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Upwas chi Suran chi Bhaji is a delicious fasting food. Suran or elephant’s foot and yogurt as its main ingredients. It is unique as there is no onion or garlic used in this recipe, yet it tantalizes your tastebuds.
This gluten-free recipe is one of the many ways in which a vegetable is made while observing a fast. made on fasting days in the state of Maharashtra, India. On Vrat days oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing, and red chilli powder are not used. So the cuisine on these days is totally different.
Suran is also known as jimikand, surangaddi,kanda etc. There are many ways in which this tuber can be made. My mother used to make a vegetable that tasted exactly like mutton. Sliced into thin slices and shallow-fried, it makes a wonderful side dish in Goan cuisine called kappa or foddi. The other recipes you will like and pair well with this vegetable are Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana Thalipeeth Recipe , Bhagar and Amti Recipe. Another recipe I will suggest is Kalan, again a no onion , no garlic recipe used in Onam Sadhya.
Here are all my recipes you can try when fasting.
These are your ingredients; for quantities, please check the recipe card.
- Elephant’s foot yam or suran
- Clarified butter
- Cumin seeds
- Green chillies
- Kokum agal
- Freshly grated coconut
- Roasted peanut powder
- Coriander leaves
- Chop the elephant’ s foot or suran. You will need to peel it and then dice it. Wear gloves while chopping; this will help reduce itching. Traditionally, we oil our hands before starting. Finally, after chopping, rub in either tamarind pulp or kokum on the hands.
- Roast the peanuts on medium heat till they start popping and you get a good roasted smell. Cook and crush in the mixer grinder or motor pestle.
- Grate the coconut and set it aside. Soak tamarind or kokum if you cannot get Kokum agal. Whisk the curds until smooth.
- In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon clarified butter and cumin seeds. Let the seeds splutter and add the green chillies.
- Add the chopped elephant's foot and stir till the ghee coats the vegetable.
- Add the kokum and mix well. Add ½ cup water mix. Cover and cook.
- Check the elephant's foot occasionally so that it does not overcook. The yam is cooked when you can cut through easily.
- Once cooked add salt, the roasted peanut powder, grated coconut and jaggery and mix well.
- Adjust the consistency, and the seasoning to suit your taste.
- For a thicker gravy add more roasted peanut powder. More jaggery for a sweeter taste. For more spice add green chillies, chopped. You can reduce the peanut powder and add more coconut.
- Let the mixture cook for about two or three minutes till the jaggery melts. Switch off the flame.
- Whisk the yogurt so that there are no lumps. Add the beaten yogurt to the pan and stir immediately. This will prevent the curds from splitting.
- Cover and set aside for about 10 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve.
Choosing your suran is also an art. Choose a firm one when you press it should not give in.
Young tubers are better they are less itchy if you are getting pieces; avoid the reddish ones. They are itchy.
The best way is to avoid touching it much and avoid touching any other portion of your skin. The reason why you itch is the oxalate crystals the yam has. But the good news is they dissolve in acid so kokum and tamarind and yogurt.
- Clarified butter-ghee is what we use as fat while fasting. If you want a vegan version avoid ghee and use oil, sunflower oil is fine.
- Elephant’s foot- in place of suran you can use green bananas or unripe bananas, potato or sweet potato.
- Kokum - you need a sour agent anything like tamarind or lemon is fine. I am not for vinegar but if you are okay with it please go ahead.
- Peanuts- avoid peanuts and use extra grated coconut if you need a nut-free curry.
- Green Chillies- while fasting in Maharashtra red chillies are not used. On other days you can use them.
- Mustard and asafoetida- on non-fasting days use mustard and asafoetida. You can also use garlic paste while sauting to make the vegetable.
- Saute ginger and garlic, you can use onion and diced suran to make a delicious curry that pairs well with rotis.
- In Goa we have on the days when we go veg or” shivrak” as it is called we have a shallow fried side dish called fodi or kappa. So we have batat fodi, ghosali kappa, kelyachi kappa, neer phanas kappa and suran kappa.
- Knife and board
- Wok /kadhai
- Mixer jar for peanut powder
- Suran chi bhaji I have never tried storing or freezing it, but it will stay good in the fridge for a day. Remember, we have fresh coconut in it.
