"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Stir Fried Yam (Chena Mezhukupuratti)

"A pan full of Yam" - Chenna Mezhukuparatee/ Sauteed yams

Onions can make you cry but this dish had me crying even before I peeled the onion. Why? Because this dish was prepped by mum when she visited in February 2015. I have almost no clue of how to peel and cut every root vegetable possible. And Dad and Mum used to grow these root veggies in their yard. Yam is one such root veggie that Mum and Dad carried with them to our home in Chennai. This was when they were visiting us for the first of the two times at Chennai, before Mum passed away.

She prepped this dish and asked me to cook half of it and refrigerate what I didn't need right away and so I did. When we were moving from Chennai, I need to clear up my fridge and I came to the container in the freezer and decided to have it on Saturday 27.6.2015.

This dish was physically prepped by Dad and Mom and finished off by me (after Mum passed away). The yam itself was homegrown. When Mum was prepping the dish for me, little did I know that only a few weeks away would Mum leave us for her Heavenly Abode.

I had first chosen to share this dish after New Year  as most homes would have been dialing down the extravagant meals after the festive season. I know of homes that go completely detox or purely vegetarian after all the indulgent weeks have gone by. But now with the Lenten season in, it seems apt to post this recipe.

I do not think I have consumed as much yam in my lifetime as I did while we were moving from our home in Chennai as I needed to use the prepped yam and would not let a morsel of it go to waste. Mum must have had a good laugh. Miss you Mum.

So since I didn't know how to skin the yam, Mum put Dad on the task as her skin was quite sensitive to it. Then Mum did the initial cooking of the yam and asked me to store the excess in the freezer and use as required. This root vegetable can actually be precooked and stored in the freezer even up to 6 months. I would not recommend it as the fresher your veggies are, better is their nutritional value.

So to make this simple recipe,

You need:

  • Mustard seeds -  1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Onions - 1 medium size, sliced
  • Green chilies -1-2 nos slit
  • Ginger-garlic paste - 2 tbsps
  • Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Elephant Foot Yam/Chenna - skinned and sliced - cut into long 1/4" sticks
  • Coconut oil - 1 tbsp

The Make:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Serves 4 adults
  1. Boil the yam in water with shake of salt, turmeric and some pepper powder.
  2. Splutter mustard seeds in heated oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan or wok. Then add the curry leaves. Lower heat to medium-low.
  3. Saute onions, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, turmeric, Coriander pwd and salt. 
  4. Toss in prepped yam and saute for 10 minutes making sure to not have the yam stick or burn against the pan.
  5. You can also leave out the green chilies and add a tablespoon of chili powder after tossing in the yam. Another alternative is to add pepper instead of the green chilies or chili powder. You can also add some jeera/cumin powder. 
Hope you enjoy this dish with a nice steaming bowl of rice and your favourite gravy.Serve hot with rice or chapatis.I went all out and added this as a mash in the centre of my dosa. I even tried it in some white pasta. 

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