It’s really hot in this part of the world right now. Metabolisms are sluggish, and kitchens are too hot to cook anything in. I have been on a primarily salad/fruit/yogurt diet. But once in a while, I crave my diabetes-enemies, the carb family. In this miserable weather, I do not miss chappatis at all. I could also live without rice. Or noodles. Potatoes can go take a walk. But I love carb-laden chaat. Who doesn’t? (Well, MK doesn’t. But then, he’s never home for lunch.) I can eat yogurt-based carb-heavy chaats everyday. I love the marriage of the tangy, the sweet, the hot, and the starchy. Perfect meal in a bowl. And for them, I am willing to stand in my oven-hot kitchen over a pan of hot oil, armed with a slotted spoon.

The other day, I realized I had a pack of colocasia tubers (arbi) lying around. And if I didn’t use them immediately, they’d start sprouting, and Mrs. B would give me that look again. At the same time, I was talking to someone about Aloo Took, the Sindhi version of potato nuggets. I had always wanted to make this, and the aging Arbi gave me the perfect opportunity. Except, I didn’t have the guts to double-fry.

I was very happy with the result—nuggets that were crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and a cool, aromatic dip in which to dunk them. I urge you to try it. It will make for perfect game food/starter. Or as a side with simple daal-chawal. Or, a dangerous meal by itself.

Ingredients for Colocasia/Arbi nuggets:

  • About 15 tubers of Colocasia/Arbi (Of similar sizes and shapes)
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. castor sugar
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed powder
  • 1 tsp. tamarind paste (I used one from a pack) or a squeeze of half a lime. Alternatively, sprinkle the nuggets with 1 tsp. of amchoor (dry mango) powder at the end.
  • Vegetable oil for deep/shallow frying
  • Cilantro

Ingredients for yogurt dip:

  • 1 cup natural yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. cumin seed powder
  • ¼ tsp. red chili powder
  • Cilantro

Method for Colocasia/Arbi nuggets:

  1. Wash, peel, and parboil the colocasia tubers in slightly salted water. Drain and cool completely.
  2. When completely cool, flatten each tuber slightly between the palms of your hands.
  3. Rub with the tamarind paste or squeeze the lemon juice (if using).
  4. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients—the cornstarch, cumin seed powder, red chili powder, salt, sugar, and turmeric powder.
  5. Heat the oil.
  6. Toss the flattened tubers in the dry ingredient mix and fry to a golden hue.
  7. Drain on kitchen paper and serve piping hot with a sprinkling of cilantro and a side of the yogurt dip.

Method for yogurt dip:

  1. Mix all the ingredients and decant into a bowl. Serve with hot colocasia nuggets.