Karunai Kilangu Kuzhambu/Spicy Yam Gravy

Karunai Kilangu is called Yam in English. It is also a variety of Elephant Yam. This variety of yam is small and tubular and can be held in your hand , so it is called PIDI KARUNAI. I love this and it is healthy also. But many don’t know to cook this properly as it has an itchiness. Adding tamarind to any preparations using this Karunai Kilangu is a must as it takes the itchiness off from this vegetable. Here in Nairobi this variety of yam is not available and so whenever I visit my parents in India I carry with me. We all love this vegetable and especially this puli kulambu. I also make a masiyal variety using the same. It is also very yummy – my favorite. Will post that recipe  soon.

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As I have mentioned earlier in the Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu/Spicy Brinjal Gravy the secret of making a perfect Puli Kuzhambu is to add double the amount of sambar powder, salt and tamarind paste as that you add in a normal sambar you make for lunch with toor dal.

The Yam gravy/Karunai Kilangu Kuzhambu is ready to be served with plain rice.

During Pongal this is one of the gravies we make. In Chettinad during pongal Karunai Kilangu/Pidi Karunai is a vegetable which has to be cooked on that day. Some make this gravy or they make the masiyal.

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Hope you all will try and let me know how much you liked it.

Cuisine: Indian(South) | Category: South Indian Gravies/Kuzhambu | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins | Serves: 3 to 4

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Ingredients

  • Karunai Kilangu/Pidi Karunai/Yam – 5 to 6 nos.
  • Onion – 1 medium (chopped as shown)
  • Shallots – 8 to 10 nos. (chopped as shown)
  • Tomatoes – 2 nos. (Rough chop)
  • Garlic Pods – 8 nos.(chopped as shown)
  • Sambar Powder – 4 tsp.
  • Tamarind Paste – 3 tsp.
  • Salt – 1 1/2 to 2 tsp. (Adjust accordingly)

 To Temper

  • Mustard/Kadugu– 1/8 tsp.
  • Urad Dal/Ulunthu – 1/8 tbsp.
  • Fennel/Sombu – 1/8 tsp.
  • Cumin/Seeragam – 1/8 tsp.
  • Methi seeds/Venthayam1/8 tsp.
  • Curry leaves – one spring

METHOD

  • Take all your ingredients.
  • Chop the onion, garlic and tomates as shown.
  • Take the Karunai Kilangu, wash them in running cold water to remove the mud.
  • Put them in a pressure cooker and cook for one whistle in high flame and then two whistles in low flame ~ approximately 8 to 10 mins.
  • Wait till the pressure releases and then open and strain them in a colander.
  • Allow it to cool and then peel the skin. Cut them as shown.
  • Heat oil in a pan and temper the contents given in the “To Temper” table.
  • Now add onion, garlic and saute.
  • After the garlic & onion gets half cooked add the cooked and cut Yam/Karunai Kilangu.
  • Saute everything until they get cooked well in the oil.
  • Meanwhile rough chop the tomatoes and puree them in a blender.
  • Now add the sambar powder, tamarind paste and salt to it and blend it together.
  • Add the pureed mixture in the sauteed mixture.
  • Add enough amount of water and taste the mixture. Adjust the taste at this stage.
  • Now allow the gravy to boil and simmer until done.
  • Check the consistency and add water if needed.
  • Switch off the stove when u see the glaze of the oil on top of the gravy.
  • Enjoy with hot steaming rice.

Note: While boiling the Yam/Karunai Kilangu no need to add salt.

The Yam/Karunai Kilangu should be cooked to the correct consistency. It should get cut easily, that is not too soft and not too firm.

Pureeing the tomatoes makes the gravy thick. Pureeing is optional.

If your gravy is not so thick you can add rice water slurry to make it thick.

Instead of water just add rice washed water (“Arusi Kelanja Thani”). That helps in the thickening as well.

Visual clicks

Take all your ingredients.
Take all your ingredients.
Wash the Yam/Karunai Kilangu in running water as it will have lot of mud stuck to it. After washing put them in a pressure cooker and add enough water.
Wash the Yam/Karunai Kilangu and put them in pressure cooker and add enough water.
Cover the pressure cooker and cook the vegetables for one whistle.
Cover and cook them for one whistle in high flame and then for two whistles in medium flame.
Open the pressure cooker after the pressure releases.
Open the pressure cooker after the pressure releases.
Strain them in a colander and allow it to cool.
Strain them in a colander and allow it to cool.
Now remove the outer skin.
Now remove the outer skin.
Chop them as shown.
Chop them as shown.
Meanwhile chop the onion garlic and tomatoes.
Meanwhile chop the onion garlic and tomatoes.
Blend the tomatoes in a blender.
Blend the tomatoes in a blender.
Add the sambar powder, tamarind paste and the salt to this and give it a pulse.
Add the sambar powder, tamarind paste and the salt to this and give it a pulse and set aside.
This is the tempering mixture. Little mustard, fennel, cumin, methi seeds, urad dal.
This is the tempering mixture. Little mustard, fennel, cumin, methi seeds, urad dal.
Take oil in a pan and temper the given items as shown below.
Take oil in a pan and temper the given items as shown above. Allow it to splutter.
Now add the chopped onion and garlic.
Now add the chopped onion and garlic.
After the onion and garlic gets cooked add the chopped Yam/Karunai Kilangu and sautee for a while.
After the onion and garlic gets cooked add the chopped Yam/Karunai Kilangu and sautee for a while.
Add the pureed tomatoes to the sauteed mixture. Add required amount of water and allow it boil.
Add the pureed tomatoes to the sauteed mixture. Add required amount of water and allow it to boil.
Check the taste and adjust accordingly. Cover and cook until the oil oozes out.
Check the taste and adjust accordingly. Cover and cook until the oil oozes out.
The Yam gravy/Karunai Kilangu Kuzhambu is ready to be served with plain rice.
The Yam gravy/Karunai Kilangu Kuzhambu is ready to be served with plain rice.

TheKarunai Kilangu Kuzhambu/Spicy Yam Gravy is ready to be served. Serve it with steaming hot rice.

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5 thoughts on “Karunai Kilangu Kuzhambu/Spicy Yam Gravy

  1. Yummm…This variant is actually made at my native in andhra. .called shamagadda pulsu. ..v normally shallow fry it wid spices..a great recipe but ..il try this soon..love the step by step pics you post..soo helpful. .😊👌👌

    Liked by 1 person

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