Yam in spicy coconut chutney (Surna Koot)

Yam in spicy coconut chutney (Surna Koot)

Suran in Konkani means yam and koot in Konkani refers to chutney made with spices. Surna koot is crunchy, crispy shallow fried yam dices in a spicy coconut chutney. A nice side dish to go with rice. Elephant foot yam - suran/surnu is a root used in a wide variety of dishes in Konkani cooking. One such Konkani delicacy is surna koot. 

The shallow fried, crunchy, crispy, salted yam are a pleasure to eat. I just love eating them as is. While I was a kid my mom used to shoo me away to keep the shallow fried yam from getting over before she prepared the chutney for the koot. ;-) The crispy shallow fried yam are that yummy! 

And when the crispy/crunchy shallow fried yam are added to the cocnut chutney with a strong flavour of asafoetida, they give the crunch that's needed and take the red chilli coconut chutney with a flavouful seasoning to a whole new level.


250 g yam
3/4 cup grated coconut
4-5 red chillies
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon tamarind
1/2 teaspoon mustard
Small piece of asafoetida
4 tablespoons of oil
Salt to taste 
8-10 curry leaves

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Preparation Method:

Prepping the yam:

You need to be a lot careful while chopping the yam, if you don't want itching hands for the next few hours.

Peel the yam and chop the yam into small dices. The pieces of yam shrink on frying, so don't make tiny pieces/dices. Keep the dices a little big.

After chopping the yam, wash the yam dices with water without bringing your hand in contact with yam.

Once the yam comes in contact with water, it starts to itch your hand if you touch them. So wash the yam only after you finely chop it.

Apply tamarind water, lemon juice to your hands before chopping the yam to prevent itching. The best way to prevent itching is to wash the yam without touching it with your hands and then strain the water using a strainer. Apply tamarind water/lemon juice to your hands to stop itching in case your hands have come in contact with wet yam. (Apply thick tamarind juice to your hands, leave it for 5mins and then wash your hands.)

Believe me you don't want to experience the itching!! I wish somebody had given me these tips the first two times I handled yam.

Frying the yam:

Heat a frying pan, add oil, yam pieces into it and fry them on medium heat.

Saute every now and then and fry until the pieces puff up and are nicely fried. The yam browns on frying. 

Don't over fry the yam as it gives a burnt taste and the awesome taste of yam is lost.

When the yam dices are almost fried, add salt and saute. Fry until all the rawness is gone and the yam dices are uniformly fried.

Remove off heat and allow the shallow fried yam to cool off completely. On cooling the fried yam gets crispy and crunchy. Hence, keep them aside to cool off completely.

Preparing the masala/chutney:

Meanwhile heat 1 teaspoon oil in a frying pan. Add fenugreek seeds. 

Once they start popping, add asafoetida, red chillies and fry for few minutes until you get the aroma of the red chillies. Remove off heat and allow them to cool completely.

Once cooled grind them into a smooth paste with tamarind and grated coconut using just as much as water required to form a smooth paste, as the koot is usually thick in consistency. 

Transfer the ground chutney into a bowl and keep it aside.


For seasoning the koot, heat oil in a tadka pan, add mustard seeds. If there isn't enough taste of fenugreek in your chutney, you can add few fenugreek seeds to the tempering along with mustard.

When the mustard starts popping, add curry leaves and two pieces of red chillies.

Fry for a minute and put off flame.

Add the seasoning to the ground chutney in the bowl and mix well.

Add the fried and cooled yam pieces into the chutney just before serving and mix well, that way the yam pieces remain crispy and crunchy or else they get soggy if added a lot earlier.

Check and adjust for salt, koot is ready to serve with rice.

Find more Konkani cuisine side dishes here

Tags: Yam, Spicy Coconut chutney, Koot, Side dish, Lunch, Dinner, suran, surna, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food, chutney