yam
Last Updated : Dec 03,2020


What is Suran, Yam? Glossary | Benefits, Uses, Recipes using Suran
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Also Known as
Suran, Ratalu, Jimikand

What is Yam?

Creamy or firm when cooked, yams have an earthy, hardy taste and usually a minimal amount of sweetness. There are approximately 200 different varieties of yams with flesh colors varying from white to ivory to yellow to purple while their thick skin comes in white, pink or brownish-black. . It is a hearty tuber that does not have the sweeter taste of a sweet potato, but instead may have flavors that range from bland to earthy, slightly smoky in taste, or nutty and only moderately sweet. The shape of the yam can be oblong, tapered or round with a thick outer skin that is dark brown and bark-like, ranging from smooth to shaggy in appearance. Their dense flesh can be an off-white colour to pale yellow or slightly pinkish orange with a very starchy texture.

There is great confusion between yams and sweet potatoes in the United States; most of the vegetables labelled "yams" in the markets are really orange-coloured sweet potatoes.

Boiled and mashed yam
Wash the whole yam with water, and dry it with a kitchen towel before cutting. Using a peeler carefully peel its bark like thick skin and discard it. Cut the yam into big pieces and boil in a deep pan with enough water for 20 to 25 minutes or pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles. Once cooked, remove and place in a deep bowl. Take a fork or a masher and mash the yam completely till smooth or as per recipe requirement.
Chopped yam
Wash the whole yam with water, and dry it with a kitchen towel before cutting. Using a peeler carefully peel its bark like thick skin and discard it. Stand the yam on one end on a chopping board, and carefully slice down through the centre to cut it into 2 equal halves. Place a halve flat on the chopping board and slice it by cutting horizontally (parallel to the chopping board) into thick slices. On each slice, make vertical slits at regular intervals (1/4 inch in diameter) using a sharp knife. Line up all the strips together and cut them horizontally at regular intervals (1/4 inch in diameter) to get chopped yam.
Grated yam
Wash the whole yam with water, and dry it with a kitchen towel before cutting. Using a peeler carefully peel its bark like thick skin and discard it. Hold the thick/ thin end of the grater in one hand and the yam in the other hand. Now place the yam on the blade and push it downwards using the force of your hands to get grated strands of yam. You can grate it thickly or thinly as per the recipe requirement. If the yam is too big, you can cut it into 2 to 4 pieces before grating. 
Sliced yam
Wash the whole yam with water, and dry it with a kitchen towel before cutting. Using a peeler carefully peel its bark like thick skin and discard it. Stand the yam on one end on a chopping board, and carefully slice down through the centre to cut it into 2 equal halves. Cut each halve into 2 more halves. Place a halve flat on the chopping board and slice it by cutting horizontally (parallel to the chopping board) into thick or thin slices as per the recipe requirement. Make vertical slits on each slice to get long thick or thin strips.
Yam cubes
Wash the whole yam with water, and dry it with a kitchen towel before cutting. Using a peeler carefully peel its bark like thick skin and discard it. Stand the yam on one end on a chopping board, and carefully slice down through the centre to cut it into 2 equal halves. Place a halve flat on the chopping board and slice it by cutting horizontally (parallel to the chopping board) into thick slices. On each slice, make vertical slits at regular intervals (1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter) using a sharp knife. Line up all the strips together and cut them horizontally at regular intervals (1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter) to get yam cubes.
Yam slices
Wash the whole yam with water, and dry it with a kitchen towel before cutting. Using a peeler carefully peel its bark like thick skin and discard it. Stand the yam on one end on a chopping board, and carefully slice down through the centre to cut it into 2 equal halves. Place a halve flat on the chopping board and slice it by cutting horizontally (parallel to the chopping board) into thick or thin slices as per the recipe requirement.

How to Select Yam, Suran
Although they are available throughout the year their season runs from October through December when they are at their best. As noted in the Description section, oftentimes the root vegetable that is labeled in the store's produce section as a yam is not truly a yam but is a variety of sweet potato. Therefore, if you want to buy a real yam, you should ask someone in your store's produce department who can let you know the actual origin of the vegetable in question.
Choose yams that are firm and do not have any cracks, bruises or soft spots. Avoid those that are displayed in the refrigerated section of the produce department since cold temperature negatively alters their taste.

Culinary Uses of Yam, Suran
· Scrub yams just before using them, and cook them as you would a potato, either baking, steaming, frying, or boiling and mashing.
· When cooked, various varieties of yams develop a somewhat creamy flesh while other varieties remain firm.
· All yams absorb liquids exceptionally well, so after cooking, their flavor can be enhanced easily by adding flavorful seasonings, spicy or mustard sauces, or various dressings.
· Purée cooked yam with a little milk and season with tamari, coriander, cumin and cayenne.
· Add chunks of yams to your next stir fry or pan of roasted vegetables.
· Roasted yams, fennel, onions, and mushrooms are a delicious combination.

How to Store Yam, Suran
Yams should be stored in a cool, dark and well-ventilated place where they will keep fresh for up to ten days. They should be stored loose and not kept in a plastic bag. Keep them out of exposure to sunlight since this will cause them to sprout or ferment. Uncooked yams should not be kept in the refrigerator.

Health Benefits of Yam, Suran
· Yams are a good source of dietary fiber; vitamin C, manganese
· Yams are a good source of both potassium and vitamin B6, two nutrients that your body needs every day. Vitamin B6 helps your body break down a substance called homocysteine, which can cause damage to blood vessel walls. High intakes of vitamin B6 have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Glycemic Index of Yam, Suran
Yam has a Glycemic Index of 54 which is medium. Glycemic Index are for foods you eat, ranks carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they digest and raise your blood sugar or glucose levels. Foods rank from 0 to 50 are low GI, 51 to 69 are medium and 70 to 100 are high. Foods that are high in GI are not suitable for weight loss and diabetics. Foods like Yam have a medium GI and hence be eaten in moderation.




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