Posted by: gdevi | March 22, 2016

Malanga Lila

I found these tubers that looked sort of like taro roots at the grocery store today and I bought some. Taro grows wildly in Kerala and I like taro. So I thought I would check out the malanga lila as well. The ones at the grocery store were from south America. They taste much denser and flourier than taro. But I like them. Apparently, they are lower in glycemic index than potatoes.

I cooked them like we cook taro in India. Peel, dice, boil and fry with green chillies. Here is how you cook malanga.

Malanga are conically shaped tubers. They have this shaggy hairy skin on them. You can peel them with a regular potato peeler. malanga1

After you peel, wash and dice them into fairly small pieces. Add 3-4 green chillies. Add salt to taste. Pour just enough water to cover the pieces. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat. Close with a lid. Keep an eye on the thing and make sure the water does not cook off. Check in about ten minutes to see if the pieces have become soft and cooked through.


When the malanga pieces have cooked well, turn off the heat and keep them to a side. In a flat bottomed saucepan, add some coconut oil — about 2 tablespoons — and when the oil is hot (medium heat), add half of the cooked malanga pieces to the oil. Taste for salt and add more salt if needed. (Tubers need salt). Fry in medium heat turning once or twice carefully with a spatula. When the pieces are sort of roasted brown, remove from heat. Fry the other half in the same manner. malanga4malanga5

When fried, malanga tastes sort of like taro, but denser. Fried malanga gets a nice pinkish brown roasted skin on top that tastes like fried potato skin. It is tasty.

Both K and D looked apprehensive when they saw malanga sitting there. Good lord, they said. What is that? Why does that potato look so hairy, K asked. It is not potato, I said. It is malanga. It is a south American root tuber. Well, I don’t want it, K and D said unanimously. Can I have some pasta and chicken sausage, D asked. Sure, honey, I said. No malanga for you. And K ate some fish. Such suspicion over a simple vegetable! Amazing.


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