Taro root is a starchy tuber vegetable that looks like, and can be used similar to, a potato. It does, however, have a hairy outer coating on its surface that is similar to the coating on a coconut. Because of this, when preparing to use a taro root, the root’s outer skin must first be removed. This procedure is easy to do. However, some individual’s can acquire a skin irritation towards the juices that are secreted by the taro root as its skin is being removed. Therefore, to be on the safe side, when peeling a taro root’s skin, use protective rubber gloves. Additionally, because taro root can be toxic in its raw state, always cook it before using.Taro roots can be used as an alternative to potatoes. They do, however, have somewhat of a nut-like flavor when cooked.
Another reason that the taro root has gained in popularity for cooking purposes is because its starch is easily digestible. Additionally, taro roots are extremely nutritious as they provide a good source of fibre, contain a high amount of protein, calcium, and phosphorus, and supply approximately 95 calories per adult serving.
To determine whether a taro root is suitable for use, make sure that the root is firm to the touch, and has hairy roots. Once you have selected your roots, you can store them in your home for up to one week provided that the roots are stored in a cool and dry location, preferably at approximately 50ºF. Additionally, when storing taro roots, make sure that the roots do not dry out. Because of its diversity, the taro root vegetable can easily be used as a healthy alternative to potatoes and other tubers.(http://tx.essortment.com/taroroottubers_relt.htm)
So much for the trivia… as for us, we use taro root or ‘kosu’, as we call it, in a variety of dishes…however the one I’m citing below is one that came out of my whims, something I dished up in a hurry…but it turned out well and there was nothing to complain. I served it with plain rice and dal. I believe it can be had with rotis as well.
4-5 taro roots, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
a bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
salt to taste
Boil the taro pieces three-fourths of the way in 1 and 1/2 glasses of water along with the saffron and salt. This does not take long and should be checked that the taro does not over cook and become mushy.
Strain the taro when and save the stock.
Heat 2 tblsp of oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and bay leaf. When the seeds splutter, add the taro, cumin and chilli powder and stir for a minute. Add the stock and simmer till the taro is completely cooked and, as before, taking care that it does not turn into one gooey mess. Add the garam masala powder and the coriander, simmer for a minute and remove from heat.
There… the good old taro, cooked in a jiffy..