Arbi Roast: A Crunchy Manglorean Snack


Pathrode or Aru Roast is a very delicious snack from Udipi, Mangaluru in Karnataka, but this dish is also enjoyed and relished in Maharashtrian households. And since fresh Colocasia leaves are abundantly available in the rainy season, this is a favourite snack amongst households. Called Arbi in Hindi and Punjabi and most of North India, Chempu in Tamil, Aru in Marathi and Venti in Konkani… Pathrode is one of a kind root-vegetable of which all parts are edible with each having its own distinct taste. 


Earliest known records suggest that Arbi probably originated along the Bay of Bengal and thus is very popular in Bengali cuisine. The root spread from the shores of India to Southeast Asia to Japan and China and as far as the Pacific Islands. It was then taken and cultivated in the Mediterranean region. Today, it is cultivated in most of Africa as well. Arbi is cooked as a vegetable – either dry or in a curry form and its leaves called Kochur Shaak in Bengali are relished with fish. Its stem is enjoyed as a delicacy in a lot of Bengali cuisine.  

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Servings: 20 - 25 roundels


    10-12 Colocasia leaves 

    ½ cup fresh coconut 

    2tbsp - coriander seeds 

    1.5 tbsp - Cumin seeds 

    5-6 - red chilly (baedegi /non spicy chillies) 

    1 - spicy red chilli 

    1 lemon sized - Tamarind piece 

    1/3 cup - Jaggery 

    1 tsp – urad dal / white lentils

    1 small piece – ginger

    ¼ tsp – fenugreek seeds

    1.5 - tsp salt 

    1 cup - rice soaked for 3 hours 

    ¼ cup - butter 


    Put grated coconut, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, baedegi chillies, redchilly, ginger, tamarind pulp, jaggery, roasted fenugreek seeds and roasted urad dal, salt, ½ cup water in a mixer and grind to a fine paste (adjust spices at this point as per your taste)

    Take the rice (drain the water it was soaked in), add to the coconut mixture with ¾ cup water and coarse grind. The batter is ready. Set aside

    Take washed, cleaned and tender Colocasia leaves and remove the stem/protruding veins from behind each leaf. Scrape them off with a knife. These veins can cause itching so don’t skip this step. Repeat the process with all the leaves

    Once this is done, place one leaf face down and spread the batter onto it evenly. You will need about 2 tbsp for every leaf. Apply a thick coat of batter on the leaf. 

    Place the next leaf on top of the first one and repeat the process. Do this with every subsequent leaf.

    Once all leaves have been put one on top of the other with the batter in between, hold them lengthwise and fold inwards – apply more batter on the turns and start rolling them from top to bottom. At the end of it, it will look like a swiss roll. 

    Keep the rolled leaves into a steamer. Steam for 10-15 mins. 

    Once they are steamed, cut the rolls into roundels.

    On a hot griddle, put some 2 tsp butter and place the roundels for shallow frying

    Apply butter on top of the roundels too and shallow fry on both sides till deep, crispy brown.

    Serve hot   


Arbi, Pathrode or Taro is an excellent source of carbs. Yet, because of its low glycemic index it can easily be consumed by diabetics as well. The tuber has starch and is sometimes used in cosmetics and the pharma industry as a binder for medicinal tablets.