I love eating all kinds of vegetables, including root vegetables like colocasia (called Kochu in Bengali and Arbi in Hindi). But I have observed that colocasia is disliked by many. So here I am, with this delicious traditional Bengali recipe of humble Kochur Dalna or Bengali-Style Colocasia Curry. If you try this recipe, you will simply fall in love with this underrated, starchy root vegetable. As it has Calcium Oxalate in it, this rhizome can, however, cause itchy sensation or allergy in some people. So, try this recipe only if you are not allergic to colocasia.
There are a few kinds of taro roots. This particular variety of taro (Arbi) is called Gathi Kochu or Mukhi Kochu in Bengali, and these come in small sizes. There is a simple way to process the root vegetable. Just wash Arbi (Kochu) properly with skin and boil it in mildly salted water. Remove the peel after boiling. After removing the peel, the boiled colocasia/arbi/kochu is fit for cooking delicious dishes, such as this amazing Kochur Dalna, the recipe of which is more or less the same in most Bengali households. Another version of this dish uses onion and garlic, but the beauty of this Niramish Kochur Dalna lies in not using onion and garlic and cook it in a vegetarian or “niramish” way.
Colocasia or taro root is good for digestive health as it has a lot of fibre. It has anti-cancer properties as well, owing to its saturation with antioxidants and vitamins. Colocasia is believed to lower the chances of diabetes as it is rich in fibre. Colocasia is believed to reduce hypertension: the potassium in it ensures that the blood pressure remains in control.
Oh, and by the way, we are growing some colocasia in our balcony garden now. I never thought that I would, one day, grow vegetables and leafy greens in my balcony. But it is happening. Thanks to all the guidance by my live-in house help, who is a fantastic gardener, too! That fresh and young colocasia leaf is from my balcony garden, in fact.
Let’s jump into the recipe of Mukhi Kochur Dalna | Niramish Gathi Kochur Dalna | Bengali-Style Colocasia Curry. Along with this recipe, do try out our favourite Bengali-Style Tomato Chutney. You will love it! If you like the recipe, then please give a five-star rating. Also, please share the recipe in your circles and tag me (@purabinaha) on Instagram whenever you try the recipe.
Mukhi Kochur Dalna | Niramish Gathi Kochur Dalna | Bengali-Style Colocasia Curry
- 12 (around 160 g) Colocasia/Arbi/Gathi Kochu/Mukhi Kochu
- 3 (around 150 g) Potato
- 2 (around 100 g) Chopped tomato
- 3 (around 320 ml) cups Water
- Around 2.5 tsp Salt (adjust according to taste)
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 tsp Cumin powder
- 2.5 tsp Coriander powder
- 3 cup Mustard oil
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Cinnamon stick (1 inch)
- 4 Green cardamoms
- 4 Cloves
- ½ tsp Cumin seeds (jeere)
- ½ tsp Fennel seeds (mouri)
- ¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1 tsp Ginger (minced)
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 4 Slit green chillies
- 1.5 tsp Sugar
- Wash the colocasia (arbi/kochu) and potatoes properly to get rid of all mud or dirt. Pressure-cook with 1 tsp salt on a high flame and remove the lid immediately after a whistle. The idea is to get the peel removed easily, but the inside should not get mushy. Once the inside is mushy, colocacia gets quite difficult to handle and it will further break down into a mess while cooking. So, boiling the colocasia to perfection is the most important step in this recipe. The colocasia should retain its shape completely: make sure not to overboil both colocasia as well as the potato.
- Peel the potato and colocasia. Cut each of the potatoes into 6 slices and each colocasia into half, lengthwise.
- Heat mustard oil until smoke comes out of it. Reduce the flame to medium and fry the potato first (in two batches) by sprinkling some salt. Once golden-brown, take them out of the oil and keep aside.
- In the same oil, fry the Arbi/Kochu or colocasia halves in batches very carefully. Sprinkle some salt while frying. The colocasia should be golden-brown on both sides. You will notice that now these are firm and easy to handle.
- Take off any black bits/residue from the oil and discard the residue, if any. In that oil, add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and green cardamoms. After 2 s, add whole cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds.
- As soon as the fenugreek seeds change the colour slightly, add the chopped tomatoes on a medium flame and sauté with the rest of the salt for 2 min. Make a paste of minced ginger, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder in ½ cup (65 ml) water. Add this paste to the tomatoes and continuously sauté the sizzling contents for 5 min to avoid the spices getting burnt. Sprinkle ½ cup water again, sauté again and cover for 5 min.
- Open the lid and add the fried vegetables. Sauté for 5 min. Add ½ cup water and sauté, so that the spices coat the vegetables well. Cook until oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.
- Add sugar, slit green chillies and 1.5 cups water. Stir once and cover. Bring this to a rolling boil. Check for the salt and adjust accordingly.
- Switch off the gas and add the ghee. Stir well.
- Serve the Mukhi Kochur Dalna with steamed rice.