Ol Chingri r Dalna (Elephant Foot Yam Curry with Prawn)

For some reason unknown, these days my husband got so enthusiastic about ‘ol’, a seasonal vegetable of highly moderate status; not even much well known either, that he buys it every other day and I am compelled to prepare curry out of it. As this story is recurring much too often, I am prompted to try different dishes with ol to make it a bit more interesting. Thus I arrive at the present dish, where I make diced ol marry with prawns in a spicy curry. The presence of potato pieces make it even more delightful, as usual though. To be noted here that this dish is not at all invented by me, but collected from a old popular recipe. To people, who are aware about ol, this dish might seem interesting. And for the rest, here comes a dose of GK on ol. Falling in the category of ‘Yam’ (sweet potato etc.), ol is basically a tropical ‘tuber’ crop which is nothing but a much thickened underground part of stem. It has an interesting English name ‘Elephant Foot Yam’ probably due to its jumbo size.

Ol Chingri r Dalna (Elephant Foot Yam Curry with Prawn)

Ingredients to serve 2-3 :

  1. Elephant Foot Yam (Ol) – 250 gm.
  2. King Prawns – 250 – 300 gm.
  3. Potato – 1 (large)
  4. Chopped tomato – 1 (small)
  5. Slit green chili – 2
  6. Ginger – 1″ piece (make a paste out of it)
  7. Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
  8. Bay leaf – 1
  9. Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
  10. Turmeric powder – 1 + ¼ teaspoon
  11. Red chili powder – ½ teaspoon
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Mustard oil – ½ cup (small)

Procedure :

Remove the shell, head and tail of the prawns, devein them and wash thoroughly. Smear salt and ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder on prawns and keep it aside.

Peel and wash the elephant foot yam. Cut the yam into large chunks.

Peel and wash the potato. Cut the potato into large cubes.

Boil water in a medium size bowl. Add ½ teaspoon of salt into the water. Cook the yam for 15- 20 minutes in the boiling water putting a lid on. As soon as the yam get soft, discard the water and keep aside the cooked yam.

Heat oil in a pan or kadai over medium flame. Add the prawns and fry till they start changing colour. Do not overcook the prawns otherwise they will turn chewy and hard. Keep the fried prawns aside.

Fry the potato and yam cubes separately in the remaining oil for 3-4 minutes and then keep aside. Use salt and ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder while frying the vegetables.

Now add cumin seeds and bay leaf into the oil and saute for a while.

Add chopped tomato, ginger paste and green chili. Cook the mixture till tomato gets mushy.

Add cumin powder, red chili powder and remaining turmeric powder. Cook the spice mixture till oil comes out from it.

Add fried potato and yam. Mix the vegetables with spices well and cook for couple of minutes.

Add 1 large cup of water and salt to taste. As the water comes to boil, add fried prawns and then cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes.

Put the flame off as all the vegetables cooked well and the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.

Serve with plain rice.

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