Elephant Yam or Suran curry
This vegetable is also known as jimikand. It is quite a formidable looking tuber, with a thick skin which looks somewhat like a elephant’s hide. For a long time I did not cook it just because it looked too tough. But cooked curry made with elephant yam is so tasty, that I finally succumbed. The first time I made this curry was after I watched a neighbour peel and boil jimikand. She belonged to Rajasthan where this is a staple food. I tasted her preparation, yummy. Now I cook it fairly regularly. It has numerous benefits like it aids digestion, controls bloating and reduces bad cholestrol. It is a good Paleo substitute for potato.
The trick to cooking Jimikand is to peel it and boil it first. The skin is tough, so I peel a thick layer off. Then I cut it into cubes and boiled it with a bit of salt and juice of a lemon. It is advisable to peel and cut raw yam either wearing gloves or oiling one’s hands. The vegetable is sticky and the sap makes the skin itch.
This recipe is for a lightly spiced yam in a yogurt gravy. First I lightly fry the boiled yam. Some people don’t do this, and it works fine. I like the slightly golden colour of the fried yam.
Then I make the gravy with tomato and yogurt.
- Suran (yam)-500 gms
- Juice of one lemon
- Yoghurt- half cup
- Turmeric-3/4 tsp
- Chili powder-1 tsp
- Coriander powder-1 tsp
- Hing - half tsp
- Garam masala-1/3 tsp
- Salt-1 tsp
- Cumin seeds - half spoon
- Mustard seeds - half spoon
- Curry leaves 6-7
- Fresh coriander-2 tbsp for garnish
- To clean and chop yam - Before you start working - apply oil on your hands and then scrub the yam under running water and then make big slices or strips. Then peel the yam skin carefuly with a strong and sharp knife. Don't forget to grease your hands otherwise they may get itchy due to the yam's skin.
- Cut into big pieces, and wash them thoroughly. Boil till done, or pressure cook with 2 glasses of water for 2 whistles on medium heat.
- Drain and keep aside. Add juice of lemon and mix thoroughly.
- Now lightly fry the suran till golden brown. Remove from oil and keep aside.
- Heat the oil, add all the dry spices.
- Once they are fried, add curry leaves
- Add dry spices and fry lightly
- Add tomato ginger puree, fry until oil separates
- Add suran
- Lightly whip up the yogurt, add to the cooking vegetable
- Lower the heat to medium, cook for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves
- Goes well with roti or naan