Chena Mezhukkupuratti/ Yam fry / Chena Fry

Chena Mezhukkupuratti, also known as Elephant foot yam Fry, is very popular in Kerala. Since it is available throughout the year, a variety of dishes are made with Chena, like, Chena Mezhukkupuratti/ Chena stir fry, Chena chips, steamed Chena, Chena Theeyal etc. Other delicious dishes with Chena are Kalan, Sambar, Aviyal, Erissery, Koottu curry etc., where it is mixed with other veggies. Yam/ Chena fry is also known as chena Upperi, Chena Poriyal, Chena Roast etc and is a great combination with almost every dish, be it chicken fry or any thoran. My favourite combination is Chena fry, Papad, kadumanga achar and Rasam or Ulli theeyal with rice. Yum!

Yam has many health benefits; we have the tubular variety called “Kaachil” in Kerala, and “Chena” or Elephant Foot Yam. It has amazing health benefits as well. Chena helps to reduce cholesterol and is often known as slimming food. Since it has rich Vitamin ‘C’ content, Chena helps to fight infections and has powerful anti-oxidant properties. As it has high fiber content, it aids good digestion and prevents constipation. Check the health benefits below to know more about the health benefits of Chena.

Sometimes, Chena gets cooked easily and remain butter soft, although if it is dried up it will require more water and turns hard at times. Well, the Chena I got was buttery soft and delicious; (thanks to dear Annie and Linda) and cooked in no time. It was delicious and we relished even the tiny bits! Okay, think I should stop bugging you and explain about the recipe.

Chena Mezhukkupuratti is a very delicious side dish for rice; Chena or yam is cooked with garlic, onion, Pepper and other spices which gives it amazing flavors. Mezhukkupuratti means slow roasting and Chena is roasted/ stir fried in spices, onion and herbs. You may also like Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti, Kovakka Mezhukkupuratti, Vendakka Mezhukkupuratti, Beans Mezhukkupuratti, Van Payar Ularthiyathu, Kaya Ularthiyathu, Cherupayar Ularthiyathu, Achinga Payar Kaya Mezhukkupuratti, etc. Relish this spicy Chena Mezhukkupuratti with rice!

How to clean Chena/ Yam :

Care should be taken while cleaning Chena/ Yam. Some people find it Itchy, not me; it never bothered me really, as I love Chena in all forms and use it regularly. It all depends on how you clean it; remove the skin first and cut into slices and then wash/ rinse it immediately. Make sure you use a spoon while you rinse, (do not touch the water) and then drain it in colander. Hope it works for you too. If you find it itchy after this, just dab little coconut oil on the itching part and it will help to reduce, another way is to use gloves!!  🙂



Chena / Elephant Foot Yam: 300 gms
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
Kashmiri Chili Powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
salt: as required
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard: little
Green chili: 1
Whole red chilies: 2
Onion: 1
Small Onion: 5 – 6 nos.
Garlic: 4 cloves
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Pepper Powder: ½ tsp – 1 tsp
Garam Masala: ¼ tsp
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Chili flakes/ crushed red chili: ½ tsp


Care should be taken while cutting and cleaning the yam, as some varieties can be itchy. First, take the skin out with a sharp knife. Then take a board and cut into slices or cubes. Rinse it in water using spoon (do not touch the water) two times and drain in a colander. Cook the sliced Chena in a pan with one glass water, coriander powder, chili powder, Turmeric Powder and salt. Add more water if required to cook the Chena (depends on the yam) till it becomes tender and medium soft. Do not add excess water and let the water dry.

Chena Mezhukkupuratti / Yam Fry / Chena Fry Chena Mezhukkupuratti / Yam Fry / Chena Fry

Heat oil in a kadai, crackle mustards and add chopped Onion, crushed small onions, crushed garlic, split Green chili, curry leaves and red chili. Sauté for some time and add the turmeric powder, pepper powder and Garam Masala. Fry for few seconds and add chili flakes. Add the cooked Chena and combine well.

 Chena Mezhukkupuratti / Yam Fry / Chena Fry Chena Mezhukkupuratti / Yam Fry / Chena Fry Chena Mezhukkupuratti / Yam Fry / Chena Fry

Cover and let it cook on low flame for few minutes (stir in between) to coat the Chena with flavors. Serve hot with rice.


  • Chena should be cooked with little water so that it dries up completely when chena is cooked. If you drain excess water, the minerals and vitamins will be lost. However, if the yam is too hard, you may have to add more water.
  • You can add/ cook sliced onions along with yam and then sauté in crushed small onions and garlic later or follow the method above.
  • Crushed Garlic adds to the flavors.
  • Check the link to prepare Garam Masala at home.
  • You may add Perumjeerah powder / Fennel powder instead of Garam Masala.
  • Add more crushed chilies or Pepper powder, if you like it spicier.

Health Benefits of Yam /Chena:

  • Chena/ Yam is rich in Vitamin C and all other healthy nutrients that are essential for a well-balanced diet.
  • It contains much protein as well, for building muscles and strengthening bones.
  • Yam has cooling effect which helps to cure Hypertension.
  • Also known as slimming food, it aids weight loss and reduces Cholesterol levels.
  • Rich in Omega -3 fatty acids and other minerals, Chena has good amount of fiber too, which aids in good digestion and cures constipation.
  • Known to improve the immunity level, it helps to fight infection and has anti-ageing properties as well.
  • It is highly beneficial for women as it increases the estrogen levels in the body and maintains the hormonal balance. It has high Vitamin B6 levels also, which helps to control cramps.
  • If you are keen to know more about the health benefits of chena, check this link :

Hope you liked this Chena Mezhukkupuratti recipe. It would really motivate me if you will send me your comments or share with friends through the share buttons below. God Bless!

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