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Alu / Tera / अळू / तेरा / Taro / Colocasia esculenta

Local Name: Alu / Tera / अळू / तेरा

Common Name: Taro

Botanical Name: Colocasia esculenta

Alu / Tera / अळू / तेरा / Taro / Colocasia esculenta
Alu / Tera / अळू / तेरा / Taro / Colocasia esculenta

Status & Habitat

  • Habitat: Herb

  • Occurrence: Forests, Mountainous Open Areas, Rocks

  • Season of Availability: July - September

  • Geography: South and Southeast Asia

  • Method of Propagation: Corms or offshoots

  • Part used for Propagation: Corms or offshoots

Edible Parts

  • Edible Parts: Leaves, Tuber and Stem

  • Can be Eaten Raw: No

Method of Consumption

  • Raw: No

  • Ripe: No

  • Both Raw & Ripe: No

  • Dangerous Form to Consume: N/A

  • As Food: The tubers are boiled before cooking; Leaves can be steamed or cooked directly

  • As Medicine: Boiled taro tuber helps with acidity, while the corm is used for body aches. A decoction of taro peel treats diarrhea and it's also used as a galactagogue to enhance breast milk production in young mothers.

  • Cooking Method: - The tubers are boiled before cooking.
    - Leaves can be steamed or cooked directly.

  • Preservation / Curing Technique: Stems are peeled, sundried and stored.

  • Does Require Another Plants to be cooked together: No

  • Souring Agents Required: Tamarind

Nutritional & Medicinal Benefits

  • Nutritional Benefit: Rich in vitamin A and thiamine.

  • Medicinal Benefit: Helps with diarrhea, bodyache, acidity and breast milk production.

Tribal Wisdom

  • Tribal Wisdom: - Leaves of Taro are eaten during season.
    - Boiled Tuber is used for acidity.
    - Tera corm / tuber is used for bodyaches.
    - Decocotion of taro peel is used to cure diarrhea.
    - Sometimes used as a galctogogue to increase breast milk production
    in young mothers.


  • Tribal Recipe: 1) Patvadya:
    - Wash Tera leaves thoroughly with water and keep aside.
    - Make a thin paste of chickpea flower, rice flour, crushed garlic and green chilli paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
    - Apply the paste on the backside of leaves
    - Roll the leaves to make small round logs and steam cook them
    for 15 mins
    - Once steamed, serve as is or cut into thick slices and shallow fry

    2) Dal with Tera Leaves:
    - Cook 1/2 cup Chana or Toor Dal with cut Tera leaves and water.
    - Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add mustard seeds, 1 medium chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1.5 tsps chilli powder and satuee well.
    - Add the above tadka to the dal with Tera leaves and cover. - Simmer on low heat for a few minutes till all flavours blend. Add hot water if dal is too thick.

    3) Pakora:
    - Mix 1/2 cup besan and 1/2 cup rice flour. Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt (as per taste) and cut Tera leaves.
    - Mix all dry ingredients properly.
    - Add water to make a smooth batter.
    - Drop the batter in hot oil in clumps to make deep fried pakoras.