Thursday, July 19, 2007

Arbi-bataun di sabzi-taro root and eggplants :)

This is just as simple as it sounds, friends. Arbi is taro and bataun is baingan, eggplants, aubergines, brinjals etc etc.....Now, isn't that combo interesting :). I know, i know.....y'all are thinking, hey, wasn't it meant to be aloo-baingan ;). The ever favorite of Punjus, the great spud, needs to take rest sometimes ;). Meanwhile, arbi/arvi or taro-root steps in and how! Aloo-bataun/aloo-baingan or "potatoes and eggplants", with or without wadis, is a classic Punju combo. Equally yummy, but a far less talked about variation is the use of taro with eggplants. Well, that statement is not completely true: it is a rather popular summer time combo in rural Punjab, but not much talked about elsewhere. So here's our chance to talk about it and enjoy it :). And its a very versatile combo too: enjoy it as a simple, mild, tari-wali (gravied) sabzi or a spicy, kicked-up sukki (dry) sabzi. It is usually made with Chinese eggplants (the long eggplants), but you can use any variety available and it would still taste good. So here are the two recipes: for all taro and eggplant lovers to enjoy.....and also as my contribution to RCI:Punjab :). My agenda is clear here :). That is, to blog about Punjabi recipes, that used to be common once upon a time and are fading away, or are not well known outside Punjabi community, or recipes that are only made in specific parts of Punjab, the regional specialities.....last post exemplified a recipe now sorta' extinct, and another one thats typically Punju, but not particularly famous outside Punjab. Why i am doing it? Just my attempt to preserve a bit of my own culinary heritage.....and share it with my friends.

Arbi-bataun sabzi (tari-wali):

We need:

  • 1 big eggplant (round) or 4-5 Chinese eggplants or 6-7 small round eggplants
  • 7-8 taro roots
  • 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 1/4 tsp. each cumin and coriander seeds
  • Turmeric and red chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1 heaped tsp. Amchoor (mango powder)
  • 1-2 green chillies (chopped, optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp. melted Ghee/Oil
  • Chopped cilantro
  • A pinch of garam masala (from the red-lobia post)

Wash the eggplants and cut them into 2-inch long pieces (traditional way). Wash and scrape the taro-roots and cut them into 1-2 inch long pieces.

In 1 tsp. hot oil, splutter the cumin and coriander seeds and saute' the onions. Add the cut taro pieces and cook with the onions on high heat for 4-5 minutes to eliminate the stickiness. Alternatively you may bake/toast the taro lightly or microwave the chopped taro for 4-5 minutes. In a separate pan, add the remaining oil and then stir-fry the eggplant pieces for 4-5 minutes. Add these to the taro and stir. Add the copped tomatoes, stir and cook for a cpl. of minutes. Now add the turmeric and chilli powder, followed by salt. Stir again and add 1 and half cup of water. Bring to boil and then cook on low flame till the gravy thickens. Add the chopped green chillies, cilantro and garam masala.

Ready to be served with chapati/phulka, parantha or rice :).

Arbi-bataun sabzi (sukki):
We need:

  • 1 big eggplant (round) or 4-5 Chinese eggplants or 6-7 small round eggplants
  • 7-8 taro roots
  • 1 onion (sliced thin)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger and 4-5 garlic cloves (made into paste)
  • 1/4 tsp. each cumin and coriander seeds
  • Turmeric and red chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1 heaped tsp. Amchoor (mango powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
Chop the vegetables as in the recipe above. Microwave the taro pieces for 5 minutes. In a pan, heat 1/2 tsp. oil and splutter the seeds. saute the sliced onion on low heat till tender and brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir again. Add the taro pieces and stir. Now add the remaining oil, followed by the eggplant pieces. Stir and cook on high for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, chilli powder, amchoor and salt. Stir and cook on low heat after covering the pan till done. To enjoy, inhale the spicy, yummy aroma, make some rotis or parathas and enjoy with this sabzi and some curds :).

