Tuesday, November 11, 2014

sooran (zamikand) ki chutney | a raw chutney with Elephant foot yam

Chutneys are a great way to bring some tangy flavours in a meal, a condiment much needed when the meal is otherwise plain. Some people take pride in serving several types of chutneys in one meal but it is possible for me only when I have made a few chutneys over the week and have cleverly stocked them all in the fridge.

sooran (zamikand) ki chutney

I can't make fresh chutneys for all meals although I try and have our raw salad like batons of cucumber, carrots, radishes, tomato slices or onion slices on the side to make up for the vegetable intake in every meal. This is how everyday meals are served in the traditional way too, some subzi, some sauteed greens (saag), some daal, roti and rice, few chutneys (both sweet and savoury type) and some raw slices of salad vegetables. The combination will be the same even if there are non veg dishes on the menu but nuclear families don't bother to cook the whole hog. Chutneys come handy when the meals are simpler, they don't make you miss a spread on the dining table. Pickles also do the same.

sooran (zamikand) or Elephant foot Yam

I had never known about this sooran ki chutney, neither had I known about raw sooran being edible. Sooran or zamikand is one of those vegetables with so high Oxalic acid content that it itches the skin wherever it comes in contact with it. Even after cooking it itches the throat and the whole palate if the Oxalic acid crystals are not neutralized by some acidic addition like lime juice, tamarind etc. to the curry. Eating it raw would be scary I thought when I first saw my sister in law making this chutney with sooran. But then we kept taking small helpings of sooran ki chutney over the next few days it was so tasty. But more than being tasty, this chutney has a lot of medicinal value, good for digestive tract, great for inflamed (rheumatic) joints as well as for blood purifying.

The other ingredients used in this sooran ki chutney help in the overall benefits of this corm vegetable. Chilies, ginger, garlic and tamarind are all known as anti inflammatory and this chutney would be good for everyday meals. Tamarind also works for neutralizing the Oxalic acid in sooran and you don't feel any itching in the chutney. Even if the chutney is freshly made, this was a surprise even for me.

sooran (zamikand) or Elephant foot Yam


a cup of cubed sooran (cleaned and washed nicely)
2 tbsp thick tamarind paste or pulp made using about 30 gm tamarind or more if you wish
1 tbsp lime juice
4-5 whole dry red chillies
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger root
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp yellow mustard powder
salt to taste
drizzle of mustard oil (cold pressed)


Pulse everything together in a food processor to make a fine paste.

Empty into a clean glass or ceramic jar.

Drizzle a tbsp mustard oil and serve as required.

This chutney keeps well in the fridge for 2 weeks. I like to have a tbsp of this chutney with my meals 3-4 times a week.

sooran (zamikand) ki chutney

The chutney doesn't change much with time regarding taste but the colour becomes a little dull after 2 weeks or so. If you use a little more mustard powder in this recipe you can use it like mustard sauce for your sandwiches and dressings.

You can also use fresh green tender tamarind if you get those. I have tried this sooran ki chutney with green and brown tamarind both and it tastes great both ways.

Adding some fresh coconut to this sooran ki chutney makes it a chutney suitable for idli and dosa as well. I was actually surprised to see how well sooran blends for a chutney. Please feel free to do your own experiments but take care to add enough sour agent like tamarind or lime or both.

ry it once and see if you would like to make it frequently during sooran season. I remember my grandmother used to make a very nice sooran ka achar with grated sooran, lot of ginger and chillies, All of us used to love that pickle. Now that I am posting sooran recipes on the blog, I must ask my mom about the recipe of sooran ka achar that used to last the whole year.

Tell me if you have heard about sooran ka chokha. The recipe will be shared soon as I am now buying sooran whenever I spot a nice and fresh corm in the market.


  1. i am really very fond of chutney's it may be of any type but it should be a bit spicy....i loved the recipe of the chutney and will try it as soon as possible as bcz winter is ahead and bread pakora requires a chutney for sure....thank u for sharing this awsome recipe....keep posting with such wonderful posts.....