Amma's Special


Karunai Kizhangu Kola Urundai Kuzhambu – Yam dumplings in a spicy kurma

Many recipes in this space is a family tradition and one that was long left (in fact made very rarely) is the Karunai kizhangu kola urundai kuzahmbu (Yam dumplings in a spicy kurma). This is a special delicacy and made rarely because of the time it takes to make the ingredients and assemble them. But the taste is well worth the efforts and after so many years amma made this last week.  Every single bit of it is consumed with great pleasure and here I am sharing the joy with you all.

The Indian yam is called with several names in tamil Senai kizhangu, Chatti karunai kizhangu, Karunai kizhangu in different parts of Tamilnadu.
We call it as Karunai kizhangu.

Ingredients for Karunai Kizhangu kola urundai kulambu:

For the Kola Urundai:

To be soaked for half an hour :
Chana dal – 1/2 Cup

Skinned and chopped Yam/Karunai kizhangu – 1/2 Cup
Onion chopped – 1/2 Cup
Green chillies – 2 (chopped)

To be ground to a paste :
Ginger – 1 cm
Garlic – 2 cloves
Somb - 1 tea spoon
Poppy seeds – 1 tea spoon

Salt – 1/2 tea spoon or to taste
Turmeric powder – 2 pinches divided

For the spicy kurma:

Onion chopped – 1/2 Cup
Tomato chopped – 2 Table spoon
Coconut grated – 1/4 cup (packed)
Chilli powder – 1/4 tea spoon
Tamarind – 1 small lemon sized ball
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tea spoon
Ginger n Garlic paste – 1 tea spoon
Peanut oil – 1 Table spoon
Chopped coriander leaves – 1 Table spoon

How to make ?

The Kola Urundai:
Boil the chopped Karunai kizhangu pieces in 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of turmeric until fork tender. Drain and reserve the pieces. In a Sumeet style mixer take the soaked chana dal and grind to a coarse paste (just pulse 3-4 times). Grind the items listed under “To be ground to a paste” to a fine paste.

Take the boiled karunai kizhangu pieces in a wide vessel and mash it with the back of a large spoon. Mix the coarsely ground chana dal, the ground masala paste, chopped onions and turmeric powder and mix well to a homogeneous paste. Add salt and check and adjust to taste. Heat the oil for frying in a wide thick bottomed kadai and when smoking hot, make small lemon sized balls of the dough and fry till golden.


Lower the temperature of the stove while deep frying the dumplings to golden. Take them in a slotted spoon and drain them in tissue paper. These dumplings can be had on its own with any spicy sauce on the side.

The Spicy Kurma:
Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of water for 10 minutes and extract the pulp, filter and reserve it. Grind the coconut with a tea spoon of water of water to a smooth paste. If needed sprinkle little water to make the paste smooth and creamy. In a thick bottomed wide vessel add the oil and when it is smoking hot add the ginger garlic paste and fry till it turns golden. Now add the chopped onions and saute till the corner starts browning. Add the tomatoes and saute till it turns mushy. Now add the chilli powder, Garam masala powder, and required salt and saute for few seconds. Now add 1 Cup of water and mix well. Adjust salt by checking at this point of time. When the raw smell of chilli powder goes off add the tamarind extract and let it boil for 5 more minutes. Add the fried dumplings and let the mixture simmer for 5-7 minutes. Add the coconut paste and mix well and let the creamy gravy start boiling. Immediately switch off the stove and sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and cover. Let the tastes mix and mingle well.

Serve hot with steamed rice and a papad on the side. Enjoy!