Kooka / Chinese potato spicy sidedish

Chinese potato known as "Kooka" in Konkani, a hairy tuber, looks similar to arbi or baby potatoes but this one is dark in color,  smaller in size and a seasonal veggie. Read here to know the different names of this vegetable. I am still trying to know why the english name includes "Chinese" inspite of the veggie being native to tropical Africa.

"Kooka" when cooked has distinct taste and flavor which is loved by konkani people and thus many dishes such as upkari , humman, saung, etc  make use of this vegetable. Cleaning this veggie is a time-consuming, laborious  process and also leaves black stains on your fingers. But then you forget all the stains and pains you took to clean them once you get to taste the dish... so yummmm ! 

Today I post recipe of super spicy side-dish made with this vegetable. These days ready peeled ones are available in the frozen sections of supermarkets, which saves the time spent on cleaning this vegetable for a working woman like me :). I have used these frozen ones this time to skip the tedious cleaning process.


Kooka [ frozen packet] - thawed and cooked 2 cups
Coconut [frozen] 1 cup
Red chillies roasted 5-6 [ You can increase it to make it more spicy]
Tamarind lemon sized
Onion small sized chopped 3
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few
Oil [preferably coconut oil] 

Thaw the frozen kooka and boil them separately with salt in water. If they are large in size halve them [With regular kooka you clean  and wash them. Cleaning can be done in one of the following ways, such as i) put them in gunny bag/jute bag and beat it on hard surface, ii) pressure cook for one whistle and then peel of the skin or iii) soaking them in water for about one hour and then scraping the skin with knife or peeler]

Grind coconut, roasted red chillies, tamarind with a little water to a smooth paste. Keep it aside. Heat coconut oil in pan, add mustard seeds. Once they splutter add curry leaves and onions. Fry them on medium flame till onions turn golden brown. Add the ground paste, stir fry. Now add the cooked kooka pieces and mix well. Add salt [keep in mind to add little salt only as we have already added it while cooking the vegetable] as per the taste and water to adjust the consistency of the dish. Keep it on low flame for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame. You can enjoy it as side dish with chappatis/ dosa or rice and dal. 

Happy cooking!


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