Notes: The gravy sabzi is meant to be mild, if you have another dry sabzi to accompany. in that case you may omit the green chiliies. The dry sabzi is preferably enjoyed as a lip-smacking spicy dish with some chilled dahi/curds (with some salt and black pepper).Talking about dahi, many Punjus enjoy a small katori/vatki/cup of curds with sugar after lunch :)). i am not one of them.....i love my dahi with salt!! For variations, if you are using Chinese eggplants, cut them into rounds. Arbi can also be cut into rounds. Cutting the vegetables differently changes the taste and look of the dish! Makes a lot of difference! Also, you may like to try this recipe with arbi alone (just reduce the amount of onions, or omit them altogether and use hing and dry masala instead). I have tried to minimize the oil requirement here :). Patience is the key here, the eggplants do get cooked in due time, you don't need too much oil :). I mention this, because some households use deep-frying for the dry recipe. On an aside, I prefer using Olive Oil for my cooking. Try it :).

Oh! and the pictures for the dry sabzi have been taken with my camera phone! My camera is not working anymore.....he he, first the internet, now the camera! These pictures are doing no justice to how this dish actually looked!! Hmm, now that i am talking, lemme also tell you that the first recipe was meant to be posted for JFI eggplants as well.....but as i mentioned, internet wasn't helping :). So here it is finally :)).

Hope you'll enjoy this eggplant-taro affair :).


Cinnamon said...

Never tried the combi of taro roots and eggplant, but it looks to be very delicious!! Thanks for sharing!

Saju said...

yummy, great combo, I have never tried taro - you have inspired me to try it. Pics DO look delish

Roopa said...

wow thats such a nice combo, never thought of arbi with eggplant. this is going to my try list.... i will trying baking taro and use i ususally make only pachadi and some light curry with it...thks dear, great entry....

Suganya said...

I think I will like the dry veg better. You come up with such innovative names and always have an explanation too :)

Asha said...

Looks delicious M! I tried Taro once,didn't like the texture.It was like Floury taste.I guess I have to get used to the different.Great combo though.Plate of food looks yummy!:))

Sia said...

taro and eggplant??? first i thought there is some typo. trust u to use any thing under the sun and make it look so delicious and u have quite good explaination to justify;) sukki subji is what i am oogling here... u have used very few ingredients but it looks damn sexy musie:)

Sandeepa said...

Kya bataun...ekdum nayi combo hai. I have never cooked taro roots, with or without baingan. I want to eat this not able to imagine the taste. From your pic it looks lovely though

Nupur said...

Everything looks delicious as usual! Nothing like a home-style meal, lovingly laid out in a thali...sigh. I tried making taro once, liked the taste, but peeling those hairy veggies :( not so much :)

musical said...


Thanks for your words :). This is a very village style combo, quite popular in rural Punjab. Do try it sometime.


THanks for stopping by. am glad you liked this combo.....and thanks for telling me that the pictures are reasonable, thats a real consolation!


Thanks :). Do try it, if you like eggplants and taro, you'll like it for sure.


Nice choice ;). Yes, if you are trying this first time, i would recommend the dry sabzi too :). Oh and these names are just actual Punju names, like how we say it in Punjabi.

Mishmash ! said...

hey, how re u? Well, though both are not my fav veggies, I would say YES to that meal served on a plate, for my lunch today...:)...comfort meal!


musical said...


He he, you found the taste of taro flory. try it baked or toasted, you might like it. its starch afterall :-D.


THanks for telling me that the pictures of the sukki sabzi are worth something! really, it means a lot, especially when the real camera is broken!! Hey, we do have a REAL dish with taro and eggplant. problem is that its popular only in rural cuisine in Majha area of Punjab. Hence i blogged about it for RCI, just to get such not so widely popular dishes to reach across :).


Your "Kya bataun" totally cracked me up :)). Drop by anytime, and i'll make this for you. Taro is a starchy vegetable. Slighty sticky. Make a small batch, with two eggplants and two taro roots-a tester :).


So, you love taro. me too and i don't particularly enjoy peeling it either. But traditionally, one peels it after applying oil to the hands, helps prevent skin irritation and stickiness.

musical said...


You are generous, aren't you :). What are you favorite vegetables? lemme know.

Lata said...

Never knew this combination. Glad I heard it through you.

Richa said...

haanji! great job keeping alive those age old traditions of diferent veg combinations, there are many which we don't think of as regular now, but they were routine back then :) but tussi sadde spud no rest pleeeeze heh!heh! dono subzia vadhiya e', anni soni thali, tussi tayar rakho, dai naal :)
thanks for the lovely dishes sweetie :)

bee said...

you gave me a wicked recipe idea. will post it next week.

j stuck some arvi in the ground, and they have leaves now. they are so pretty.

