Kadle Suran Bhaji: Mangalorean Black Chickpeas With Yam
Image Credit: Simmer To Slimmer

Of all the varieties of yam that are cooked with in homes across India, the elephant yam is an underrated root vegetable. While there is no doubt that it is an ingredient that is difficult to prepare, the earthy flavour of the yam is too subtle to stand out on its own. What makes this yam unique is its ability to maintain structure even after it is cooked, which makes it a great replacement for potatoes or turnips, in dishes. Moreover, when combined with the protein-rich black chickpeas in a spicy sabzi, it is not too far off from being enjoyed with a plate of rice and sambar.

This recipe for kadle suran or suvarnagadde, is a classic Mangalorean side dish which has a different recipe depending on which home it is cooked in. Typically spicy with a hint of sweetness, this dish finds a spot in festive meals or food that is served on special occasions in Mangalore. With the popular Kundapur masala (same masala used to make ghee roast chicken) as the flavour base, the range of flavours oscillate from tangy-sour to sweet-spicy.



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Kanda Attu: Andhra-Style Dosa Made With Elephant Yam (Suran)

  • 250 grams elephant yam
  • 100 grams black chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 10 Byadgi chillies
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon jaggery powder
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste


Image Credits: Deepa's Rasoi

  • Drain and pressure cook the chickpeas for 4-5 whistles and allow to cool completely. Dice the elephant yam into tiny cubes and soak in tamarind water, until ready to use.
  • Toast the Byadgi chillies in a dry pan along with the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek and black peppercorns. Cool slightly before grinding into a fine powder.
  • Heat the oil in a kadhai and temper using the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until the onions begin to brown.
  • Add the cubed yam into the pan and stir everything together, until the aromatic oil has coated the pieces of yam thoroughly. Add a half cup of water and season lightly with salt, before putting on a lid and cooking it on a low heat for about 10-12 minutes.
  • Once the yam turns soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, add the cooked chickpeas to the kadhai and combine. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, grated coconut and the reserved Kundapur masala and toss well.
  • Once the mixture is fully homogenised, taste to check for seasoning, sprinkle on the grated coconut and serve warm.