Karkalo Ra Gaba Ko Tarkari ~ Taro Leaves Curry

Karkalo Ra Gaba Ko Tarkari is a Nepali Vegetable curry made of Elephant Ear leaves, also known as Taro Leaves or Arbi Patta. Karkalo is the Nepali name for the taro plant, which comes from the tuberous root. Nepalese use all three parts of the plant including the leaves (karkalo ko paat), the young stalks (gaaba or gaava), and the taro tubers or corms (pidhaalu) to prepare various dishes. The tender stalks (stems) and young leaves (karkalo-gaava) are cooked together just like spinach or mustard greens, producing a delicate flavor akin to “spinach with silky texture”.  This recipe is based on the cook book “Taste of Nepal” by Jyoti Pathak.  Enjoy  🙂 ~ Kamakshi

Prep Time : 25 mins                                                                   Cook Time : 30 mins
Serves : 4


  • 5-6 Stalks of Karkalo (including stems and leaves)
  • 4 cups Water
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric (Haldi) Powder
  • 3-4 Dried Red Chillies, broken into half
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek ( Methi) seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Lovage ( Jwanu/ Ajwain) seeds
  • 1 tsp Jimbu
  • 1/2 tsp Asafetida ( Hing)
  • 3 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste


  • Cleaning Process :  Separate the taro leaves and stems and rise thoroughly.Roll each leaf and chop it up.  Bend each stem andpeel off the outer covering by pulling the fiber from all sides until you have smooth and silky stems.  Cut them into  medium size pieces and rinse them thoroughly again.
  • When the stalks and leaves are cleaned, a sap is secreted by the stem and can cause a skin irritation and a temporary discoloration of fingers to some sensitive skin.  To get rid of irritation, simply rub some salt or wear rubber gloves while cleaning.

  • In a pan boil the water and add the taro leaves and stems. Cook until the leaves become like a paste ( In order to speed up the process, I pressure cooked the leaves  and stems for 15 mins ). Add the ginger, turmeric and salt and cook till most of the water dries up and you have a nice thick consistency.
  • In another pan heat the mustard oil and add the fenugreek seeds, Lovage (jwanu) seeds, red chillies, jimbu, hing and a pinch of turmeric powder.  Heat for just couple of seconds and pour it over the taro leaves paste. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and mix well.  Serve with rice.

For more information, check out : http://tasteofnepal.blogspot.com/search/label/Taro%20%28Karkalo-Gaava-Pidhaalu%29