India is Yam Heaven – so many more varieties there than are grown or available here. Two outstanding ones are Elephant Yam, and Elephant Foot Yam. Sadly, these two get confused, even by Indian bloggers and writers. It took me quite a while and lots of conversations to sort the two out.
While you can’t purchase them in the shops here, not even in Asian or Indian shops, you might just find them in the frozen section of your South Indian grocery store. It is worth searching them out, just to try them and to say that you have eaten Elephant (Foot) Yam.
If you have any more information about these yams, please share.
Elephant Foot Yam | Senai Kizhangu
And luckily, Meenakshi Ammal, in her books Cook and See, has some recipes in her Masiyal section of the Poritha Kuzhambu chapter. In Tamil, the yams are Karunaikizhangu and Chenai (or Senai) Kizhangu. Another name for the Elephant Foot Yam is Suran Jingikand.
Elephant Yam | Karunaikizhangu
According to Meenakshi Ammal, the two different yams can be used interchangeably in the three Masiyal recipes that I am going to make and share with you. Today’s recipe is made with toor dal (red gram dal) and uses tamarind.