Cassava (yucca/ manioc) plants are widely grown in India as their roots are used for culinary purposes & leaves for their medicinal properties. These gluten-free tubers are called as maravalli kizhangu in northern districts of Tamilnadu & yezhilai kizhangu (meaning seven leaves) in southern districts.
Since they are available in plenty during Nov-Dec, I have been making cassava poriyal or kootu every week and serve them as a side for rice.
Sometimes we make this poriyal in large quantity and serve it as a simple yet hearty meal; we also use maravalli kizhangu to make chips, puttu, dosa, etc. & use them in other recipes as a substitute for potatoes.
Health Benefits: Cassava roots are good sources carbs & fiber that help in building lean muscle, it also contains potassium needed to reduce the blood pressure and folate that prevents birth defects and hence required for pregnant women. You may refer here for the nutrient values of cassava root published by USDA.
We can use cassava roots’ by-products tapioca pearls (javvarisi) for making vadai & payasam, tapioca flour (as a thickening agent in desserts or added into ulundha vadai/ murukku dough to make them crispy) & kizhangu appalam in the off season.
Now let us look into the recipe for maravalli kizhangu poriyal:
Time taken: 15 min
Yields: 1 cup
- Cassava root (maravalli kizhangu) – 6″ piece
- Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
- Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
- Black gram (split) – ½ tsp
- Curry leaves – 1 sprig
- Red chillies – 3 Nos.
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Asafoetida powder (hing) – 1/8 tsp (a pinch)
- Grated coconut (for garnishing) – as required
Cooking Method: The recipe for maravalli kizhangu poriyal is easy to follow and you can refer the photos below that are self explanatory.
Preparing the root: