Koorka Upperi cooked in grounded masala
It is diffucult to find any Keralite who doesn't have an affinity for this tuber - Koorka. I don't know what it is called in English. With some googling, I found it is called Chinese Potatoes.
This is season, where the vegetable markets are flooded with various kinds of tubers like Kaavathu (Thiruvadira special), Chembu, Kappa/Poola/Kolli and Koorka. I think most of the homes buy kaavathu for preparing kootu/poduthuval on the Thiruvathirai day. After the festival, it is not found with the vendors also. Few homes, who has grown them in their backyards, might prepare, more than once.
Koorka is one of the favourites of the season. Its purely a season root. These small tubers are difficult to be cleaned. But once cooked and eaten, you will forget the laborius task of cleaning them.
There are various, so called easy ways, to remove the skin. Some people put them in cloth/gunny bag and hit it on the ground several times. There are who wash and pressure cook them with the skin and then later on peel off the skin, like we do with potatoes. What I follow is soak them in water for an hour or so. Then scrub them on the washing stone. That seems to be easy for me. Almost all the skin comes out in the process. Whatever little is sticking can be removed, whilie chopping them into pieces.
Now to the preparation
Cleaned and chopped koorka - 2 cups
Pearl onion - 10 nos
Red chilly - 4 nos
Coriander seeds - 1 tspn
Make a fine paste of this. Add little water while grinding.
Pressure cook koorka with little turmeric for 3 whistles. It doesn't turn soft even on pressure cooking. So if you keep for an extra whistle also, no need to worry.
Take a kadai and add coconut oil. Season with mustard and curry leaves. Add the grounded masala. Let the masala cook for a minute or two till the raw smell goes.
Add the koorka and salt. Mix well.
Cook till the masala gets coated over the koorka and it is roasted.
Serve with hot rice and sambhar.
Koorka tastes good if it is made as simple 'Mezhukkuparatti' also.
Just add oil,cooked koorkha and salt . Cook till it gets roasted. This is also very yummy.