For Airkanchan Chakka
|Airkanchan Patta (Taro Leaves)
|2 Bunches (10-12) leaves big or 4-5 bunches if small leaves
|Soaked Urad Dal
Taro Leaves similar to Colocasia Leaves are used to make curry in Mithilanchal in Bihar. This dish is made in almost every house of maithils and is very tasty with its unique flavors that comes out with combination of taro leaves, urad dal paste, mustard paste and spices altogether.
Airkanchan is not very well known recipe but similar to Patra and Alu Vadi recipes prepared in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Difference is Patra and Alu Vadi is just fried with masala and served as snack whereas Airkanchan after frying is cooked into curry. Use of masala and coating is also different Patra and Alu Vadi uses gram flour for coating whereas for Airkanchan urad dal (black dal) paste is used so altogether a different taste but both are tasty.
Colocasia and Taro Leaves belongs to the same family. Colocasia stems are dark in color whereas taro leaves stems are lighter in color. Colocasia leaves are called as alu vadi leaves in market and taro leaves are called as bhaji leaves. Colocasia leaves are large compare to taro leaves and taro leaves are little itchy compared to Colocasia leaves hence people use tamarind and lemon to reduce itchiness but curry is extremely delicious and you will just love it.
Preparation For Airkanchan Chakkas (Vadies):
- Soak 1/2 cup urad dal (black dal) in water for 3-4 hrs.
- Wash the dal properly and grind it into smooth paste.
- Cut the stems of 2-3 bunch of taro leaves and wash them properly.
- Place the biggest leaf at the bottom smooth side of leaf at bottom and rough side on the top.
- Apply urad dal (black dal) paste on the rough i.e top side of taro leaf.
- Now place another taro leaf on it and again apply the urad dal paste on top of this leaf.
- Simillarly start putting taro leaves one by one on top of each other with urad dal paste applied to each leaf.
- Fold the edges of the leaves horizontally and vertically and roll the leaves similar to Patra or Alu Vadi.
- Once you get nice long thick roll of taro leaves again apply urad dal paste to all the sides of roll.
- Now cut it into round pieces like Patra or Aloo vadi.
- Heat oil in kadai and shallow fry airkanchans from both the sides.
- Remove airkanchans from oil and keep it in plate.
For Airkanchan jhor (Curry):
- First prepare airkanchan curry masala.
- Take 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds and 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds or you can use 2 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds. Don’t use 2 tablespoon only black mustard seeds else curry might turn bitter.
- Now this mixture is grinded with little water on stone traditionally but you can use grinder instead don’t use water else it will not be grinded properly.
- Grind it without water into powder and then add little water (1/2 tablespoon) and mix to make a thick paste.
- Now take 3 tablespoon coriander powder and 1 tablespoon red chilly powder with 1/2 tablespoon water and gring it to a paste.
- Heat oil in a kadai.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon panch phoran.
Once it starts cracking add mustard paste and stir for one minute.
- Now add coriander-chilly powder paste, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and stir again.
- Cook spices for a while then add 3 cup water.
- Salt to taste and stir.
- Put tamarind water in the airkanchan (taro leaves) curry.
- Let curry boil. Once it starts boiling put airkanchan pieces one by one in the curry.
- Lower the gas flame let it cook for more 10-15 minutes.
- Airkanchan goes well with steamed rice. You can add little lemon juice before serving the curry.