Elephant Foot Yam curry with potatoes (Aloo diye Oaler Torkari)

Hello everybody! Hope you are having a great week.

Today I will be sharing with you a recipe where the main vegetable is very controversial. People either absolutely hate it or absolutely love it, there is no middle way. I fall into the latter category obviously 😀 We are talking about Elephant Foot Yam (they are called Oal or Oal Kochu in Bengali).

There are 2 variants of this vegetable available in the market. One is extremely itchy, you will feel itchiness and slight burning sensation right from the moment you start peeling and washing it. I do not like or use this variety at all. This is the main reason I feel why most people stay away or dislike this vegetable.  You can remove the itchiness to some extent by adding generous amount of lemon juice or tamarind pulp while washing the vegetable, also while boiling the vegetable. You must remove the water after boiling. To further ensure that no itchiness remains lemon juice is also used while preparing. In places like Bihar, my husband’s hometown, even after I follow all the precautions, the yam remains unbearably itchy. I recommend you to stay from this variety !

The other variety of Elephant foot yam which is widely available here in Kolkata is the delicious absolutely non-itchy one. This is one of my favorite vegetable, I love both the mashed form and curry. Trust me if you get the right variety and you prepare it well, this vegetable tastes delicious. I prefer my Yam curry to be hot & spicy. It is best served with plain rice for a yummy lunch.

Not only is Elephant Foot Yam a very tasty vegetable, it also has health benefits. It contains calcium, 50-56mg/100g of its contents is Calcium. It has omega-3 fatty acids which are known to increase the good cholesterol levels in the blood. Diosgenin, a molecular hormone which has potential anticancer effects, is found in yam. Elephant foot yam is high on vitamin B6 content.

Lets get started !

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Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Take a large bowl and fill it with half with normal water. Add few drops of lemon juice into the water.

Apply few drops of oil on your palm and rub it all over your hands. Now peel the required amount of yam. Cut the yam into medium sized square pieces. Place them inside the bowl filled with lime water before you start preparing the other ingredients.

Cooking Time : 20 minutes

Ingredient :

  • Potato – 2 medium sized, cut into medium sized square pieces
  • Elephant foot Yam (Oal) – 400g, cut into medium sized square pieces same as potatoes
  • Tomato – 1 large, roughly chopped
  • Onion – 1 large, roughly chopped
  • Garlic – 4 cloves, roughly chopped
  • Ginger – 2 inch, roughly chopped
  • Whole dry red chilli – 2
  • Lemon – 1 small, squeeze out the juice
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Cumin Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Oil – 4 tablespoon, I used mustard oil
  • Clarified butter (ghee) – 1 tablespoon, melted

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Recipe :

  1. Take a pressure cooker. Add 1 cup of water. Also add the clean yam pieces. Add remaining lemon juice and few pinches of salt. Tighten the lid of the cooker and turn the burner on. Wait for only 1 whistle in medium flame. Release the pressure immediately. Strain out the yam pieces so that no water is left in them. Throw away the water. If you are unsure whether the yam you are using is itchy or not, do this step to ensure the itchiness is removed as much as possible.
  2. If you are sure about your yam like me, you can skip the 1st step and start here. Heat oil in a wok.
  3. When the oil heats up, add onions. Stir fry the onions until they become translucent.
  4. Now add garlic and ginger. Keep stir frying until the onions have become golden brown.
  5. Remove everything from oil and keep them in a bowl. When the onion-garlic-ginger mixture cools down to normal temperature, place them in a mixer grinder and prepare a smooth paste. Take out the onion mixture paste in a small bowl.
  6. In the same mixer grinder add tomatoes and prepare a smooth paste.
  7. Heat up the remaining oil in the wok again. Add dry red chillies.
  8. As the chillies turn brown, add potatoes. Also add few pinches of salt. Stir fry the potatoes until they become golden on all sides. Remove the potatoes from oil.
  9. Lower the flame to medium. In the remaining oil, add onion mixture paste. Keep stirring for a minute.
  10. Add tomato paste. Mix well and keep stirring until the raw smell of tomatoes is gone.
  11. Now add spices – turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder. Mix everything well. Keep stirring until the spices start releasing oil.
  12. Now add potatoes and slightly boiled yam. Mix with the spices well. Check the salt, add if required.
  13. Add 2 cups of warm water. Give it a stir. Cover the wok with a lid and the vegetables cook. You may add little more warm water later if required.
  14. When the vegetables are completely cooked, check the gravy. The gravy should be slightly runny initially because both the potatoes and yam will absorb water from the gravy later. So keep it little runny initially.
  15. Turn the flame off. Add clarified butter. Stir and mix gently. Cover again and give the dish some standing time.

Serve Elephant Foot Yam & potato curry with plain rice or phulkas.

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