December 29, 2010

Chena mezhukkupuratti — Spiced, sauteed elephant yam

Vegetables are an integral part of a healthy diet the world over. A good number of Indians are pure vegetarians, especially those practicing Hinduism, and consequently Indian cuisine offers a lot of vegetarian alternatives. The elephant yam is an edible tuber found in the tropics. In India it is known by many local names like suran, chena, kham aloo, deshi alu, chenai kizhangu and so on. Elephant yam is a good source of nutrients like proteins, Omega 3 fatty acid, fibre, vitamin B6, carbohydrates and certain essential minerals. What's more, it's used for treating piles and constipation, and good for people suffering from hypertension. Yam is a popular dish in Kerala. This recipe is a quick, dry preparation, best served with rice.
Chena mezhukkupuratti — Spiced, sauteed elephant yam


1 cup yam, peeled and cut into 1 inch sticks
5 dry red chilies
12 shallots
1 stalk curry leaves
½ teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
6 peppercorns (optional)
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoon oil


Thoroughly rinse the yam and cook in two cups boiling salted water over medium heat. Take care not to overcook; drain off any excess water.

Crush the shallots, dry chilies and peppercorns (if any) using a mortar and pestle.
In a saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Sauté the crushed ingredients with the curry leaves for 4-5 minutes until soft. Stir in the chili powder and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the yam and mix gently until coated. Reduce heat and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve warm with steamed rice.


  1. I have an emotional attachemnt with this dish. When my wife leaves for school at 5-55am, its me who completes the household chores. And come up with new innovations. Sorry to say, Nash, my Chena mezhukkupuratti looks ( and tastes ? ) great ... :-)
    Yes Vegetables are integral part of healthy diet. I wish to show some special salads, the habit we got from our Rajasthan life. Cucumber_carrot_tomato_Onion_Lettuce leaves,,which is an integral part in our dinner
    Bored ?... good

  2. Hi Manohar, I am sure your version of the yam looks and tastes great! You have a great family and your wife is really lucky.

  3. your pictures are really gorgeous, keep it coming!! :)

  4. Aw, thank you sweetness!

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♥ Nashi