Karunai Kizhangu Varuval


Simple home style yam fry.  This vegetable is quite hard to find here in US, some Oriental stores have them. Indian stores have these in the frozen aisle. (Karunai Kilangu / Sena Kilangu / Yam fry / Yam Varuval)

Elephant Foot Yam – English

Karunai Kizhangu / Sennai Kizhangu – Tamil

Chenna – Malayalam

Suran – Hindi / Marathi

Karrapendalam – Telugu

1 cup Karunai kizhangu (15 pieces)
2 tbsp Oil
¼ tsp Salt (or to taste)
3 stks Coriander leaves (for garnishing)
7 nos Curry leaves
¼ tsp Cumin seeds
3 tsp Coriander /dhania powder
1 tsp Red chili powder
¼ tsp Garam masala powder
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
3 tsp Tamarind pulp (consistency thin)
½ tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 no Green chili (slit open)
1 no Tomato (diced)
2 no Onion (chopped)





Heat about 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add the Kizhangu pieces along with a pinch of turmeric, cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium flame. When done, drain the water and keep the steamed yam aside. Now heat oil in a pan and splutter cumin and curry leaves. Fry the chopped onions and green chilies until golden. Add in the ginger garlic paste, saute for few seconds and then add the chopped tomatoes along with turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masla powder. Fry them till the oil separates(takes about 2 to 3 minutes). Now add the steamed yams along with tamarind pulp  and salt. Fry over low flame till the masala coats well. (Fry gently to avoid mashing) Switch off, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with sambar sadam(rice).






Servings - 3 to 4



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8 comments to Karunai Kizhangu Varuval

  • S.Subramaniane

    I am a post graduate in Agriculture. Karunai is very small in size smaller than a coconut copra and Sennai is comparatively huge in size. Both are different

  • rajiselva

    i agree with arunInkitchen. All the three are different and the explanation given by him/her is also correct

  • All three are different. Karunai Kizhangu, Senai Kizhangu and Seppan Kizhangu. May be they are from same family(not sure). 1. Usually my mom makes senai kizhangu varuval very often. Senai Kizhangu is the one in big size called Elephant Yam. Usually they sell it by cutting into half or quarted pieces. I love senai kizhangu varuval.. yummy Pic1: http://www.uga.edu/rootandtubercrops/photos/elephantyamcorm.jpg Pic2: http://img525.imageshack.us/my.php?image=elephantyam1un5.jpg 2. Karunai Kizhangu is ordinary Yam. Smaller in size. Karunai Kizhangu Masiyal is a quite popular dish in south india and very good for health, particularly stomach problems, piles, etc,… Pic: 3. Third is seppankizhangu. It is smaller in size. sometimes difficult to differentiate between seppankizhangu and karunai kizhangu. I guess this is what is called as arbi or arvi. I am really not a great fan of this. Though I have even it few times. My mom has made seppankizhangu masala. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • nanshy

    Karunai and Senai are the same. this is the big round one.  called yam.. Cheppangkilangu is the other one. There are the ones size of potatoes.. :) called taro roots/arbi… Hope this helps!!!

  • Visitor

    Both are the same. My Srilankan friends call senai kizhangu as karunai kizhangu.

  • Arul

    Senna kizhangu and karuna kizhangu both are different mullai.

    • Mullai

      Hi Arul,

      I did quite a research on this and found out that they are the same or at least from the same yam family. Don't have a picture to share as we only get the frozen stuff over here. I would be happy to make a correction if you clarify with a picture or link to sort out the difference.

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