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Colocasia (Arbi) Balls in Tangy Tomato Sauce

Colocasia (Arbi) Balls in Tangy Tomato Sauce

Colocasia or let us call it by the Indian term “Arbi” is a starchy but delicious root vegetable in the world of food.It is at most used as a stir fry,dry subzi,in curries which are spiced and/or yogurt based.

This recipe is taken from a 1996 Femina Magazine edition which had featured a contest using Tomato Puree.I remember those days readymade Tomato Puree had just been introduced in the Indian market.Almost all magazines had celebrity Chefs endorse Tomato Puree Recipes with ads showing mouth watering paneer and potato curries.I used to (and even now) keep clippings of recipes pasted on old and used notebooks which I refer to each time I want a unique recipe.

The Original recipe was titled “Arvi Kababs in Hot and Sour Tomato Sauce”.I have slightly tweaked the recipe as I have made the sauce tangy by adding sugar and made the Arbi paste into balls and added Garam Masala to them to make them a little spicy!Rest of the procedure remains the same.The gram flour is roasted well and when combined with mashed Colocasia binds it into a very sticky mixture.On frying,it will not disintegrate in the Oil giving you perfect balls.

  • You can serve this as a terrific option for a vegetarian version of Meatballs wherever required.Be it Spaghetti with Meatballs or in Breads or with other curry options,these are perfect!
  • You can add a teaspoon of cream on top of this sauce and serve the balls with Roti or Naan with the sauce poured on top.You can add Paneer pieces for a great party curry for lunch or dinner.

I served these balls at teatime with a tbsp of the sauce poured on top.It was enjoyed by all!

Preparation Time : 1 hour

Makes : 8 – 9 Colocasia Balls


For the Sauce :

4 medium Tomatoes

1/2 cup peas (fresh/frozen) – If fresh boil in salted water for 10 minutes

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste

1 Onion – chopped

1 tsp Chilli powder

Salt to taste

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 tsp White pepper powder

1/2 tsp Nutmeg (Jaiphal) powder

1/2 tsp Cinnamon (Dalchini) powder

1 tsp Clove Powder

1 tbsp chopped Coriander – for garnish

For the Arbi Balls :

250 gms Arbi (Colocasia) – boiled,peeled and mashed

I Onion – chopped fine

2 tbsp peas (fresh/frozen) – If fresh boil in salted water for 10 minutes

2 tbsp gram flour/garbanzo bean flour/besan

1 Green Chilli – finely chopped

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp Garam Masala powder

1 tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)

1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/4 tsp Ginger Paste

Salt to taste

Oil to fry plus 2 tbsp


For the Sauce :

Puree the Tomatoes :

Heat a saucepan of water and add the Tomatoes in it.Bring to a boil and cook for 10 – 15 minutes till the skin of the Tomatoes starts splitting.Take off heat and plunge into cold water.Now the skins would be easy to slip off.Skin all the Tomatoes and puree in a blender.Keep aside.

Make the sauce :

Heat butter in a pan and add the Onion.Add the Ginger – Garlic paste and fry till the Onion is a little brown.Add all the spice powders and mix well.Add the prepared Tomato Puree and stir well.Add salt to taste and the peas and mix well.Cover and cook for 5 – 7 minutes till the peas are done.

The sauce…

Make the Balls :

Heat 2 tbsp oil and add the cumin seeds.Let them turn brown and add the chopped Onion and green chillies.Cook till the Onions are translucent and sprinkle chilli,garam masala and turmeric powders.Mix well,lower the heat and spoon in the besan.Fry the besan for 4 – 5 minutes till well roasted and a nice aroma emanates.Remove from heat and mix in the mashed Arbi,salt and peas.Leave to cool on a plate till it comes to room temperature and mix well.

As stated above the gram flour will combine very well with the Arbi and bind to a very sticky mixture.You need to moisten your hands to make the balls.

Heat oil for frying and make 8 – 9 lemon sized balls out of the mixture.When sufficiently hot,Fry the balls on medium heat till golden brown.Drain on an absorbent paper.

The balls….

Serve with pasta,roti or as a snack by itself!Enjoy the delicious taste of the Colocasia Balls!

The delicious plate…

2 thoughts on “Colocasia (Arbi) Balls in Tangy Tomato Sauce”

  • Loved the recipe and even more loved the fact that the recipe dates back to the 90’s from a magazine cutting which you have managed to keep so safely and recreate here on the blog. Kudos! Nothing beats the charm of writing recipes in books, going thru the cuttings, rather than typing them or browsing them on internet. I still write a recipe in a book before posting on the blog / typing.. I guess somewhere we love being old schools. Cheers and Much love!

    • Thanks so much dear!I got this from my mom who used to do the same..:)!Those days were brilliant…going to school,no care,no tensions,friends and idly passing time!Femina those days used to come with a focus on women issues rather than the heavy marketing and glamour quotient they have at present!They used to organise contests with super prizes!Halcyon days!

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