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.
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.
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.
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
- 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)
- Mustard/Kadugu– 1/8 tsp.
- Urad Dal/Ulunthu – 1/8 tbsp.
- Fennel/Sombu – 1/8 tsp.
- Cumin/Seeragam – 1/8 tsp.
- Methi seeds/Venthayam – 1/8 tsp.
- Curry leaves – one spring
- 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.
TheKarunai Kilangu Kuzhambu/Spicy Yam Gravy is ready to be served. Serve it with steaming hot rice.