Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti (ularthu) / Stir-fried Chinese Potatoes

Koorka, the much common root vegetable in Kerala, is yet another favourite of a Malayalee which finds its way on the lunch tables in many avatars! Known as Chinese Potatoes in English it has a distinct (yummy) flavour which differentiates from its cousins, arbi (chembu in malayalam; seppan kizhangu in Tamil, taro/colocasia in English)

Somehow I've rarely come across Koorka in TN in the name of 'koorkkan kizhangu' during winter and never outside these two states in the world. (Believe me, I dint get a chance to meet them in China too :))

Now, when you pick up koorka, see to it you select larger ones, having the size of a large gooseberry or a small sized lemon.

Wash well to get rid of the dirt and mud and scrape skin off with the serrated end of your knife. More about this process is explained here by my sis who had attempted making the side dish all on her own(not an easy job, for sure!) while her sis typing this comfortably had played 'over smart', shooting while her mom made the same ;)

Cut them into 1" long pieces as you see here and cook till 'just' done in salted, boiling water.

Now for the major ingredients, crushed shallots and garlic, fresh bits of coconut (thenga kothu) and the curry leaves. Oops! amma , where have those two red chillies gone??

To put it all together, to serve two, you need:

Koorka/Chinese potatoes cut and cooked till half done in salted boiling water- 1 cup
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Salt- to taste

Crush or Pulse together coarsely without water:

Shallots- 3-4
Garlic- 2-3 cloves
Dried red chillies- 2

To Season:

Coconut oil- a tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Coconut(copra)bits (thenga kothu)- 2 tbsps
Curry leaves- a sprig


  • Heat oil in a non stick pan. Splutter mustard seeds, stir in the bits of coconut until brown followed by the crushed/pulsed ingredients.
  • Sau till that wondddderful aroma spreads all around you.
  • Throw in the curry leaves. Mix in the pre-cooked koorka along with the turmeric power.
  • Stir- fry without closing the pan, checking salt, tossing now and then until the pieces acquire a golden brown hue and roasted.
  • Serve Koorka Mezhukkupuratti warm with rice and curry.

This recipe is off to Kerala Kitchen.


  1. Wow nicely roasted curry, perfect for smabar rice...supera iruku

  2. delicious and yummmmmmmmy curry which I would love to have with rasam rice.

  3. Koorkka mezhukkupuratti, my absolute favorite!!!

  4. Yummm, I love koorka! we don't get it here, only frozen. Isn't this the same vegetable that a lot of people are allergic to? I heard something about the skin causes itchiness or sth. like that?

  5. I am not a big fan of Koorka,but the pics look very tempting.We always make a simple upkari/mezhukkupuratti with a simple tadka.

  6. I love koorka!I've seen my mom worjing hard to remove the skin, but now I get ready peeled frozen ones! Yours look so yummy!

  7. I love koorka.....my version(on my blog) is very simple....no onions, garlic etc.....your pics are so tempting.
    Koorka is widely available here in Chennai during this season.

  8. The curry looks delicious! Love potato and this is a most try.

    Lite Bite

  9. Chinese or not, potatoes are the best. Love it :)

  10. I have to literally lift my jaw of the keyboard and remember to swallow...YUMMY :) Potatoes are the best ever, right?

  11. Wowo I have not had this in ages looks so so yumm.

  12. Have not cooked this kind of yam,the stir fry looks absolutely delicious ! Lovely clicks!

  13. bharathy..koorka is frozen ones here.:)) it looks really good. did i tell u we all liked ur sambhar powder coated plantains? delicious.

  14. Oh Bharathy I wish this yummiliscious koorka was part of our Kerala Kitchen feast! Really hope you will join us this month over at www.riascollection.blogspot.com
    Thank you so much for your encouragement in my first ever event :)

  15. From the photos, I think what you have shown is not Seppan Kezhangu, but Siru Kezhangu. The skin has a musky smell.

    Seppan Kezhangu is "Sticky potato" which has the sticky flesh when cooked.

  16. Sam, welcome to my space :)

    Hope u havent read the para well, I,ve clearly mentioned that this one is known as 'Koorkkankizhangu'/chinese potatoes and is different(distinct flavour) from its COUSIN, that is, arbi/chembu in malayalam and seppankizhangu in Tamil.
    Hope you get it now :)..havent heard of the other name 'sirukizhangu'.Thanks for the information :)

  17. The favorite thing !!! Koorkka is the root that every Mallu dreams about !! Looks so good .