Elephant foot yam or suran/surnu is grown widely at my native. This root is used in a wide variety of dishes in Konkani cooking. We used to grow them a lot in our backyard. I still remember my grandfather used to take out these roots carefully and wash them and store to be used throughout the year.
I never had the courage to use this root in my cooking, mainly because some of the roots cause strong itching to hands after cutting them. So aayi applies thick ‘tamarind juice’ to hand after cutting them to overcome the itching (apply thick juice and leave it for 5mins then wash hands).
I had no idea how to pick up these roots or what they are called here. When Aruna told me about ‘yam’, I searched for them in Chinese market, but they looked very different than the one we got in India. It was white from inside unlike the suran which is reddish in color. Still when I prepared this traditional dish, it tasted great. Recently I saw ‘frozen suran’ in Indian store. So next time, I will try this dish with authentic suran :).
Raw jackfruit(kadgi or chakko) koot is also prepared on similar lines. I will post the recipe seperately.
Suran (cut into tiny pieces) 1/2 cup
Coconut 1 cup
Mustard seeds 1 tea spn
Methi (fenugreek) seeds 1/4 tea spn
Asafoetida a pinch
Red chilies 4-5
oil 1 and 1/2 tea spns
Curry leaves 4-5
Tamarind 1/2 tea spn
Mix 1 tea spn of salt with the pieces and leave them for 30mins. Squeeze out the water off suran pieces and wash them in water for once or twice. Heat 1/2 tea spn of oil and fry them on a low flame till they become almost black and crunchy.
Heat 1/2 tea spn of oil and add 1/2 tea spn mustard. When it starts popping, add methi seeds and asafoetida. Grind this with coconut, red chilies((fry the chilies in oil along with mustard and methi, if they have become soft. This will help in grinding them to smooth paste) and tamarind to chutney consistency. Add salt (suran pieces will retain some salt from the previous step, so take care not to add too much salt).
Heat remaining oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping up, add curry leaves. Add this seasoning to the chutney.
Just before serving, add the fried suran pieces to the chutney. (Take care not to add hot suran pieces to chutney. It spoils the chutney soon. So cool the pieces to room temperature before mixing).
Serves : 3
Preparation time : 20mins