Chembu in English
The English name of Chembu is Taro Root or Colocasia (scientific name is Colocasia esculenta).
Chembu in Kannada
In Kannada, Chembu is known by Alavi.
About Chembu/Taro Root
Chembu, a root vegetable, is one of the earliest cultivated plants that is widely grown in India. In Kerala, they are a popular staple food and used as an ingredient for recipes like aviyal, sambar, thoran. The leaves and stems of chembu can be used for making thorans or the side dish for the main course. Normally the chembu is itchy before it is cooked.
In many houses in Kerala, for breakfast chembu is steamed and eaten with a chammanthi or chutney made of shallots, green chillies and coconut oil. It is also used to make dishes like fries or fritters. The chembu is thinly sliced and fried in coconut oil to make crispy chips.
Types of Chembu
There are many types of Chembu. The Kochu chembu (small), Sheema chembu (the larger ones) the Madhura chembu (sweet), Karutha chembu, Kannan chembu, Veluthachembu, Malayaryan Chembu, Vazhachembu, Karichembu.
The small chembu is usually used in Kerala dishes like moru curry, avial and sambar. Normally the larger ones and the madhura chembu are eaten steam boiled.
As the name suggests Madhura Chembu is nothing but the sweet colocasia. The taste of the tuber is sweet. The tuber is formed from the stem. Usually, it is steam boiled and eaten without a chutney due to its sweetness. It has rich nutrients and good for health. Also called ‘vazha chembu’ in different regions.
Madhura Chembu is an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.
Taro Roots/Chembu Health Benefits
- Taro root is loaded with dietary fibres.
- It is good for digestion.
- It helps to lower cholesterol levels.
- Furthermore, it helps in reducing the excess fat levels in the body.
- It cures diarrhoea.
- The fibre present in it helps to deal with constipation problems.
- It helps to control the sugar spikes in the blood for diabetic patients
- It rescues the hair from dandruff, hair fall and balding.
- The root of chembu is a good medicine which prevents cancer.
- It can decrease blood pressure and prevent health problems.