Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

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Taro root, also known as “arbi,” is one of my favorite vegetables, probably because it reminds me so much of a potato. In this recipe, Taro root “coins” are cooked in a delicious, spiced gravy.

Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

This recipe for arbi is kind of like an Indian version of scalloped potatoes – only, it’s more delicious than you can even imagine!

Arbi (taro root) cooks perfectly and easily in the instant pot and with my tasty spice combo, you’re going to end up with an incredible Punjabi dish.

Unlike a lot of instant pot recipes, this one does not call for a lot of sauce. Truthfully, I’m not a fan of drowning veggies in sauce — unless something is meant to be a curry, of course. Most of the time I prefer less-saucy vegetables which is why many of my instant pot Indian vegetable recipes are more on the dry side than the curry side (aloo gobi, turnip sabzi, green bean thoran, aloo beans, achari aloo baingan… just to name a few). This recipe for arbi calls for the perfect amount of masala – just enough to coat the arbi and cover it with flavor.

I tend to pride myself on my spice combinations and this taro root recipe is a winner you guys. It’s made with the most delicious blend of spices that go so well with arbi: ajwain, roasted cumin powder, black salt, amchur, and some of the regulars.

What is Taro Root? Where Do You Find it? How to Prepare it?

If you’ve never tried taro root before, it’s a root veggie that tastes a lot like a potato – only even better. It’s richer in flavor and denser than a potato and it’s also more vitamin-rich.

Taro root is a staple veggie in many parts of the world, including Asia and India. But here in the US, it seems like the only way I’ve really seen taro root prepared is in the form of chips. During a trip to Hawaii last year, I did try a traditional dish there called poi which is mashed taro root… it wasn’t my favorite, but still cool to try it prepared in a different way than what I’m used to.

You can usually find taro root at Whole Foods. You can also find it at your local Indian or Asian grocery store.

A few things to know about preparing taro root:

  • it has a fuzzy exterior that can sometimes cause irritation. If this happens to you, maybe try using gloves – just know that taro root can be slippery sometimes.
  • After you rinse the peeled taro root, place it on a paper-towel-lined plate to DRY. This will make them less slippery so that you can slice them safely.
Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

You might recognize this arbi recipe from my cookbook, Indian Food Under Pressure. When I wrote the book, I couldn’t decide what to call this recipe so my husband Roby came up with the name “Taro Root Delight” and that’s what I called it! This dish really is delightful 🙂

Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

You can serve arbi as a side to any Indian meal. It goes well with flatbread, but rice works too! In fact, make some rajma chawal and arbi and you’ve got a perfect Punjabi meal. Or make some of my Punjabi chicken curry or achari chicken curry and serve it with this arbi! You really can’t go wrong with pairing this dish. Everything goes well with potatoes, right? Well, it’s the same thing with taro root!

Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

Instant Pot Arbi (Taro Root)

Taro root, also known as “arbi,” is one of my favorite vegetables, probably because it reminds me so much of a potato. In this recipe, Taro root “coins” are cooked in a delicious, spiced gravy. I like to think of this dish as an Indian version of scalloped potatoes! 
4.75 from 4 reviews
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Servings 4
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound taro root peeled and sliced into ¼ inch thick coins
  • 3 tablespoons oil of choice
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger

Spices

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the peeled taro roots and place them on a paper towel- lined plate to dry. This will help make them less slippery so that you can slice them safely.
  • Press the sauté button, add the oil and allow it a minute to warm up. Add the onion and bay leaf and stir-fry for 6-7 minutes, or until the onion begins to brown.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, spices, taro root and stir, then add the water and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure.
  • Discard the bay leaf, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.

Notes

Roasted cumin powder is highly aromatic and has a more intense flavor than regular (unroasted) cumin. Do not substitute this with regular cumin as you won’t get the right favor.
To make roasted cumin powder: heat a skillet over low heat and dry roast cumin seeds (I usually do 1 cup) for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the color of the cumin changes to a dark brown. Turn off the heat and allow the cumin seeds to cool down. Place the cumin into a spice grinder and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight jar and use within 6-8 months for the most flavor.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Beth Tuohy says

    5 stars
    This turned out delicious. Comparing it to scalloped potatoes makes sense although the spice variety made it more yummy. It was fun to see what lay beneath the hairy exteriors of taro. Thanks again, Ashley, for sharing these delicious recipes with us!

  2. paddy kamen says

    5 stars
    SO good! My first time cooking taro root. I didn’t have amchur so put in a tablespood of apricot jam. Didn’t toast the cumin. Added the fresh grated ginger at the end. Used chicken stock instead of water. SO delicious. Thank you!

  3. Meena says

    Insta pot is a type of electric pressure cooker which doesn’t blow the whistle. And it has timer. CAROM AND MANGO POWDER is available at Indian grocery store.

  4. Srishti Bhagat says

    4 stars
    Thank you for this lovely recipe. It wasn’t quite as good as my father makes, think I need to increase the roasted cumin next time and maybe add some lemon or lime juice too. Still it was an awesome starting point. Thanks again for sharing!

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Srishti! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂 And I’m sure your dad’s recipe is much better. I don’t think my recipes will ever be as good as my mom or dad’s either. There’s just something special about the way Indian parents/family members/loved ones cook that’s impossible to replicate in a written recipe.

  5. Laura Francis says

    What is an instant pot and if you don’t have one what can you do? Also there is no where I can get some of those spices like carom and dried mango.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Ayelet, I’ve tried this with frozen taro and the flavor is good but the texture is definitely different – if you try it, I’d suggest reducing the cook time. I need to experiment more with frozen arbi before I can list a cook time but will say I prefer fresh if you can use that.

  6. Maneesha says

    Wow!! This is awesome! I don’t have taro root at home right now; do you think malanga would be a good substitute?