Root vegetables

I am under the impression that most of the root vegetables contain high carb. I am sure some of them are better in nutritional value than others. I love cassava/tapioca over potato. I don’t get good quality cassava in UK. I am used to the fresh kind, meaning, harvested just that morning. Even the ones from previous evening harvest gets a no no. The cassava vendors and people in my street used to argue over this issue of time of harvest. I like raw cassava to the cooked one. Cooked cassava with black coffee was a favourite dish of the Keralites in the Cardamom estates where I grew up. I do not like the quality of the casava that we get in UK. They are very old.

My mother being a not-adventurous cook, she never tried anything (other root vegetables) other than potato. Well, sem(b)ankilangu (not seppangilangu) was an exception, since we used to grow it in our agali (trench around the house) in Kerala. So, I became someone who cannot differentiate between senaikkilangu and karunaikkilangu. Last week, with the help of the shop assistant in East Ham, we bought senaikkilangu. Balan keeps a cookbook to correct me whenever I serve some nonsense in the name of very traditional item.. (he has been eating some item I have been serving him and the guests as bisibelabath until one of our friends’ mother asked me did I forget tamarind in it, and when I replied that tamarind is not an ingredient in bisibelabath). He showed me few recipes from the book to cook this senaikkilangu, Knowing the impatient me, the dish turned out to be something not listed/described in the cookbook. But certified as tasty. 🙂 Well, too  much chilli ought to make any dish tasty, I believe.

I like the texture of this root vegetable senaikkilangu, after cooked. (Needs too much cleaning and peeling 😦 ). If it has any extra nutritional value in comparison with potato, then I can promote this in our household. I have one important reason in wanting to promote this, that is, the varuval (dry fry) is not messy. So, I guess its starch content is less. The negative point for this vegetable is that it is expensive than potato and we have to drive to East Ham to buy this.


  1. Please tell me English names for semangilangu, senaikkilangu, seppangilangu and karunaikkilangu. I know either senaikkilangu or karunaikkilangu is yam, but I don’t know which one.
  2. If you know the nutritional value of these root vegetables, including cassava, please tell me.

Thanks in advance.

PS: Balan uses these cookbooks and downloads from the internet whenever he cooks.

PS2: Just realised that vegetables like carrot, radish and few others are also root vegetables (just forgot) and are not of carb type. I  just meant kilangu type as root vegetables. Is there is a separate word in English to mean just the kilangu type?

PS3: Just found out that Yam in America is what my mother calls Sinthamanikkilangu, a variation of sweet potato (sakkaravallikkilangu). Yam in UK/african shops is different. American Yam is not what I cooked yesterday.

Eating habits

  1. I munch all the time. Alternative to my caffeine fix.
  2. I don’t mind yogurt everyday. I don’t hate yogurt, but I can’t bear to see it for  consecutive day, until now. Now I can have yogurt everyday. But, it has to be just once a day. I need my apple pickle to get that yogurt rice down my throat. (cooking apple, pickled similar to mango pickle, made fresh with salt and chilli powder with garnishing).
  3. Give me any fruit. I can inhale it.

Wow Balan

and Thank you Balan for the best sambhar I have ever tasted. 🙂

How to break a coconut

Good question. I totally went blank on how to explain it. My work-friend stunned me with her stories and suggestion from her friends. 1)Keep it in the cven for sometime and it will break (did it not explode in there?) 2) drill a hole using power drill (laughed my heart out). I suggested to use a hammer or a spanner and explained the procedure to break a coconut. I wasn’t going to suggest them to buy a sickle (aruval sickle thaane?). Then came the next question, what to do with the shell? how to remove it. Yes, that is a question difficult to answer. Now I know why that woman the other day was looking at me the way she was when i was selecting a coconut in the sainsburys. I think I will skip the “checking and selecting the coconut” part to the poor girl who asked me the title question. It is too much.