Feb 8, 2010

Koorka Pulisseri & Koorka Mezhukkupuratti

Koorka ( also known as Chinese Potatoes, “Koorka / Sheema Kizhangu” in Malayalam and “Soppur Kooke” in Konkani ) is a popular tubar in Kerala. It was widely popular in the past, but lost its popularity and prime now a days. Though it is similar in shape to small potatoes( though Koorka can be hairy), it has got a unique taste, quite different from conventional potatoes. Another reason for its loss of popularity may be the difficulty in removing the dirt / skin off Koorka – prior to cooking. I normally soak Koorka in water for 3-4 hrs prior to removing / cleaning this ( it will still take atleast 5/8 rinses after cleaning out the skin- to get a decent washed appearance).

Koorka after cleaning

Once in a while Koorka appears in my neighbor hood shop in Chennai. I grab every opportunity to buy Koorka, as my husband is a big fan of it.

Traditionally, Koorka is prepared in our area in two forms. Koorka Pulisseri and Mezhukku Puratti. Both are received well by my family. I am presenting you the same.

Koorka Pulisseri


250 g Koorka, Cleaned well and diced to small ( 1 cm) cubes
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste)
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise
1/2 cup butter milk or 1/4 cup thick curd blend with 1/4 cup water

For Coconut paste:

1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon jeera ( cumin seeds )
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
2 tablespoon water

Make a smooth paste of above ingredients with water.


Boil diced koorka in 1/2 cup water with green chillies and salt. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. One can never get Koorka over cooked. So once the Koorka looks like done ( crushing it with finger will give a better indication), proceed to the next step.

Add ground coconut paste. Mix well and cook again for 15 minutes on a low heat. Stir occasionally. Switch off the heat.

Add butter milk and mix well. Do not boil again.

For Seasoning:

2 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon jeera ( cumin seeds )
1 spring curry leaves


Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they starts splutter, add jeera and curry leaves. Saute for 2 minutes. Pour this seasoning over koorka pulisseri. Serve with rice.

Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti


250 g diced Koorka
2 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida ( hing )
1/2 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
1 cup water


Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When it starts pop, add diced koorka, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix well and fry for 2 minutes.

Add 1 cup water, asafoetida and salt to taste. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Cook till water dries up and the mix or residue is well coated on the diced koorka ( as mentioned earlier, there is no reference / indication of Koorka being done – one had to crush a couple of dices and get the ‘feel” to know the level of cooking). Serve hot with rice.

I would recommend trying this atleast once. Even though it can be a bit trouble some, its worth the try. The ingredients needed are minimum. Let me know your comments.

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