Kalo gathi kochu – single ingredient recipe

I’ll be sharing another favourite recipe from our family kitchen – a single ingredient recipe. Taro corms are widely consumed across India, Southeast Asia and Africa. Quite a popular vegetable in Bengal and Assam, it is widely consumed in the forms of kochur dum, kochu bata, and often in fish curries. Taro is rich in fibre and vitamins, antioxidants, and helps maintain a good gut – in short, a must add-on to our diet during summers.

Since this is my mother’s recipe, it did not have a name, so I took the liberty to name it in the most simple non-creative way possible – Kalo gathi kochu (black taro, in Bengali), or Kalonji arbi. Don’t go by the looks of the dish, the taste and the aroma will win you over. The preparation time for this one-ingredient recipe is just 5 minutes. Get ready for a mesmerizing tasting experience 🙂

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Arbi/ Gathi kochu (Taro root) – 250gm
Black cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger paste – 1tsp
Green chilli – 1
Mustard oil


  • Wash and clean the taro roots well and peel them. Wash them again.
  • Boil them for at least 10 minutes and throw the water, then run them through clean cold water.
  • Make a paste of the black cumin seeds using a pestle and mortar
  • Heat 1 tbsp mustard oil in a kadhai, and add the cumin paste and ginger paste.
  • As it starts to sizzle, saute it and add a chilli slit longitudinally from the centre
  • Then add the taro roots, and mix them well with the masala.
  • Sprinkle 1tbsp water over and cover with a lid for 2 minutes.
  • Remove lid and give the veggies a quick mix, and you Kalo gathi kochu or Kilonji arbi is ready! Have it with rice or chapati.

Things to note

  • Usually, traditional Bengali recipes often use sugar while cooking, not to make it sweet but to enhance the flavour of certain vegetables. But taros tend to have a slight natural sweetness to it, so we do not need to add sugar here.
  • Also do not ever cook taro or the like of such vegetables without boiling them and throwing away that water. Raw taro contains proteases and oxalates that cause an itching or burning sensation in the throat.

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