Kaalan/ Kalan is an important dish for the traditional Kerala feast. A yogurt based curry with firm veggies like chena( Elephant yam/suran,) ,Pacha kaya( raw plantain) etc.The veggie combinations and consistency of gravy change little bit from region to region but the name remains same. I have not used pacha kaya but half of one kaya can be used here it. If u like mashed pieces cook along with chena or cook separately and add before the coconut & yogurt mixture is added.
I like slightly thick kaalan for sadhya and little more gravy on other days.
When kaalan is served for Kerala sadhya it will be pretty thick it is known as katti kaalan / kuruku kalan that will never flow out of the plantain leaf.
Chena/Suran/Elephant Yam -Around 1/4 of a medium sized root peel removed cleaned washed and cubed .or if u are using frozen suran then around 1to11/2 cups cut into cubes.
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Pepper powder -1/2 tsp
Black pepper corns-1 tsp
Cumin- 1/3 tsp
Green chilies 2-3
Yogurt / curd- 1 cup (sour & thick) use sour cream if u can get that
Coconut grated -1/2 - 3/4 cup
Fenugreek powder - a pinch (dry roast fenugreek seeds till brown and powder it )
Mustard - 1 tsp
whole red chilli -2
Curry leaves - few
Coconut oil- 3-4 tsp
Salt to taste
1. Grind the coconut ,pepper corns cumin,green chili adding yogurt.(no water is added)
2.Boil the yam/chena adding 2 green chili slit ,pepper powder and turmeric powder also adding just enough water to cover the pieces (I like slightly thick kaalan for sadhya and little more gravy on other days)
.When it is cooked (not mushy) reduce flame to lowest add the coconut mixture and salt. Let this cook for a few minutes,may take five minutes or more. Keep stirring it until it boils (stirring is very important other wise the yogurt and coconut will split and look very unappetizing).
Once it boils remove the curry from flame keep aside. (Do not leave it on burner even if it is switched off, the heat from burner continues to cook and curdle it )
3.Heat few tsps of coconut oil to it add whole mustard seeds when t crackles add whole red chili and curry leaves.Let it cool down a bit then pour this seasoning on top of the curry and also the fenugreek powder. mix once cover and keep it for few minutes.As the curry sits and cools down it will thicken a bit ,do keep that in mind.
Serve warm along with rice and other sadhya items. It can also be served on other days for a simple meal along with other spicy side dishes.
Note : Keep kaalan in an earthenware or glass container to last longer.
Hope u like my version of kaalan . Do give this recipe a try and enjoy the feast with family and friends.