If you need an alternative for taro root you can substitute one of these similar vegetables:
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DASHEEN or TARO (Colocasia) The tuber of this giant elephant-eared plant is a staple food in much of the world, from the Caribbean, to the Pacific, to India where it is known as "Dasheen". And who hasn't heard of poi made from Hawaiian "Taro"? They're all the same plant, one of the Colocasia group, some of which have beautifully colored leaves. This one, however, merely carries 2-foot, velvety green leaves.
Propagate by taro tubers started indoors in early spring in boxes of moist peat at 70 degrees F. and transferred to the garden when danger of frost is paste These tropical plants have a big thirst and appetite, so plant them in rich soil with plenty of compost . Keep well-watered at all times if you want the maximum number and size of leaves and tubers. They'll be happy in full sun with ample water, but they'll also do nicely in partial shade.
Each plant may develop 10 - 12 tubers, which are dug when frosts arrive and stored indoors in a cool, dry area until used for cooking or spring planting. Mild-flavored and starchy, they are usually boiled and used as we commonly use potatoes.
You can typically find taro root in many Asian markets. These typically root readily.