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Bengali Ol’er Daalna OR Elephant Foot Yam Curry - From The Corner Table
Gosh! Have you ever marvelled and shaken your head at the ease with which the child version of you was made a fool of? I do! Seems I was a rather happy-go-lucky and trusting child, willing to believe almost everything the parents told me. And when it came to food – and yes, I was born a food worshipper – everything the parents said was taken as the gospel truth. Probably the reason why Maa got away with convincing me that the elephant foot yam curry and the raw jackfruit curry that she would make often were actually meat curries. Seems I was rather demanding a food lover and wanted “chicken” every day. Not a very good idea in a city where the temperatures leaned towards hot more than the cold. Digestion issues and all that stuff, pointed out Maa when I glared at her for lying to the child me. Luckily for the mother (and me!), I fell in love with both these dishes and have relished them since. So when Maa’s returned from a shopping trip the other day with a chunk of elephant foot yam and declared “it’s time you learned to make this”, I was happy to enter the chicken. Oops… kitchen. While the raw jackfruit is not as easily available in my city, the elephant foot yam is often found at the corner vegetable shop or the roadside vegetable vendor. Today’s recipe is the classic Bengali-style ‘ol daalna’ or elephant foot yam curry. ‘Ol’ is the Bengali word for elephant foot curry that is called suran in Hindi and Gujarati. Cooked until the yam (coz elephant foot yam is quite a mouthful) is tender, this curry resembles the Bengali mutton curry in taste. There can never be a substitute for the latter but don’t underestimate this curry either. Yam is said to have several health benefits too, especially when eaten sans the spices. There have been times when we’ve boiled the yam, mashed and seasoned it with salt/ mustard oil before eating it with some steamed rice. Yes, it’s an acquired taste but not something to scoff at. Perhaps someday, I shall share with you a list of all the vegetables that we like to eat the simple way – boil, mash, season, mix with rice, gobble. Until then, why don’t you try making this curry and let me know how it turns out? Oh! Hold on! I hope you are following the blog on Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest. For regular updates, you can subscribe and join the mailing list. print