March 11, 2013

{Amma's Recipes} - Andhra Style Kanda Bachali Koora | Suran (Elephant Foot Yam) and Malabar Spinach Curry Recipe

Amma's recipes is a column on this blog, which is very close to my heart. These are the recipes which my mother perfected over many many years and reflects how awesome a cook she is. It is also fun to just photograph once in a while, without thinking about what and how to make a recipe, worrying whether it would turn out well or not. She Cooks, I Photograph. That is the deal. :-) If you guys have any question, do drop in a line or comment on this post. My mom will be more than happy to answer all of them.

It's been a while since I featured any of the mother's signature recipes here, on the blog. Life has been busy for her and for me too. Now, we rarely get time to meet let alone cook together except for Sundays.

Malabar Spinach (Bachali in Telugu) creeper from my mom's backyard.
My father, just like TH is an avid gardener. He has planted so many varieties of flowers, vegetables, greens etc in our backyard. The malabar spinach leaves used in today's recipe are from the same garden. Its a recipe very close to my heart as it depicts my childhood. Till today, whenever my mother makes this curry,  little sister and I fight for our share. :-)

All my andhra readers would vouch for the nostalgia associated with this simple koora. :-) If you ever find elephant foot yam in your grocery stores (fresh or frozen), don't just pass it on. Grab it at once and make this recipe. You can also try substituting with spinach leaves, if the malabar spinach leaves are not available.


the time consuming part - to clean & cut the kanda (suran). It tougher than any other root, but its worth  the effort!

{Recipe} Andhra Style Kanda Bachali Koora | Suran (Yam) and Malabar Spinach Curry 

Source: My mother
Serves: as a side dish for 3-4 people


about 1/2 kg Kanda (Elephant Foot Yam) -  In US, these are also available as frozen, cut pieces in Indian grocery stores.
about 50 bachali aaku (malabar spinach) leaves
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
2 green chilies
few pinches of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
salt - to taste
1 tbsp oil

For tadka - 1 tsp urad dal, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 2 tsp chana dal, 3 red chillies and a pinch of hing


1. Peel and cut the yam into equal sized cubes. Boil them for 20 mins and cover for 10 more minutes.

2. Wash and chop malabar spinach leaves. Keep aside.

3. Heat oil in a kadai and add all the ingredients listed for "tadka" one-by-one along with green chilies. Let them splutter a bit. Then add spinach leaves and cook until they are wilted. Add tamarind pulp.

4. Season with salt, sugar, turmeric and red chilli powder. Mix well.

5. Now add the boiled yam cubes. Mix everything until blended. Reduce heat to low and cook for 10-15 mins. Remove from heat and add some cumin powder. Stir and its ready to serve with hot rice and ghee.

Sending this dish as an entry to Healthy Vegan Fridays and The Wellness Weekend.

This is Recipe 16 added to my 2013 Recipe Archive. Check out the rest of the recipes too!


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until next recipe,


  1. Such a delicious and authentic curry... Chala chala bagundi :D

  2. I have never had this but i gave th elink to my sister as her hubby is from Andhra and i tild her if she want she can make this for him :-)

  3. One of my favorite Andhra dishes and I'm sure this tasted excellent since your mom made it :-)

  4. Such a unique combination of vegetables. Will try it soon!

  5. Hi, I came across this recipe yesterday on your blog and made it today. I absolutely loved it. Never thought of combining spinach and yam this way. The taste was awesome. Please convey thanks to your amma for such a flavourful recipe.

  6. Traditional Andhra favourite one....hummmm....yummy yummy.....


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