Elephant Yam Curry (Karunai Kilangu Curry)

Elephant yam or elephant foot yam is called Karunai Kilangu in tamil and Suran in hindi. The botanical name of this plant is Amorphophallus paeoniifolius which belongs to the Araceae family.  It is a tropical tuber crop of Southeast Asian origin.  The skin of this tuber is dark brown and thick with orange flesh.  Normally the ones we get in Sri Lanka has a tendency to itch hand when peeling and cutting.  Due to this after peeling and cutting, hands are washed in salt water.

Since I could not find any fresh yam, I am using the frozen one.  The advantage of using frozen one is that you don’t need to peel which is quite tedious and also no itchy hands.

This recipe is quite spicy.  Please adjust the amount of chili powder according to taste.


  • 12 oz pack chopped frozen karunai kilangu (yam)
  • Canola oil for deep frying
  • ½ cup sliced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • ¼ cup coconut milk or 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons Sri Lankan chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon tamarind paste/concentrate
  • Salt to taste


  • Thaw yam.  Heat oil in a frying pan and add chopped yam and fry until crisp and lightly browned
  • Drain on paper towel

  • In a covered saucepan add canola oil and add onion and garlic and fry until onion is golden brown
  • Add fried suran to the saucepan and mix well.
  • Add water, chili powder, salt and cover and cook for about 5 – 6 minutes
  • Add tamarind paste, **coconut milk, curry leaves and cook for another 6 – 7 minutes or until gravy is quite thick.
  • **if you are using normal 2% milk, after cooking for 5 – 6 minute with salt, chili powder add tamarind paste and cook for another 5 – 6 minutes or until gravy starts thickening slightly.  Add milk and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes
  • Note: When using tamarind paste with 2% normal milk in a recipe, first the tamarind should be cooked completely before adding milk.  Otherwise milk will start curdling and the curry will not get thick and tasty.

Yields: 3 – 4 servings as a side dish

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s