Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Kurukku Kalan in a Foreign Land

This post is part of Onam and Sadya. The recipe below will make enough to serve 6 - 8 people for Sadya. Measurements are only approximate.

Kurukku means any liquid form, which includes solids, that has been reduced or thickened. Kurukku Kalan is prepared by simmering vegetables in a yoghurt and coconut based sauce, until it reduces to a thick creamy
consistency. This form of Kalan is served on the banana leaf with other side-dishes for a sadya, unlike the Rasakalan (this has a pouring consistency) which is served instead of pulissery as the third course in Sadya.

My Mum got this recipe from her friend Usha (from Thrissur), long back, when I was just a little baby. And it has been a favourite in our house ever since and we prefer kurukku kalan to the other kalan.

Here, in Melbourne I make it using Greek Yoghurt. I've tried the recipe with the many different types of yoghurts available here and have got the best result with the Greek variety.Also, Kalan is traditionally made with Yam and Raw Banana. But since Raw Banana is hard to come by in Melbourne, I substitute it with Chinese Potato (Koorka) which is why I named it "Kurukku Kalan in a Foreign Land".

  • 1 cup yam, diced
  • 1 cup chinese potato (Saras cooked and ready to use)
  • 3/4 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • A pinch of chilly powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Greek Yoghurt
To grind
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 green chilly
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
To temper
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chilly, broken into small pieces
1. Cook yam in water with pepper powder and turmeric powder. When this is almost done add chinese potato, chilly powder and salt and mix well. Continue cooking till the yam and chinese potato mixture is dry. Now add greek yoghurt and simmer in low flame until the gravy thickens and is almost dry.
2. In the meantime, make a fine paste with ingredients under "to grind". Add this paste to the vegetable and thickened yoghurt mixture and mix well. Continue to cook for 3 -5 minutes over low flame and then remove from flame.
3. In a pan, heat coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves and red chilly. Pour immediately over kalan.

Serve hot or cold with rice.

It is said that Kalan prepared this way have a self life of 1 week even if not kept in the refrigerator.

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