Mama’s Punjabi Recipes — Arbi Wadi Curry (Eddoe Root & Lentil Dumpling Curry)


Punjabis eat the root vegetable Arbi (eddoe root) in several ways but when made in a curry it gives competition to the aloo wadiyan curry dish that it resembles, but the taste is much better as the arbi is softer on the palette and soaks up the curry flavor well.

In the US, you usually find two types of arbis: the larger Chinese or Japanese type which are more fibrous and have a flatter taste than the Indian variety, which are smaller and softer. For best results, choose the medium sized roots.

Some recipes like arbi chaat require that the arbi be steamed or lightly boiled and then the hairy exterior skin can be pulled off. For this recipe, the arbi must be scrapped with a knife as the skin is thin and soft.

This dish requires wadiyan (sun dried lentil dumpling) and though I prefer the Amritsari variety, any large ones that you can find will do. Just remember to brown the wadi so that the wadi will taste cooked otherwise it will give a raw lentil taste.


•   1 kg arbi (small to medium eddoe root)

•   1 large size Amritsari wadi  (sun dried lentil dumpling)

•   2 tablespoon tael (vegetable or olive oil)

•   2 cups pani (water)

•   1 large pyaaz (onion) – peeled and chopped

•   2 cloves of lasan (garlic) –  peeled and chopped

•  1 medium adrak (ginger) – peeled and chopped

•  1 small tamater (tomato) or 1 teaspoon tomato paste

•  Spices (to taste): namak  (salt), mirch (red pepper), dhania (ground coriander), garam masala


1.  Peel the arbi then coat it with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then wash the arbi well and pat dry with a soft cloth.

2.     Cut the arbi into half-inch pieces.

3.    In a kadai (wok) or skillet, heat the oil, throw in the wadi and brown it on all sides. When lightly brown, take out and keep to the side.

4.    In the remaining oil, throw in the onions, ginger and garlic and brown them while stirring . Turn the heat down to extreme low so as not to burn the spices and stir to mix thoroughly.

5.    Throw in the cut arbi into the spices and mix to coat. Add the water and cover and cook for 10 minutes. When the water starts to boil, add the wadi and cover and reduce the heat to low and let cook for 10 minutes. In a little while, the wadi will swell up and take on the flavor of the curry.

6.    Check to see if the arbi is cooked and soft but firm to the touch: if it gets too soft it will taste mushy.  Sprinkle with garam masala and coriander before serving.

mamas recipe inside3Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.