This dish is based on a popular mezze item on the Lebanese table called batata harra or spiced potatoes. In this plate, cubed potatoes are fried and coated in a cilantro, garlic and chile pesto and served lukewarm with quartered lemons.
I figured I would do the same here, except I cooked the taro thoroughly first, then pan-fried it.
Here are some nutritional information on taro:
- Taro has three times the dietary fiber of potato.
- Taro root has a low Glycemic Index.
- It is an excellent source of potassium.
- It contains calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E and B vitamins, as well as magnesium, manganese and copper.
- 1 pound of taro
- 1/2 cup of a blend of olive oil and vegetable oil
- 1 Lemon
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes (optional)
- Wear kitchen gloves and peel the taro; cut into thick slices shaped like French fries and soak in a bowl of lemony water (squeeze half a lemon into the water).
- Prepare the cilantro pesto; wash the cilantro and dry; mince the leaves as fine as possible. Peel and chop the garlic and pound in a mortar with a teaspoon of salt until a paste forms. Set aside.
- Bring a pot a salted water to a boil. Drop the taro and simmer for fifteen minutes until soft and thoroughly cooked. Drain.
- Heat a large skillet, add the oil blend and when hot, drop the taro “fries” and fry in the oil on all sides until crispy; add the mashed garlic and cilantro and chili pepper flakes (if using) and stir the mixture for 30 seconds until fragrant. Transfer to a serving dish and eat warm with extra lemon quarters if desired.