Wednesday 2 May 2018

Chena Upperi | Chena Mezhukkupuratti | Kerala Style Elephant Yam Stir Fry

Do you like recipes that are ready in a jiffy or do you love elaborate cooking process and the satisfaction that you get from it? I do love elaborate cooking but i'm quite lazy nowadays ! So ready in a jiffy seems to be doing great in my vocabulary for now :D Maybe the effects of running day long behind my toddler ;) Well, anyways there was a stage in my cooking days where I was scared of dishes that used minimal ingredients.. You know, you have to get the dish right with those limited number of spices or ingredients. And the actual taste lies in using those ingredients subtly ! Well, I wouldn't say I am completely past that phase but I'm way better from where I started :) 

And talking about ready in a jiffy and minimal ingredients, this recipe does justice to both those terms. We use pretty much the same process for many of the stir fries like this yam, raw banana, chinese potato, potato and likes.. It is a fast recipe and elephant yam (chena) can actually make you feel better on days when you do not eat non-veg right? So as I would like my non veg roasts, I serve this stir fry also with some moru curry and pappad :) So check out the recipe and thank me later for saving your time packing lunches on a busy morning :)

Recipe Source: Mil

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Serves : 3-4 persons 

I Used:

Chena/Elephant Yam - 1 cup heaped (after cutting to cubes)
Salt - As Needed
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Coconut Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Mustard - ½ tsp
Curry Leaves - 2-3 sprigs

To Coarsely Grind:

Shallots - 10 nos
Garlic - 5 medium sized pods
Red Chilly - 2 nos

The Way:

1. Clean chena/elephant yam by removing the outer skin and rinsing it well in water. Then cut them into bite size cubes (1 or 1/2 inch according to your preference)

2. Pressure cook them long with salt, turmeric powder and a little water (less than 1/4 cup) for 1 or 2 whistles till cooked. Do not keep for more than 2 whistles else it will become mushy. Good variety of yam gets cooked in 1 whistle

3. While the yam is cooking, take grated coconut, shallots, red chilly and garlic in a mixer jar and give a coarse blend. 3-4 pulses is sufficient. Do not grind to a smooth paste

4. Now take coconut oil in a kadai/pan. Splutter mustard. Then add curry leaves

5. Then add the coarsely ground coconut - shallot paste. Saute for 3-4 minutes till it's cooked and the raw smell of the garlic and shallots goes off

6. Now add the cooked chena/yam and give a gentle stir. Allow it to simmer for another 3-4 minutes till it's mixed well. Then remove from fire and serve

Serve with red rice, moru curry and pappad!



  1. Elephant that's new to me. A very delicious meal, Chitz.

  2. That looks like a soul satisfying meal.. Love the combination.. so tempting

  3. Chena is one of my favorite tubers but that damn thing can't be cut without me going into hours of hand itching... :( The mezhukupuratti looks so delicious... kothiyaayittu vayya...

  4. Is eggplant yam similar to taro roots? The meal looks veru comforting.

    1. Yes similar, but bigger than taro and more versatile as well :)

  5. this upperi looks super yum, I love yam to core and we don't get fresh here...


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