Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ugly but Good for You - The Elephant Foot Yam

I've seen this root vegetable at home when I was a kid but it was only when I went to college that I learned how to tackle it. 

I was told it causes itching if cut with bare hands and one had to rub oil on one's hands before touching it. This particular botheration is now over as a lady told me to just wash it well first. However, many prefer to avoid a dish with this yam as they claim it causes itching in the throat. 

So why would anyone want to eat it?

Health benefits, for one thing:

Apparently, the elephant-foot yam is used in Indian systems of medicine such as AyurvedaSiddha and Unani. It is claimed to be a remedy for bronchitis, asthma, abdominal pain, vomiting, dysentery, spleen enlargement , piles, elephantiasis, blood diseases, and rheumatic swellings. 

And it's supposed to be good for us ladies. A bonus is that it's touted on weight loss sites!

Anyway, the method I learned is easy and provides a tasty dish. It was a college bestie who taught me the recipe.

Elephant Foot Yam a la Vaidehi
Wash and peel the yam and cut it into pieces. Let's assume you have about a quarter kilo of it. Place it in a container that fits in your pressure cooker and add a couple of dried red chillies. Cook it for a couple of whistles or till totally soft. Blend it in a mixer, add salt to taste and drizzle with an oil of your choice. Finally, add lime juice to taste and serve with rice, rotis or use as a spread.

Here are some other recipes that I've tried and liked:

A theeyal seems to be a dish from kerala that uses specific vegetables which are boiled or otherwise cooked and served in a kind of gravy containing tamarind pulp, ground coconut and spices such as pepper, dried chillies, fenugreek and others. I also added some drumsticks, those delicious long green things!

Here's another video which brings out the real flavour of things!

Next time I'm going to try Chena Astram.

Now, I'd really love to know if you have a favourite recipe for this bizarre veggie. Please do post your thoughts in the comments. 

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