Senaikkizhangu (Elephant yam) masiyal

Another favourite in my family, this is a tart and spicy thick sambar made with mashed yam and tamarind. You need to ensure that the yam is cooked well in a pressure cooker before mashing. Yam tends to cause itching in some people as it contains calcium oxalate/saponins juice which, when it comes in contact with the skin starts to itch. To neutralise the itching put the cut yam pieces in tamarind water before cooking. To avoid itching in your hands while cutting the yam, rub some coconut oil on your hands before handling the yam.

Yam – 300-400 gms
Tamarind – size of 1 medium lemon
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


For the garnish
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Curry leaves – 8-10
Oil – 1 tbsp

Cut the yam into 1” cubes after peeling carefully and keep in water so it doesn’t get discoloured. Remove the water and cook well in the pressure cooker after which you can mash it and keep it aside.

Make 2 cups tamarind water and boil this in a kadai with salt, turmeric powder and sambar powder. When the raw tamarind smell disappears, add the mashed yam and continue cooking till the yam is well mixed into a homogeneous masiyal. Remove from stove. Pop mustard seeds in the oil and add the urad dal and fry till it is golden brown in colour. Add the chillies, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves and pour over the masiyal. Serve with hot rice and ghee. Serves 4.

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