- Choose a firm, not too young suran.
- Oil your hands and knife before chopping.
- Suran is a hard vegetable I prefer to cut thin slices off the whole vegetable with a knife. Then make slices, which can be cut to the size you need.
- The vegetable becomes black when exposed to air. Store under water or wash and use immediately.
- Add some souring agent to the water in which you soak the cut yam.
- To make this suran when not fasting, you can add turmeric and chilli powder. Spice powders like dhania jeera powder and some garam masala. You can also sauté garlic paste and then add the vegetable.
- I cook the vegetable in an open pan, but you can also cook it in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle.
What is Elephant's foot vegetable?
Elephant’s foot is a tuber that looks like wood or rock. It is treated like a vegetable and is nutritious and very common in Indian kitchens. It is also called yam, suran, suran gaddi, kanda or jimmikanda. Its botanical name is Amorphophallus paeoniifolius.
How do I choose my suran?
The yam should be firm to touch. It should not be too small or young these can be itchy. Another way to choose is when cut the suran should not be red again this variety is itchy.
How do I cut and chop suran? How do I prevent itching from the yam?
Before you chop the suran oil your hands and the knife. You can also wear gloves to prevent itching. Peel the skin and then cube the yam. Wash the yam under running water well. Discard the peels then discard your gloves, if using. Rub in something sour on your palms if they get itchy. Vinegar, tamarind, kokum lemon is fine.
Why has my yam blackened?
Cut Elephant’s foot blackens due to oxidation on exposure to air. Store the cut yam under water or use it immediately. You can also add your souring agent to the water. Do not soak for long; remove from the sour water in 10-15 minutes else the vegetable becomes sour.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favourite dishes to serve with Suran chi Bhaji :
Upawas chi Suran chi Bhaji is a fasting-friendly vegetable curry made with Elephant's foot (suran). This savoury Indian dish uses kokum, roasted peanuts, grated coconut and a hint of jaggery and yogurt for flavours. Perfect for not just fasting days it is a wholesome and filling gluten-free curry. So if you have dietary restrictions, you will love it.
This month in Shhhh Secretly Cooking, Priya Iyer wants us to cook without onion and garlic satvik recipes. I am paired with Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds, she makes amazing recipes like this Kurukku Kaalan. For the current theme, I gave her Methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) and cumin seeds as her secret ingredients. She made Balekaayi Saasive.
My secret ingredients were roasted peanut powder and yogurt, perfect for this yummy recipe.
Upwas chi Suran chi Bhaji Recipe
- 1 Knife and board
- 1 Wok /kadhai
- 1 Spoons
- 1 Mixer jar for peanut powder
- 2 Bowls
- 200 grams of elephant foot
- 1 tablespoon clarified butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 or 2 green chillies slit
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kokum agal
- 2 tablespoon roasted peanut powder
- 2 tablespoon grated coconut
- 2 tablespoon jaggery
- salt to taste
- coriander leaves finely chopped
- Oil your hands peel the elephant’s foot and cube it. Rinse under running water and set aside. Apply something sour to your hands so that they do not itch. In my kitchen that is kokum or tamarind.
- Cut the chillies, roast the peanuts and make powder. Grate your coconut. In case you have Kokum agal use it. Otherwise, soak a small lemon-sized ball of tamarind or 5-6 kokum petals in 2-3 tablespoons of water. Beat the yogurt till there are no lumps.
Cooking the Suran:
- In a wok make a tempering with clarified butter and splutter cumin seeds, add green chillies. Be careful the chillies splutter.
- Next, add the chopped suran and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the kokum agal, and ½ cup water and mix and let it cook till tender. Use more water if needed.
- Once cooked add salt, jaggery, peanut powder and coconut. Mix. Cook covered for about 2-3 minutes.
- Check and adjust the seasonings. Switch off the flame.
- Add the beaten yogurt and mix immediately. This will prevent the yogurt from splitting.
- Cover and set aside for 10-15 minutes. Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves. Pairs well with Bhagar, Sabudana Khichidi even roti.
Nutritional Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Please check with your nutritionist for your dietary needs and restrictions. Ultimately you are responsible for your decisions.