It is nearly the end of #AtoZBlogging Challenge, nearly a month long since FoTa Junction started and also my final post for this challenge. So, this one calls for a special. I am going to write about one of my absolute favourites from Kerala’s cuisine – Yam Fry. Though it is not one of the healthiest recipes to make yam but possibly the tastiest. And come to think of it though the recipe involves frying Yam, it is still a very healthy way of having Yam because of the immense cooling effects of this vegetable.
Of all the fry’s that are part of Kerala cuisine, Yam fry is my most favourite possibly because this dish is part of my childhood memories. While today there are number of Kerala stores in Bhopal where you can get most of the exotic things from Kerala including Yam anytime, my childhood was in a Bhopal devoid of these stores. I had seen Yam very rarely at home, when a particular vendor in the weekly market may get it from Kerala among his other wares. He was possibly the only vendor who used to get Kerala special vegetables in the market and maybe for the very reason he was called malayali in our household. But even when we got Yam at home, it wasn’t really fried much, it was usually steamed and had for breakfast. Which I didn’t like much then and it hasn’t changed much since.
I first enjoyed the fried version on Yam at my grandmother’s place on one of my summer holidays Kerala visit. And boy did I love it! Though it is called chena mezakkaperatti (fry) in my part of Kerala, it is also called chena upperi (chips) in many others and rightly so. Yam is deep fried in this version and though it may seem unhealthy to an urban citizen, it is not. Yes, that right deep frying isn’t unhealthy!
Yam is intrinsically a cool vegetable. Possibly why it is best consumed in summers. Frying it gives it some heat and protects us from the adverse effects of its extreme cool properties.
The tasty Yam Fry is easy to make.
Cut the yam into small pieces (about 1 inch) and clean it a couple of times. Wash it till the stickiness goes away.
Cook the cleaned yam pieces in water, sprinkled with salt. Do not overcook the yam, make sure it is crunchy when you transfer it to the pan.
Crush some madras onions and garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle.
Heal oil in a pan and sprinkle mustard seeds when hot. After the seeds crackle and settle, add the crushed onions/ + garlic, some curry leaves and few kashmiri red chillies. Fry till the onion turns golden.
Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder and fennel powder. Fry it till the raw smell goes.
Heat little water and add to the mixture. Bring it to boil.
Add the cooked yam pieces to the mixture. Make sure the pieces are well coated in the masala.
Continue to cook on slow flame. Stir in between. Cook till it is roasted well.
The mother is getting a demand soon! 😛