Dumela = Rachna said...

aw musy.... nice recipe... very interesting combo... the dry sunzi looks wicked...and so invitng with the roti dahi and achar... hmmm

evolvingtastes said...

Hi Musical, my first comment on your blog. Thanks for these two wonderful looking dishes. It is a treat to see something so authentic and rustic, especially one that is not well-known
Torn between which one I should try out first.

musical said...


He he, indeed this isn't a well known combo. hope you'll try it :).


Haanji, good that you like this idea :). Aa gaye na Punjabiyaan wali gall te ;). Punjabiyaan nu aloo bahut pyare ne :-D. Thaali tayyar e ji, tussin aa jao jaldi jaldi :). We'll enjoy it together with some spicy daal and phulkas :).


Ah! so i have to wait one whole week ;). Am glad though that despite the eggplants, this post was useful to you in some way :). Arbi leaves, wow! i long for some, wanna' make pataude/partrode :).

musical said...


More eggplant stuff to keep company to your yummy eggplant creations :). Am glad you think the dry sabzi LOOKS good :) and trust me, it tastes fabulous! paired with and amb da achaar, its totally yummy!


Welcome to my corner :). thanks a ton for your warm words about my lil' effort. hope you'll enjoy these dishes.

Sig said...

Hey Musie, that is a nice cause, save the endangered punju dishes... An unusual combo for me too.... :)

musical said...

Hey Sig:

You totally crack me up, dear :)). Good to see you after so many days. How have you been doing.

take care,

Sharmi said...

Wooah! that is a real odd combination. arbi is gummy and eggplant slimy. but the pics look delicious and I completely confide in your cooking:)) great cooking dear.

musical said...

Hey Sharmi:

Thanks.....(blush). The trick here is to bake, stir fry the vegetables before the get gummy or slimy.


Coffee said...

I can officially crown you the queen of varied combos when it comes to vegetables! :)

musical said...


Mujhe laaj aa rahi hai ;). Thanks, dear.

evolvingtastes said...

Hi Musical, tag, for the 7 random facts meme. Play if you can!

Anita said...

That's right - leave the dal-makhni, and kadhi to me :D you concentrate on these unfamiliar (to us non-Panjabis) dishes, so I can be as knowledgeable about Punjabi food as you are about Kashmiri! {you left a note on buz-wangan somewhere recently!)

And I absolutely did not know that arbi and baingan make a great combination. Poor husband is going to give me that stare when I combine arbi (something he eats if cooked in an un-slimy way) with baingan - which he'd rather not!

musical said...


Thanks, dear! I did a meme rcently. But then, Pel and Sunita tagged me soon after, so i would surely do this meme :).


I am sure you know a lot of lovely Punju goodies (i have proof, that kadhi looks wow!)-and you are one person who blogs recipes from East, West, North and South with equal familiarity and authority! btw, there's a LOT in Kashmiri food that i need to hoping you'll teach me :).

Ah! you hubby doesn't like eggplant :(. May be you'll try this one? The dry one, i promise, is non-slimy!

Seema said...

Musical, Oh I love them both baingan raja and taro root. Both are my fav but never even thought of using em together. Lovely !!!

musical said...


Baingan Raja! he he, that made me laugh. i remember there was a TV show for kids with the name baingan raja ;).

Thanks,dear,. try them and enjoy :).

Kajal said...

I never try any recipe with taro roots. Thanks for sharing.
Great and something different entry for RCI. Looks delicious!!!!!

musical said...

Hey Kajal:

thanks a lot! Do try taro root, i love it and am sure you'll love them too :).

have a great weekend,

Mandira said...

arbi with eggplants, that sounds like a great combination. have to try this.

musical said...

Hey Mandira:

Good to see you dear. hope you both are settling in well. do try this, you'll enjoy them :). take care.


swapna susarla said...

Hi musical
This is my hubby's all time favorites.looks wonderful.

musical said...

Hey Swapna:

Thanks. hope you both enjoy these recipes :).

Poonam said...

Hey, its my first time here. Delicious recipes and nice pictures...

sunita said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed your eggplant-taro affair :)

musical said...

Hey Poonam:

Welcome to my corner and thanks a ton for the generous words :).


And am so glad that you did :-D.

Viagra Online said...

I really enjoy cooking recipes with eggplant it's strange that people use to cook that but I like to do it to eat something different in the week.

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