet; why not enjoy the rich nutrients of this wonderful gift of nature!! Taro is packed with fibers, carbohydrates and vitamins. It is easy to digest and has numerous healing properties.

Arbi, in India, is cooked in various forms; like arbi fry, arbi curry, arbi masala and many others. This particular recipe is a Bengali version, wherein I cook Arbi with prawns. For tempering I will use “Panch Phoron“. I know all my bengali friends out there already know what this particular term means.:) Hailing from a Bengali family, my childhood has been spent eating authentic Bengali dishes and Panch Phoron is a very common form of tempering used in Bengali food. It is basically a five-spice mix of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, Black nigella seeds (kalonji), sauf (fennel seeds) and Methidana / Fenugreek seeds in equal parts. Panch phoron is always used whole and never ground. Each of these spices has a unique flavor, however when mixed together, it gives a distict taste and aroma to the dish. It is quite popular in eastern India, but it holds a special place in most Bengali households wherein they can’t even imagine a vegetable dish without this particular tempering.

Addition of prawns gives this dish again a Bengali touch, however vegetarians can exclude prawns and it will still taste as great!! 🙂


Arbi / Taro – 5-6 pieces medium sized

Prawns (small) – 10-15 (peeled and deveined)

Onions – 1 large

Garlic cloves – 2-3

Ginger – 1 small piece

Green chillies – 2-3

Dry red chillies – 2-3

Yogurt – 3 heaping tbsp

Coconut cream – 2-3 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tbsp

Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Salt – as per taste


Take Arbi and boil them for 10 mins. After 10 mins, wash arbi in cold water and peel off the skin.

Blend the onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies into a fine paste.

Take yogurt and coconut cream in a bowl, whisk together and then add some water.

Take oil in a pan. When oil is hot, put panch phoron and dry red chillies. When panch phoron starts spluttering, add the blended paste of onion ginger garlic and chillies. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Fry the paste along with the spices for few minutes or until the raw smell of onion and garlic is no more. This process will take some time.

Then add in the prawns. Mix well with the masala and stir for few mins.

Now add the yogurt and coconut milk mixture.

P.S. Alternatively, you can use tomato puree instead of yogurt and coconut milk. 

Cut the arbi into small pieces and add it into the curry. Add salt. Mix everything well.

When the curry comes to a boil, lower the flame, cover it with a lid and cook for 5 more mins. Switch off the flame and let the curry stand for 5 more mins.

Enjoy with steamed white rice.







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