Winter has started and it is the season of vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, carrots, taro root and green peas. Taro root has some extraordinary health benefits and many delicious dishes can be prepared from this vegetable. It is rich in fibre, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, vitamins C and E, and resistant starch. Arbi, Hindi for taro root, helps to keep your blood sugar level in control, prevents heart disease and reduces the risk of cancer. Arbi is also effective in weight loss as the fibre in it can keep you full for a long time and reduce the number of calories consumed in a day.

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Nutritionist and author Munmun Ganeriwal recently shared some benefits and interesting facts about arbi on her Instagram handle.

“The continuous discovery of traditional and seasonal foods really excites me. Bringing these hidden gems to your notice is something I regard as extremely important. Delighted to talk about one such gem today, the Taro Root or ‘Arbi’,” she wrote.

Sharing more facts about arbi, Ganeriwal says the meat of taro root is extremely delicious.

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She wrote that this root is eaten all over India and Asia, and should not be confused with ‘Sooran’ or ‘Yam’. Taro root is obtained from the colocasia leaves, which come in two varieties, the black and green stemmed ones. The meat of the taro root is extremely delicious and one of a kind. It’s a special and rare seasonal produce and the harvest in India usually happens in  October-December.

Taro root is popular in the cuisines of Goa, Karnataka, Odisha, Maharashtra, and in northern states of India. She added that taro root fritters or ‘Maddi Phodi’, as they are  called in Konkani, is everyone’s favourite dish. 

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Taro root is known as ‘arbi’ in northern and western states, it is cooked in a variety of stir-fries, curries and dishes. It is known as ‘Saru’ in Odisha. A popular dish made out of taro root is ‘Saru Besara’. Taro root is also an essential ingredient in the special Odisha dish Dalma, where vegetables are cooked with dal. The roots are also deep-fried in oil and tossed in red chilli powder and salt, to make saru chips, writes Ganeriwal.

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Benefits of arbi by Munmun Ganeriwal

Taro root is a great source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. It helps to improve blood sugar management, and gut and heart health.

It is a starchy vegetable and contains two types of carbohydrates that are great for blood sugar management: fiber and resistant starch. It also slows down digestion and absorption of other carbohydrates, preventing spikes in blood sugar after meals.

Add it to your diet this winter to experience the deliciousness and health benefits of this rare  vegetable.