Chena kootu curry

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  1. Elephant foot yam – 2 cups chopped or 1/4 kg
  2. Tur dal – 1/3 cup
  3. Tamarind – a small gooseberry sized ball
  4. Onions 2 Nos.
  5. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  6. Salt needed

For grinding:

  1. Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  2. Bengal gram/channa dal/kadalai parippu – 2 tsp
  3. Red chillies – 4
  4. Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
  5. Raw Rice – 1 tsp

For the seasoning

  1. Oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Hing – a pinch
  4. Curry leaves – few


  • Peel the skin, wash and chop elephant foot yam into small pieces. Wear a disposable gloves or grease your hands with oil before cutting yam as some varieties itches the skin.
  • Heat oil in a kadai, add coriander seeds, channa dal, red chillies, raw rice and saute until dal turns golden brown. Add grated coconut, fry for a few seconds and switch it off. Saute in the heat of the pan itself. Once it cools, grind it to a smooth paste.
  • Pressure cook dal for 3 whistles or until soft. Mash it well and keep it aside.(Soaking dal in hot water for 15-20 minutes prior to cooking saves a lot of time and fuel. Dal also gets cooked well)
  • Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Extract tamarind juice and discard the pulp.
  • Cook yam in 1 cup of water adding salt and turmeric powder. Once the yam is half cooked, add 1 cup tamarind water and cook until the raw flavor of the tamarind goes and the yam becomes soft.
  • Once the yam is cooked well, add the ground paste.
  • Add the cooked dal, 1/2 -3/4 cup of water and cook simmered until everything gets blended well. Check for salt.
  • Heat a tsp of oil, add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add hing, curry leaves and pour it over the kootu. Serve with hot steamed rice.

Note – YAM has to be cooked properly in tamarind water, otherwise it might cause itching sensation in the mouth also.

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