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Monday, September 27, 2021

Chena Asthram | Yam Curry (Step by Step Pics)

Healthy foods and dishes are a comfort meal when served on a daily basis, that is what my family prefer mostly, though we cheat ourselves once in a while to enjoy the other way round too. There is no dearth of these underground roots, tubers, corms or rhizomes in Kerala which are mostly edible and most of the other parts like leaves, stem is also used of these veggies. Colocasia, yam, cassava(tapioca), cheru kizhangu(lesser yam), kachil(violet yam), arrowroot are to name a few. I love chembu astram and chembu mezhukuparetti that I prepare using colocasia. This yam curry is similar to chembu astram but here I have used tamarind extract instead of yogurt. You may even add yogurt, but I feel tamarind adds flavour in this curry. This curry is a delicious combo when served with steamed rice. This is quite simple to prepare as well, enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 6
Author ~ Julie
chena/ yam cubed pieces 2 1/4 cups
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

tamarind 1 lemon size 
grated coconut 1/2 cup
shallots 4
cumin seeds 1/2 tsp

to temper
coconut oil 1 tbsp 
red dry chilly
curry leaves 2 sprigs
shallot sliced 2

  • Peel the skin of yam and cut in cube size pieces. Then wash the pieces under running water, please use a strainer to remove the pieces from water, else gives a bad irritation to sensitive hands and causes itching. I get it, so I always use a colander to drain the water or use a strainer to remove the pieces and put in a pan.
  • Add the pieces in enough water, add salt, turmeric powder and chilly powder. Cook covered on medium flame till the pieces looks nicely cooked but not to the level that pieces gets mashed. The pieces should be cooked enough such that when you squeeze a piece in your fingers it should be soft.

  • In the meantime, grind the coconut, cumin seeds and shallots to a smooth paste(see first pic). Soak the tamarind in enough water to squeeze out the pulp.
  • Add the ground mix with enough water, adjust salt if needed. Add the tamarind juice after extracting. Simmer over low flame for another 2 minutes and then enjoy.

  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Splutter mustard, then add the red dry chillies and curry leaves. Add the sliced shallots and sauté until lightly browned. Pour this mix over the curry. Keep covered for 10 minutes and then mix, serve warm with steamed rice.
* You can add yogurt instead of tamarind extract too.

* Chembu Astram


Angie's Recipes said... Best Blogger Tips

An ultimate comfort food! The yam looks like sweet potato...are they the same?

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks,Angie..yam is a different veggie not sweet potato.