A tongue tickling recipe from God's Own Country which will make you crave for more and more. This is one of the items served during a Onam Feast. Sour curd is used and it is boiled and reduced till thick. Hence the name kurukku kaalan (kurukku - reduced). Whether it is milk or curd / buttermilk, when reduced they make the dish even more aromatic and interesting in taste.
In the olden days, left over curd is collected in a separate vessel which turns sour and then used for this recipe. Kachchati (veseel made out of stone) is used to prepare it. The love & care our mothers & grandmas took in preparing it gives it a heavenly taste. That taste is unbeatable and is missing in today's kaalan made on stove top using stainless steel vessels mm....................Mira going nostalgic!
The way the Kaalan making process was described by the elders in the family always make my mouth water and crave to have some immediately right from my childhood days!
Let's get into kaalan making!
Vegetables that can be used for this recipe :- Raw Banana, Elephant Yam, Ashgourd (Kachcha kela / suran / white bhopla) [Vazhakka, Chenai, Elavan] . You may use any one or combo of all. I used Elephant yam for this recipe.
- Elephant Yam - 1 cup
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Sour Beaten curd - 2.5 cup
- Grated coconut - 3/4 cup
- Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- Peppercorn - 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
- Green chillies - 2 nos (or as preferred)
- Dried Red Chillies - 2 Nos.
- Curry Leaves - two sprigs
- Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
- Peel and cut the yam into cubes
- Wash well to remove any sand particle that may remain
- Transfer to a thick bottomed cooking vessel
- Beat the sour curd well and keep ready
- Dry roast fenugreek seeds tilll they release nice aroma.
- Cut the dry red chillies into two (or you may retain it whole)
- Grind together Grated Coconut, roasted fenugreek seeds, Green Chillies, Black Peppercorns and 6-7 nos. curry leaves together into a nice & thick paste adding little water.
- Use medium to slow flame in the cooking process which will give good taste to the dish.
- To the yam, add turmeric powder, salt and water that is enough to submerge the yam cubes and cook till the water dries up.
- Now add the beaten curd and cook on low flame and keep stirring in between. Cook till the curd level is reduced and the gravy becomes thick.
- At this stage, add the ground coconut masala, adjust the salt and mix well. Bring to boil till foam forms on top.
- Remove from heat.
- Tempering :- Heat coconut oil, add Mustard seeds. When the seeds starts spluttering, add dried red chillies, 8 nos. curry leaves and add this to the prepared kurukku kaalan.
This is served as a side dish for feasts (sadhya) but can also be mixed with plain rice and had. I enjoy it even with dosai and chapathis. So why wait for special feast time, make and enjoy it at any time of the year like me :-)
No season or reason for a foodie to enjoy good food!