Elephant Yam in burnt gravy or Senai Theeyal is a recipe from the southern state of Kerala. Theeyal, which means “burnt dish”, is a dish featuring burnt coconut and is usually dark brown in color. It gets its color from the browning of coconut and also from tamarind.
To roast and grind:
Grated Coconut – ¾ cup
Pepper Corn – ½ tsp
Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8 tsp
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Cumin Seed Powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 pinch
Coriander Seed Powder – 1 tbsp
Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek Seed – 1/8 tsp
Garlic – 8 to 10 pods
Mustard Seed – ¾ tsp
Black Lentil (Urad Dal) – ¾ tsp
Curry Leaves – from 2 twigs
Asafoetida – ¼ tp
Shallots – ½ cup (skinned)
Elephant Yam, – 250 Gms
Tamarind – small lemon sized ball
Salt to taste
Peel and discard the skin of the Elephant Yam and cut the Yam into small pieces. (Apply Oil in the hands to avoid itching sensation while peeling).
Heat a pan. Add Grated Coconut, Pepper Corns, Fenugreek Seed and the Garlic Pod.
Roast them till the Coconut turns into dark brown color.
Add all other powders and stir for 10 to 20 seconds.
Transfer to a bowl or plate and allow them to cool.
Grind all of them together to a coarse powder. Add little water and grind into a smooth paste.
In the same pan, heat the Oil. Add Fenugreek Seed. Stir for 15 seconds. Add Mustard and allow it to crackle. Add Urad Dal, Curry Leaves and Asafoetida.
Add the Shallots. Sauté them for a minute.
Add the Yam Pieces.
Add 2 cups of water and Salt. Let it come to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes till the Yam Pieces are cooked well (but not mashed).
Add the Tamarind Juice and the ground Coconut paste. Add Salt.
Mix well. Add more water if necessary.
Cover with the lid and simmer for another 5 to 6 minutes.
If frozen Coconut is used, thaw it before use.
Any cooking Oil can be used in place of Coconut Oil. But, Coconut Oil gives its own flavor and taste.