Yam Traditional / Ratalu ki Sabzi

Yam is one of the prettiest plants that can grow in any garden. It has such distinct heart shaped leaves or big elephant ear leaves which stand out very pretty among the rest of the foliage. You should see the dew drops collect over them after sunrise in monsoons, they sparkle like little diamonds. Yams are tubers like many other of my favorite ones like sweet potatoes, beets and carrots.

I am not too charmed by this ugly looking vegetable which is harvested from an amazingly beautiful plant, but I do know some wonderful ways to cook them into delicacies. You would’ve gone through a well appreciated recipe Ratalu Nawabi Style where I made a version of Yam (Jimikand) in a quite different attire. When you get tired of looking at the ugly looking, out of shape Ratalu in your kitchen/refrigerator, you can use this recipe to dish out a lip smacking feast which goes well any type of bread. Read on !!

….need to know (food details)

  • Number of people served : 4, with sufficient bread stock
  • Preparation time : 20 minutes
  • Serving size : 1/2 a bowl each

….and we need (ingredients)

  • Yam, 1 medium sized, would be around 400 grams : Yam is a tuber and is harvested as a root. It has a distinct starchy taste and a very earthy fragrance. Yam is very high in Vitamin C & B and hence makes the bones strong, fights cold, is anti aging and enhances our immunity as well.
  • Mustard oil, 2 teaspoon : This extremely pungent oil is a great source of Omega 3 and Vitamin E hence great for your skin and hair. Besides in kitchen, mustard oil is the most popular oil across the globe for body and hair massages. 
  • Mustard (yellow or black), 2 teaspoons : Mustard tastes from sweet to sour, bitter to steaming hot. But it’s great for digestion and respiration and strengthens bones and teeth. I use it here for the bitter sour essence.
  • Cumin seeds, 1/4th teaspoon : Cumin has an amazing earthy, musk flavor essence. It is said to be the second most popular spice on the planet. It improves digestion, sugar control, weight loss etc.
  • Fenugreek seeds, 1/4th teaspoon : Mildly sweet and nutty and very earthy, fenugreek controls cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and hunger control. In India we generally use the leaves as a veggie but lesser kitchens in India would not have the dried seeds as well.
  • Bay leaf, 1 : Bay leaf is great for joints and skin and are packed with Vitamin A & C and many other minerals like iron, potassium and manganese. They are pungent and bitter in taste. I grow bay leaves in my garden so I can tell you that the fresh ones and dried ones are quite different. Use the dried ones only please. Bay leaves can grow into small trees giving lifetime supply 🙂
  • Lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon : Sour and acidic, with a good amount of citric acid, we add lemon here not just to enhance the sour essence but also to use it’s hydrating and digestive qualities.
  • Garlic cloves, 3 : The King Pungent. Pungency is the reason why we use this allicin rich clove which combats sickness and common cold.
  • Turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Turmeric gives a great orange color and a mild bitter taste to the dish. It is a wonderful antioxidant and anti inflammatory. Though I’ve started growing turmeric in my garden, it’s not been used as a dried spice yet.
  • Coriander, chopped, 1 tablespoon : Again, this comes straight from my garden. Gives an orangy zest, coriander is again a blood regulator.
  • Red Chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon : Red chilies have a sharper, earthier essence then the fresh green ones. They are a good source of Vitamin C, A and E hence beneficial for skin and hair.
  • Lemon grass, 1 teaspoon : I learnt that lemongrass is a mild astringent and helps controlling fever, cough, digestion, blood pressure etc. besides adding a wonderful citrus zest to the dish.
  • Green chili, 1 deseeded : Great for eyes and skin, green chilies are the healthiest ones to bring in the bitter zing in any dish. I used them here, freshly plucked from my garden to bring in their essence. I deseeded them well to ensure it being kids friendly. I pick the less bitter ones from my garden.
  • Ginger, 1 teaspoon, chopped : This south asian spice king is a great compliment to garlic. It helps us in getting rid of morning sickness, nausea and muscle pain as well. It’s tea is a widely used generic organic medicine.
  • Table salt : I used 1/2 teaspoon here

….time to cook ‘n roll (preparing instructions)

  • Peel off the yam and shave well so as not to have any skin sticking. They grow inside the soil so may never be clean enough. Slice them into rounds not increasing 1 centimeter in thickness and 1 & 1/2 inch in width.. Now put it in a pressure cooker and boil for 1 whistle. Then take it off and allow it to cool.
  • While the yam cools, add the garlic cloves, the ginger, the green chili, turmeric, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, some salt and the lemon grass in a blender and grind well into a masala paste.
  • Now shallow fry the yam slices using mustard oil till they have lost all their sap. Recall, how I explained (Jimikand ki Sabzi) , that this was a critical step to prevent the sap biting in your throat at ready stage. Fry till it turns golden brown and then set aside.
  • Now heat the mustard oil in a pan (enough to shallow fry). To this add the cumin, mustard (remaining), fenugreek and bay leaf and stir on medium flame till sputtering starts.
  • Now add the earlier ground masala paste and saute’ for 3 minutes on medium flame till well cooked.
  • Add your Yam slices to it now and 1/2 a cup of water. Mix well and cook covered for 7 – 9 minutes till well done. Stir a few times during the cooking to prevent sticking.
  • Platter your dish, garnish with freshly harvested and chopped coriander, squeeze the lemon juice over it and serve steaming. You are ready to miss the count of the breads that disappear fast now.

Storage : This can be refrigerated for 4 days.

Missing Something ? : Skip the chilies or vary it’s quantity if you have have kids being served.

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