|Crunchy taro fritters spiced with cumin, chilli and sesame|
I bought a piece of taro last week and couldn't decide what to do with it. It was a toss up between yam rice and bubur cha cha. Then, I had a sudden thought about these "yam muruku" which my sister and I used to eat when we visited relatives in Ipoh, Malaysia. We called them that because they tasted like muruku, just that they were made with finely shredded yam. Everytime we went to Ipoh during Chinese New Year, we would always look forward to eating these crunchy spicy snacks. We would usually have a tin of it to bring home, which we would then ration carefully over a few days. They were really addictive, although not the healthiest of snacks.
I decided to try making something similar with the taro I had, using common spices used to make muruku (an Indian chickpea snack) like cumin and chilli powder. The taro needs to be shredded neither too thick nor too thin. Too fine and the taro will turn starchy and clump together. A chopstick is handy in loosening and separating the shreds of taro so that you get a loosely packed "nest" of taro when deep-fried. These taro nests turned out really crunchy and fragrant, especially with the added curry leaves and sesame seeds. Please find the recipe below after the jump.
|Shredded raw taro mixed with cumin, sesame and chilli powder|
Deep-fried Taro Nests
1 small taro (about 500g)
1 1/2 tbsp rice flour
1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or more to taste)
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp ghee/margarine/butter
10-15 curry leaves
Peanut oil for frying
Peel the yam and shred with a grater into long 2mm strips. Place in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients (except the peanut oil). Toss lightly to mix using your hands or a pair of chopsticks.
Heat up sufficient oil in a wok to come up to 1 inch deep. Use chopsticks to place about 1 tbsp of the taro into a metal spoon or ladle, then twirl it with the chopsticks to make a round. Drop it into the oil on medium heat and repeat with the rest of the taro mixture. Fry each side for about 1-2 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Be careful not to use high heat as they may brown too much and turn bitter. Once cooked, drain them on absorbent kitchen paper. Let them cool before storing in an airtight container.