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Kaalan (Kerala style Yam and Plantain Curry)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian


  • 1 cup yam; diced
  • 1 raw plantain; diced
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns adjust to preferences
  • 1 green chilli
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ cup natural thick curd/yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek/uluva seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chilli
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • Salt to season


  • Add the diced yams, red chilli powder, half of the turmeric powder and salt to a pan; add 1 cup water, bring to boil and cook covered till the yams are completely cooked to a consistency where it can be mashed. Add more water if necessary but not too much; remember that a thick mash is what is needed at the end. (You can use a pressure cooker also).
  • In another pan, cook the diced plantain with the remaining turmeric powder, water and salt till just done so that the pieces are cooked but still have a bite to it.
  • Grind the coconut, black peppercorns, green chilli, and cumin along with curd to a fine paste. If the curd is a bit sour, add a pinch of sugar too.
  • Once the yam is cooked well and mashed, add the plantain to this along with the ground paste. Simmer on low heat till mixed thoroughly. Add the ghee and continue to mix on low heat till the thick consistency is reached. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  • For the tempering, heat coconut oil and crackle mustards seeds. Add the fenugreek seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves.
  • Pour this over the top of the prepared curry, remove from heat and keep covered for at least 10 minutes before serving.