Sweet and spicy yam (Surna tambuDe)

This is another Konkani dish that I absolutely love. This is sweet, spicy and sour all at the same time.

If you are using the fresh Suran or elephant root yam for this, be very careful while cutting it. These roots are very itchy when they are raw. So do not touch water while cutting it. Apply some thick tamarind juice to hands and then wash hands.

I use frozen suran here. It gets cooked very fast and gets mashed. The first time I tried this here, it turned up into a big paste because I didn’t know they cook very fast. So cook it in microwave for about 5 mins. Do not overcook.

There are more than one ways of making this dish tambude. I love this version with fenugreek(methi) seeds in them. They give a very good aroma to this dish.

2 cups surnu/suran
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1/4 tea spn methi seeds
A pinch asafoetida
A pinch oil
A pinch turmeric
4-5 red chilies
1/2 tea spn thick tamarind extract or 3-4 pieces of tamarind
1 tea spn jaggery
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn coriander seeds

Cook suran.
Heat oil and add 1/2 tea spn mustard, asafoetida, coriander seeds, methi, red chilies, turmeric. Fry for a min and grind with tamarind(take care not to burn anything, if you can’t handle all of them at once, fry one at a time).
Add to cooked suran, add jaggery, salt and cook.
Heat oil, add remaining mustard, curry leaves and add to surna tambude.
Serve hot with rice and some dal.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 15-20mins

PS: See the below picture in which most of the suran was mashed because of over cooking. So be careful.

29 thoughts on “Sweet and spicy yam (Surna tambuDe)”

  1. Wow, never heard of this before. Looks very simple, that too with the pre-cut frozen onces avble here. I keep at least 3 packets handy, so i am going to try this tomm with dalitoy. One question, Is this an extinct dish?

    Shilpa: I donno Aruna. I got the recipe recently from aayi. I thought it must be from SK. Don’t know much about it.

  2. Hi Shilpa
    I am new to ur blog.
    Thanx 4 reminding forgotten thambude.
    Ur website is amazing
    Under poha section I’d like to give u one old simple recipe .Just pound jinger,green chillies &salt. Mix this with grated coconut.Then mix nylon poha.It is one more pova chutney
    Hope u’ll like it & add to the section
    Thank u

  3. sorry that is not the exact video which i linked above,but if you go to the cook section and further to the street food of mangalore,you guys will know what am talking about 😉

    Shilpa: I updated the links Rasshmi. Thanks a lot.

  4. Shilpa, I was going to ask where you got the fresh yam from, since I have never seen it here… Then I saw that you used frozen.. I will check the Indian store. I love Chena as we call it in Malayalam, its been a very long time since I’ve had it.

    Shilpa: Sig, here in our Indian restaurant, sometimes we get fresh ones also. But frozen ones are available all year long and they are very easy to cook.

  5. Hi shilpa,

    this is a wonderful dish which my mom use to make back home in india. i really miss it. can you please tell me which brand of frozen suran do you use, for i have tried couple of them. but i am not happy with it. so could you please tell me any brand name that i should look for.

    Shilpa: I think it was Deep brand, but not sure. I am not particular about any one, I just pick up whichever I can find.

  6. Hi Shilpa,
    I donot like Suran so much but now since the recipe looks
    so good I will get it next time when I go to Indian stores and try the recipe:)

  7. Hi Shilpa,

    Since you have been the one stop shop for konkani dishes, I recommend that you read Jaya V Shenoy’s konkani cook book, all the recipes you have posted here, plus many more are published by here.. inluding tambude and vaagu. Maybe your aayi too got it from there. Aruna, tambude is a SK dish.


    Shilpa: A, I know about the book, aayi has the book at home. Its an amazing book for all Konkani dishes. But I can assure you that this recipe is not from the book, if it was, I would have definitely given the due credit. I am sure all the recipes I have posted here are not in the book and vice versa is also not true.

  8. Looks fantastic, Shilpa! I’ve just started out a fascination with root vegetables and this is on my list. Sounds like a great balance of flavors!

  9. Shilpa, we make a spicy gravy with elephant yam. I didn’t know what to look for here in the US. Thanks for the name. I remember seeing this in the frozen section.

  10. how do your gravies always get this gorgeous orange colour? they look so yummy?

    Shilpa: Really?? you like the color? thats a huge compliment Bee. Thanks :).
    I try my best to make them look red- the way usually Konkani dishes look, used different chilies(kashmiri chilies, byadagi etc), but no use. They somehow always turn up orange, thanks to “byadagi chilies”.

  11. Hi Shipa,

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you copied the recipe from Jaya Shenoy’s book. I meant to say that she has most konkani recipes in her book. Hope you don’t take it offensively.


    Shilpa: A, I wanted to clarify your “all the recipes you have posted here, plus many more” statement.

  12. I made it today, a small batch and was longing to eat more. It tasted somewhere near to Chow Chow which my MIL makes. Thanks Shilpa for posting this.

    Thanks A . I will surely ask my mamama and amma why they never made this anytime before.

  13. For some reason I have hated Suran from my childhood. Now that I try to remember the reason I cant find any. The ingredients here seem tasty enough that I should give a second chance to my old nemesis 😀

  14. I *love* yams! I’ve never tried the tambude, sounds delicious. We’ve used a similar marinade, but not with the jaggery – I’ll try that next time.

  15. Thanks for the post. I tried the same version with green bananas but never with Suran. I will try it next.

    Green bananas mash very quickly too. So, instead of grinding the paste with tamarind, i add tamarind exract at the end of the boiling process. Tamarind has the tendency to stiffen vegetables thus preventing the mashhy effect. It works very well with green bananas. Please try it the next time you prepare this dish.

  16. Some interesting receipes…however many ingredients are so unfamiliar to me… Where can they be purchased? Also, are there any substitutions? I live in the Boonies and am not familiar with any Indian Stores nearby.

    Shilpa: Betty, 99% of the recipes on this site are Indian recipes which require specific ingredients. Few of the ingredients are available in other stores also, but most of them are only available in Indian stores. There are some online sites where you can buy them.

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