Arbi leaf or Collacassia leaf is a heart-shaped, green-colored leaf, which is used in many Indian dishes. The tender green Arbi leaf is used for making pakodas all across India. It is also used in dals and bhaji.
Origin of Arbi Leaf
The Arbi leaf is native to parts of South-Central Asia, particularly India, and it is introduced in other parts of the world by the migrants. The Arbi plant has eight species that are well distributed throughout Indo-Malaysia and Polynesia. It belongs to the same family of anthurium and money plant i.e. the family of Araceae. The large heart-shaped Arbi leaf is also considered one of the plants to adorn the gardens.
Cuisines Commonly Making Arbi leaf recipes
Arbi leaves are commonly used in Gujrati, Maharashtrian and Sri Lankan cuisine. Arbi leaf pakodas and Arbi leaf spiral rolls are widely eaten in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Popular Recipes using Arbi leaf
Arbi leaf spiral rolls: The Arbi leaves are made into spirals with spicy chickpea paste and then steamed and fried to make patra or Arbi patte ke roll, a popular Gujarati Farsan. This dish is widely eaten in Gujrat.
Arbi leaf pakodas : The pakoras or rolls can also be shallow-fried with a tempering of sesame seeds, cumin seeds, coriander leaves and curry leaves. It tastes best when served with ketchup or chutney.
Arbi Leaf Usli: In this recipe, arbi leaf is used mainly for tadka to the toovar dal. The tadka is a mix of arbi leaves, rai, curry leaves and turmeric.
Preferable Method of Cooking Arbi leaves
Arbi leaf is generally fried to make pakodas and is used as is. It is sometimes boiled to make particular dishes like bhaji. Therefore, the two main preferable method of cooking arbi leaves are boiling and frying after cleaning them thoroughly with water.
Arbi leaf is a great source of carbohydrates and an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, magnesium and potassium. It is also rich in fiber and contains very few calories. Bhaji made with arbi leaves are nutritious and recommended for weight watchers.
Buying and Storage
While buying Arbi leaf, it is important to observe its shade. They come in light and bright shades of green with tubers of hair or roots. The leaves must be bough fresh and should not look dull and limp. The tubers must be medium with as little hair as possible. Arbi leaf can stay fresh upto a week, when properly wrapped and kept inside a plastic bag and then refrigerated. This makes storage and handling of the leaves much easier and convenient.
Types of Arbi Leaves
Arbi leaves come in a lot of variety all across the globe. The commonly seen and used arbi leaves are Eddo, Elephant’s ear and Dasheen.