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Taro Root (Chamadumpalu) and Leaf Curry & Eggplant Raita (Eggplant Yogurt Chutney)

What’s Cooking? by P.S. Lakshmi Rao

Taro Root (Chamadumpalu) & Leaf Curry

8 small taro roots, washed

6 cups water

1 bunch callaloo (thotakoora or amaranthus), washed

1 cup water

1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste


2 tablespoons oil

½ teaspoon red mustard seeds

1 teaspoon chana dal

1 teaspoon urad dal

3 red chilies, broken into pieces

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon asafetida

Curry leaves from one stem

2 green chilies cut into three pieces each

Boil 6 cups water in a four-quart saucepan. Cook taro roots in boiling water for fifteen minutes. Drain into a colander under cold running water. Remove the skins and cut into twelve pieces each.

Remove thick stems from callaloo leaves, discard and finely chop remainder.

In the same pan boil 1 cup water and add chopped callaloo with half a teaspoon salt. Cook for five minutes and drain into the colander.

In a non stick frying pan heat one tablespoon oil on medium heat and fry taro root pieces until light brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside.

Clean the pan and return it to medium heat. Add one tablespoon oil. Add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds starts to splatter, add chana dal, urad dal, chili pieces and fry until dals become light brown. Add cumin seeds, turmeric, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chilies and mix. Add callaloo, taro root pieces and remaining   one teaspoon salt. Stir them until all the flavors are blended and water is absorbed. Transfer the curry into a serving dish.

Tastes great with rice or chapattis. Makes six servings.


1. In place of asafetida, add five chopped garlic cloves to the tadka with green chilies and fry.

2. Fresh or frozen chopped spinach can be substituted if callaloo is not available.

Eggplant Raita (Eggplant Yogurt Chutney)

1 large eggplant

2 cups yogurt

½ cup water

1- teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons finely chopped kothimeeri (coriander leaves or cilantro)

¼ teaspoon haldi (turmeric)


1- tablespoon oil

1- teaspoon red mustard seeds

2 – dry red chilies broken in to three pieces each

1- teaspoon urad dal

½-teaspoon cumin seed

1/8- teaspoon hing  (asafetida)

1- green chili chopped

1 stem of curry leaves

Wash the eggplant and make four slits on it with a knife so that the eggplant doesn’t explode when broiled. Rub a teaspoon of oil around the eggplant to peel the skin easily after it is broiled.

Turn the oven on to broil.

Put a small piece of aluminum wrap in a baking sheet and place the eggplant on top. Place the baking sheet with eggplant on the top shelf of the oven and broil it for 10 minutes. Turn the eggplant and broil it for another 10 minutes. Use the timer because you might burn it if you do not watch.

Take the eggplant out and cut it into half lengthwise. Let it cool. Scrape the pulp with a spoon and mash it roughly. Please do not blend. Do not mix the eggplant pulp until completely cooled.

In a medium bowl mix yogurt, water, eggplant-pulp, salt, and kothimeeri. Sprinkle haldi on top but do not mix.

Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add red chili pieces   urad dal, cumin seeds and hing. When the urad dal starts to become light brown add chopped green chilies and curry leaves. Fry them for a minute and pour the popu on top of the yogurt chutney and mix. Keep the chutney covered until eating time.

 Note: Can be eaten with rice or as a dip or with parata.

Variation: Vankayi Pachchii Pulusu  (eggplant tamarind chutney)

Prepare the eggplant chutney same as above. Use tamarind juice instead of yogurt. Soak small lime size tamarind in 1 ½ cups water and squeeze the juice out. Discard the tamarind pulp.  You may also use   2 tablespoons of store bought brown colored tamarind juice mixed with 1 ½ cups water and 1 tablespoon brown sugar.  Cut one medium size onion in to small pieces, fry in one-teaspoon oil and mix with eggplant chutney.

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