19 June 2012

Chena Achar / Kerala Style Yam Pickle

Most of us are quite familiar with the range of pickles, it may be mango, lime, garlic,prawns, fish, beetroot, mussels etc.. But not all must have heard of the yam pickle. It has become my favorite after I tasted it for the first time when mom got it from one of our customers. Right then I knew I had to make this pickle. After my first successful attempt at making beetroot and carrot pickle, I made the mussels pickle and here I am with the third one. Hope you all will like it.
The only problem with elephant yam is that you need to take precautions before starting to clean and cut it else you will end up itching your hands. So it is better to apply oil on your palm and hands before starting to clean it.

Chena / Elephant Yam - 800g (weighed after peeling)
Tumeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Carrot - 200g
Garlic - 50g
Green Chilly - 50g
Ginger - 2'' piece
Cumin powder - 2 tsp
Fenugreek powder- 2 tsp
Sugar- 3 tsp
Salt - as required
Split mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar- 2 cup
Pickle Powder - 2 tsp
Chilly Powder - 2 heaped tsp 
Kismis - 25 
Lime - 1/2 medium size

Peel, wash and chop the yam into very small pieces.
Add the turmeric and salt. Mix well.
Transfer the yam into a muslin cloth. Squeeze out all the water.
Place the tied muslin cloth in a large sieve or colander and place a heavy weight on it. Let it be for 2-3 hours till the water in the yam gets drained out.
Remove the yam from the muslin cloth. Apply oil on your palm and in small portions again squeeze out any water left in the yam.
Transfer it to a vessel with vinegar in it.
Finely chop the garlic and ginger.
Chop the carrot into small pieces.
Chop the chilly into 1/4 '' pieces so that you don't bite into it.
Add the ginger, garlic, carrot, chilly, asafoetida powder, cumin powder, sugar, pickle powder, kismis, chilly powder and split mustard seeds.
Check the salt. Stir well.
Add the lime juice and stir again.
Transfer the pickle into a bharani or air tight jar.
Check every 2 days and keep pressing the pickle from the top so that the juices come to the top.
Use after 2 weeks.

It is very important to squeeze and remove all the water possible from the yam.
I used Kashmiri Chilly powder. You can adjust it depending on spice level required.
I used Eastern pickle powder.
You can add thinly sliced dates too.
The pickle gets tastier as you keep it.

Sending this post to The Kerala Kitchen event hosted by Julie at erivumpuliyumm


  1. Wow Rinku,this chena pickle is truly yummy..I love yam in any form.bookmarking.Thanks for sharing.

  2. never thought something like this before, worth bookmarking

  3. Mindblowing dish,wish to have them for my lunch rite now.

  4. interesting recipe. adding kismis is new to me. I have never tried that.. pickle looks amazing. I am your new follower from now. love your place.

  5. Mouthwatering pickle, looks so yummy.

  6. Delicious pickle,love chenna and sure must have tasted delicious,can't wait to try this Rinku.

  7. Never heard of this recipe. Bookmarked it

  8. Never tried this before..Sounds interesting and tempting.

  9. Looks so tempting pickle, its new and never tried before...

  10. so iviting.. looks spicy..loved ur clicks:)

  11. Never had this...Looks very yumm...Oru doubt, Yam itch cheyillye atho water squeeze cheyyinonde athu illyade avumo?

    1. You are right Reshmi. That is the reason why it is very important to squeeze out all the water

  12. Dear Rinku, chena pickle is very common in thalassery. For thalassery biriyani we uses either dates pickle or chena pickle. These are idle for biriyani. You should taste it if you are attending any marriage in thalassery.


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