Pink Yam Kootu

Pink yam is one of the few seasonal produce available here merely for a couple of weeks during Pongal festival every year. Generally we include a whole array of locally grown seasonal tubers & vegetables into the preparation of our traditional repast to celebrate this harvest festival. So I use a few pieces of pink yam for the festive meal, and save the remaining for preparing delicious kootu, kofta & fries later.

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Pink Yam Kootu

Vethala Valli Kizhangu (Pink yam):

Pink yams are my favourite native tubers for the impeccable texture & flavour. They are not so slimy as taro (Colocasia/ cheppankizhangu) and also not so starchy as potato. So we can play around with this delicious tuber by steaming, boiling, baking, frying, roasting & stir-frying them and prepare crispy chips & fries, crumbly puttu or podimas and also squishy masiyal & dumplings. My favourites are yam kootu & fries, I find yam kootu more palatable than vegetable kootu and yam fries more delectable than potato finger chips.

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Pink yam fries

We usually prepare vegetable kootu with moong dal and the curry paste using coconut meat, green chilli & shallots, but for the tuber kootu we prefer to use Bengal gram and the masala made of coconut, pepper & garlic. Now I have prepared spicy creamy pink yam kootu with Bengal gram & pepper that goes well with any sambar, rasam or kuzhambu. You may check out my other kootu recipes here.

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Lunch with valli kizhangu kootu & avarakkai poriyal

Preparing the yam:

Pink yam has slightly pinkish flesh covered by inner pink skin (hence the name) and the outer black skin. Both the flesh & skins may cause mildly stinging pain, so it is preferred to use hand gloves while cleaning, peeling the skin and chopping the flesh. But cooked yam does not cause any irritation to the skin or tongue unlike elephant’s foot yam. Now let’s prepare pink yam kootu:

Pink Yam Kootu Recipe:

vethala-valli-kilangu Pink Yam Kootu
Vethala Valli Kizhangu


I feel this kootu may turn insipid without the addition shallots & coconut tempered in coconut oil. The coconut paste & coconut oil make this dish creamy and Bengal gram & the tempering add the delicious texture.

Main Ingredients:
Pink yam (chopped)300 gram
Bengal gram (split chickpeas)50 gram
Turmeric powder1 tsp
Salt1 tsp
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For making coconut masala:
Coconut meat10 pieces (each 2″)
Peppercorns2 tsp
Cumin seeds1/2 tsp
Garlic3 pods
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For Tempering:
Coconut oil1 tbsp
Mustard seeds1 tsp
Split blackgram1 tsp
Curry leaves1 sprig
Shallots (chopped)as desired
Coconut pieces (chopped)as desired
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Mise en place:

  • Coconut masala: Grind all the masala ingredients by adding water and keep aside.
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Coconut masala
  • Tempering: Fry the chopped coconut & shallots in coconut oil until translucent as shown below and transfer to a bowl.
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How to prepare yam kootu:

  • Heat a heavy bottom cooking pot with water in high flame.
  • Add chopped yam, Bengal gram & turmeric powder into the water and bring to boil.
  • When both the yam & lentils cooked soft add salt and mix well.
  • Now stir in coconut masala and reduce the heat to low.
  • Finally add the tempering and remove from heat.
  • Serve yam kootu with rice.
yk-recpe Pink Yam Kootu
Yam kootu recipe

69 comments on “Pink Yam KootuAdd yours →

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  1. Ooh I want those yam fries!
    I must look out for yams – many people think that they are interchangeable with sweet potatoes, but they are not the same thing.

  2. Very nice recipe sounds delicious. I have heard about Valli kilangu, but I don’t think it grows in my area and unfortunately never tasted it. I believe it is related to the rasavalli kilangu?

    1. I think valli kizhangu grows mainly in Tamilnadu, and the rasavalli kilangu are popular in Srilanka. I don’t think they both are same.
      As far as I am concerned valli kizhangu is one of the best kizhangu in terms of flavor. Hope you could get a chance to try this.
      Thanks so much for your constant support, it really means a lot.

  3. This looks and sounds yummy! I don’t think we have pink yams in South Africa. Closest is the sweet potato with the greenish insides.

    1. Yes, I’m scared to touch the yam, but still I tried this as I need to wait for a year to see these delicious yam again. πŸ™‚
      Thanks much, Radhika.

  4. I love yam and this recipe sounds so flavorful , love the spiced coconut base and the tempering in it. Will definitely try this sometime. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I like this recipe , Megala. We make a similar yam curry for a festival (Thirvathirai) along with other root vegetables and pulses. Its so tasty! πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, we could find similar recipes with different ingredients in different regions across South India.
      Thanks Indira!

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