Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti (Sautéed Chinese Potato)
Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti/ Sautéed Chinese Potato is a wonderful side dish, served with rice in Kerala, especially in Central Travancore region. Mezhukkupuratti is a common style of cooking in Kerala, where vegetables are cooked and smeared with mezhukku(oil), shallots and spices. It can be made with most vegetables and lentils like Kaya (Unripe Banana), Chena Mezhukkupuratti, Kovakka mezhukkupuratti, Potato, Beans, Vanpayar Ularthu, Achinga Payar (String Beans) Kaya Mezhukkupuratti, Cherupayar ularthiyathu, Brinjal, Ladies Finger etc. This also happens to be my favorite Mezhukkupuratti; I have a profound love for ‘Koorkka’ ever since childhood.
Koorkka/ Chinese Potato is a seasonal vegetable available in Kerala during winter season. It is very tasty and simple to make, but cleaning them is really a hard task. It requires real patience and some good time to wash off all the dirt/ skin and make it fit enough for cooking. Once you succeed cleaning them, the rest is cake walk (don’t mind the blackened hands, a little lime and scrubbing will bring back all glory!).
All my wonderful memories of Koorkka and Dal curry are linked to my darling Kochammu (my aunt), who would tirelessly make this delightful combination whenever I visit her in winter. Now, when I am doing the whole process alone, I am thinking how hard it would have been for her to make it again and again on my request. She is such a darling and I was fortunate to have the same Dal curry and Koorkka combination during my recent Kerala visit. another favourite combo is Koorkka and Tomato Rasam. Since I was craving for more, I purchased Koorkka on my way to Champakulam and the very next day set on preparing it. Needless to say, it took so much time than I had anticipated! First, I got a jute bag to put the koorkka and gently started beating it on the floor. Most of the skin came off; then with a knife I scraped off the remaining skin and it took such a long time. My fingers were all brown and I had a difficult time cleaning them, but the dish was fabulous. Instead of Dal, this time it was Beef Fry, Kakka Irachi Ularthiyathu, Papaya Thoran, Kumbalanga Moru Curry and Allepey Fish Curry. Yum Yum!! So, here is the simple recipe for Kerala Style Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti. Serve and Enjoy with rice.
|Koorkka/ Chinese Potato||: ½ kg|
|Coconut strips||: little|
|Coconut Oil||: 1 tbsp|
|Mustard||: ½ tsp|
|Shallots/ Small Onions||: 6-8 nos.|
|Garlic cloves||: 5 nos.|
|Crushed Dried Red Chilies||: 2 tsp|
|Pepper Powder||: ½ tsp|
|Turmeric Powder||: ½ tsp|
|Curry leaves||: few|
Clean the Koorkka nicely. Put them in a jute bag if you have any and gently beat on the floor. Most of the skin can be removed this way. Then scrape the rest of the skin with a knife. Wash and keep them in clean water and dice them into squares evenly and keep in water. Take a pan, cover and cook the Koorkka in half glass water with a pinch of turmeric powder, coconut strips and salt. Once it is nicely cooked, keep aside. Crush the onion and garlic. In a pan, heat coconut oil, splutter mustards, add crushed onion, garlic, and curry leaves. Sauté for some time.
Put the chili flakes, Turmeric Powder and Pepper Powder and fry. Add the cooked Koorkka and stir fry for some time.
- Add just enough water while cooking Koorkka. Cook till just done or it will lose its crunchy texture.
- You can pressure cook till the first whistle to get it perfectly cooked.
- Use coconut oil for frying, as it gives you a nice aroma and best flavors.
- After adding the Koorkka to the tempering, toss/stir fry for few minutes.
- The Koorkka should be little moist and not too dry.
Hope you liked this wonderful recipe for Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti. I would really love it if you could put in your comments and share with your friends using the Face book, Twitter, Google + buttons on the side; that would really motivate me to post more home tried recipes. God Bless!!