Yam curd curry
This is an authentic Kerala curry most favoured in homes and restaurants. No meal is complete without a last course of plain curd or a curd curry added to rice. This is my mother’s recipe and tastes amazing with fresh coconut and curry leaves from her garden.
In the hot sizzling weather in Southern India, yogurt and buttermilk can give a lot of relief. It has all the probiotics to promote healthy digestive system and cool the body in Summer. There are different seasonal vegetables used in this curry. The main vegetables used are ash gourd (white pumpkin), raw plantain, large yellow cucumber, raw papaya and yams. It can also be a sweet curry when ripe mango or pineapple is added.
I have used this interesting vegetable called elephant foot yam which has regional names like Chena kizhangu or Suran. This root vegetable is large and has a large brownish flower that has a nasty odour when it blooms. It is a root vegetable that could be itchy most of the time and I have seen my mother use coconut oil on her hand when cutting it. Now, we have better varieties that do not have any itching effect on the skin. I have seen this strange behaviour in many plants, even in pineapples. It is a nature’s means of keep off anyone from eating and affecting chances of its propagation. Very smart!
- 1/8 piece cut from elephant foot yam (Chena Kizhangu)
- 2 green chilies slit lengthwise
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ red chilli powder
- 1 cup curd/yogurt
- ¾ cup grated coconut
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp coconut oil/vegetable oil
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- few fenugreek seeds
- 1-2 red chillies
- few curry leaves
- Take curd/yogurt in a bowl and whisk.
- Add a little water to get thick buttermilk and set it aside.
- Remove skin, wash yam and cut it into finger size pieces.
- In a heavy bottom pan, cook pieces of yam with slit green chillies, red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
- In a blender, grind coconut and cumin seeds into a fine paste.
- Add this paste to the cooked yam, and boil well with salt to taste.
- Lower the heat and add beaten curd.
- Slightly warm the mixture and turn off the stove. (If boiled, the curd and whey will separate and make it unappealing.)
- In a small frying pan heat coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds.
- Add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and red chillies and fry it gently and the add to the curry.
Sometimes I add fried garlic and shallots to make it tastier. In my mother’s house, this is a curry made almost everyday. She uses left over curd that is sour and cooking stops it from further souring.
In a traditional feast, food is served on a banana leaf and this is the last curry to end the meal. It cleanses the palate to taste the following sweet dessert called Payasam.