Kaand nu Shaak (Pan-fried purple yam)

Today, I am going to share with you the recipe for Kaand nu Shaak (pan-fried purple yam) in English. In essence the main ingredient here is a purple coloured root vegetable that is insanely delicious when made correctly! As expected, my first encounter with this delicious root vegetable (purple yam) was in my grandmother’s kitchen in Zambia.  Being known as one of the two best cooks in town (the other one being our next door neighbour), you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Kaand/purple yam can be bought at any local Indian grocery store – just ask the shopkeepers!

(serves 3 to 4 people)

This is what it looks like in the shop:


3 tbsps. sunflower oil
1 pinch asafoetida
500g purple yam/kaand (washed, peeled and cut into 1 inch squares of about 3mms thick)
1 heaped tbsp. ginger (peeled and grated)
1 heaped tsp. green chillies (ground)
½ tsp. turmeric powder
1 level tbsp. salt

For later:

1 tbsp. sunflower oil
Wedges of fresh lemon


1. Wash the yam from outside really well so that no soil is left on it.

2. Peel the skin off the yam either with a peeler or a knife and get rid of any deep knots of soil that are embedded in the yam.

3. Cut the yam into 1 inch squares about 3 to 4 mm thick – just roughly.

4. In a dish, mix the prepared yam with the ginger, green chillies, turmeric and salt and mix well.

5. Put the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and heat on high heat.

6. When the oil is fairly hot, add in the asaefotida.

7. Immediately add in the yam/kaand mixture and mix well.

8. Turn the heat down to a medium heat and continue to stir the kaand in the saucepan for 2 minutes.

9. Close the saucepan with its’ lid and cook for a further 10 minutes on a medium heat until the kaand is soft. It will go a lighter purple colour. Toss the yam/kaand a couple times every few minutes within these 10 minutes to prevent the kaand from burning.

10. Add 1 more tbsp. of sunflower oil and stir it in.

11. Turn the heat back up to a high heat and leave the saucepan open now while cooking to make the kaand nice and crispy. You can let it cook for a further 5 to 7 minutes. Again within these 5 to 7 minutes, toss the yam/kaand every few minutes so that it goes a golden brown colour and to prevent it from burning.

12. Serve hot preferably with chapatis/rotlis (but it also tastes delicious on its own as well!) with some freshly squeezed lemon juice over the yam/kaand.

So there you have it! A delicious new recipe for you all to try out! Please do let me know if there are any specific recipes that you would like to see on this website. Many thanks!

‘Til next time ... enjoy!
Bon appetit! xx


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