Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Back again with another pulikuzhambu :). I hope most of you know about this senai kizhangu. In english it is called as yam but there are several varieties of yam. Yam is a common name for starchy tubers of the family dioscorea. I have seen some varieties of yam that are unique to Africa and Srilanka. The picture above shows an Indian variety yam. Yams are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, pottasium and manganese. Yam products generally have lower glycenic index than potato products.
My mom prepares it in a very tasty way. She uses fried coconut for making this dish. In Kerala they call it as 'theeyal'. Wikipedia says theeyal can be literally translated as 'burnt dish'. Coconut is fried or 'burnt' until it acquires a dark brown colour and hence the name 'theeyal'. Look at the colour of this dish. Beautiful rich brown colour right? This colour is obtained by adding fried coconut and tamarind juice. Tastewise nothing can compete with it.. If you crave for 'meen kuzhambu' (fish curry) and you have only this senai kizhangu, do not worry. This dish tastes like meen kuzhambu minus the fish smell. The next day of preparation this dish will be extra yummy. You can have this with hot rice. It goes very well with idly and dosa too.
Senai kizhangu - 1/4 kg
Tamarind- size of a small lemon (soaked in warm water and juice extracted)
Coconut scrappings- 4 tbspns ( dried ones are also OK)
Dried red chilli- 8 nos (be careful, adjust according to your taste)
Onion- 1 no
Tomato- 1 no
Curry leaves- some 30-40 leaflets
Coriander powder- 2 tbspns
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Asafoetida- a pinch
Fenugreek seeds-1 tspn
Jeera and mustard seeds- 1 tspn each
Oil- 4 tbspns (preferably seasame oil)
Salt to taste
Cut onions and tomato into small pieces. Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract juice. Fry coconut scrappings and red chilli in medium heat until the coconut scrappings become dark brown. The smell of fried coconut will be very nice and inviting. Then grind the fried coconut and red chilli into a smooth paste in your food processor. Heat a pan. Add oil and when the oil is hot enough add the fenugreek seeds. When they become brown and emit a nice aroma, add mustard and jeera seeds. When they splutter add onions, tomato, turmeric and asafoetida powder. Saute well until the onions turn translucent. Now add coriander powder and the ground coconut, red chilli paste. Mix well. Add tamarind water and allow the mixture to boil. When it boils simmer it for 15 minutes until the oil seperates out. Add salt only at the end of preparation. A very tasty puli kuzhambu will be ready.
Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : The nature of senai kizhangu is very important. You should be lucky enough to get a good variety tuber which cooks well. Sometimes you end up with senai kizhangu which is very watery in nature. So they will never become soft. They will remain crispy how much you cook. Add salt only after the yam is cooked. Add enough salt and chilli to balance the sourness of the tamarind. Happy cooking !!!