This dish is a delicacy from the Indian state of Kerala. It consists of yam (dasheen) boiled in spicy coconut chutney, with the addition of some spices and herbs.

Yam in spicy coconut chutney or Surna Koot is a popular North Indian dish. It is made with grated yam, cooked in spices and then served with coconut chutney.

Suran is the Konkani word for yam, while koot is the Konkani word for spice chutney. Surna koot is a spicy coconut chutney with crunchy, crispy shallow fried yam dices. This is a tasty side dish to serve with rice. Suran/surnu (elephant foot yam) is a Konkani root that is used in a number of recipes. Surna koot is one such Konkani delicacy. 

The crunchy, crispy, salted yam that has been shallow fried is delicious. I just like eating them as is. My mother used to chase me away as a child to prevent the shallow fried yam from going over before she made the chutney for the koot. The crunchy shallow fried yam is delicious! 

When the crispy/crunchy shallow fried yam is added to the coconut chutney with a strong asafoetida flavor, it adds the required crunch and elevates the red chilli coconut chutney with a flavorful spice to a new level.

Ingredients:

yam (250 g) 3/4 cup coconut grated 4-5 red chili peppers a quarter teaspoon of fenugreek seeds 1 tsp tamarind extract mustard (1/2 teaspoon) Asafoetida, a little bit 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil season with salt to taste a handful of curry leaves

Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: 30 minutes

Method of Preparation:

Getting the yam ready:

If you don’t want itchy hands for the next several hours, be very cautious while cutting the yam.

Peel the yam and cut it into tiny chunks. Because yam shrinks when fried, don’t create small pieces or dices. Make the dice a bit larger.

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Wash the yam dices with water after cutting them without coming into touch with the yam.

If you touch the yam after it has come into contact with water, it will irritate your hand. So just wash the yam after finely chopping it.

To avoid itching, soak your hands in tamarind water and lemon juice before cutting the yam. Washing the yam without touching it with your hands and then straining the water with a strainer is the easiest method to avoid irritation. If your hands have come into touch with wet yam, use tamarind water/lemon juice to reduce itching. (Apply thick tamarind juice to your hands, wait 5 minutes, then wash them.)

You certainly don’t want to go through the itching!! I wish someone had told me these tricks the first two times I worked with yam.

To fry the yam, follow these steps:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, then add the yam chunks and cook them.

Saute and cook until the chunks bubble up and are well browned, stirring occasionally. The yam browns as it cooks. 

Overfrying the yam results in a burned flavor, and the yam’s wonderful flavor is gone.

Add salt and sauté when the yam dices are nearly done. Fry until the rawness of the yam dices has vanished and the yam dices are evenly fried.

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Remove the shallow fried yam from the fire and set it aside to cool fully. The fried yam becomes crispy and crunchy as it cools. As a result, set them aside to cool fully.

Masala/chutney preparation:

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Fenugreek seeds should be included. 

When they begin to pop, add the asafoetida and red chilies and continue to cook for a few minutes, until the red chilies have released their fragrance. Turn off the heat and let them cool fully.

Once cooled, grind them with tamarind and shredded coconut into a smooth paste, using just as much water as is needed to make a smooth paste, since koot is typically thick. 

Place the ground chutney in a separate dish and set aside.

Tempering:

In a tadka pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds to season the koot. If your chutney lacks the flavor of fenugreek, add a few fenugreek seeds to the tempering along with mustard.

When the mustard begins to bubble, add the curry leaves and two red chili pieces.

Fry for a minute and then turn off the heat.

In a mixing dish, combine the spices with the ground chutney and stir thoroughly.

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Add the cooked and cooled yam pieces to the chutney shortly before serving and mix thoroughly; otherwise, the yam pieces will get soggy if introduced too early.

After checking for salt and making any necessary adjustments, the koot is ready to be served with rice.

More Konkani cuisine side dishes may be found here. 

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