Everyone in our home seems to be getting into the kitchen for a turn at the stove. Our maid has seen me cook for a few months now and so got me a beautiful, massive yam sent from jet village, a few hundred kilometers away. These yams are supposed to be a specialty and highly thought of. And they were delicious! I used about half the yam making a delicious Chettinad-style yam curry, coming soon to this site. She offered to make this traditional fried yam recipe. What a delight.
This dish is spectacular. Crisp yams coated in spices with a wonderful flavor of caramelized ginger that seduces your palate. The yams were perfect, crisp on the outside and mushy on the inside, the subtle flavors permeating the dish. This dish is definitely a keeper. As a note, you can substitute any type of yam, squash, pumpkins or potatoes for the yams. Adjust the boiling times for each vegetable as needed.
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1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1/4 cup fresh ginger, cut into very small pieces
1/4 cup green chilies, sliced, or to taste
1/4 cup curry leaves
20 garlic pods, finely diced
Handful of cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt to taste
About 5 cups yams, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Boil the yams in water with salt, quite a bit, till tender, about 15-20 minutes. The yams will still retain some bite and have absorbed some of the salt from the water.
Heat the oil on a pan or wok till shimmering. Add the cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves and stir for 30 seconds. The mustard seeds will begin to pop. Add the green chiles and ginger and cook till the ginger had nicely caramelized to a deep brown shade.
Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the drained yams and cook till the yams are lightly colored, about 5 minutes on a medium to high stove. Finish by adding the chili powder, turmeric and salt (careful the yams were cooked in salty water) and give the vegetable a good stir to coat evenly. Add half the cilantro and mix in.
Serve immediately with the rest of the cilantro scattered on top. Serve with fresh chapattis or Indian style breads.