OAL KI CHUTNEY / सूरन या जिमिकंद की चटनी (Indian Yam Chutney)


To begin this post by showing you the pic of this hideous looking vegetable is certainly not the wisest thing I have done, especially when I later try and convince you that this chutney is perhaps one of the best, if not the best, chutney I have ever had. Yeah, I have given you reasons to believe otherwise but what can I sayyou got to trust my words more than what the pic says, else the loss is yours my friends.

If you have seen my post on the Litti Chokha, you would remember I had promised to upload each month, a dish from the northern state of Bihar. This post is a part of my effort to showcase and introduce you to the best and perhaps not so known dishes of this delicious cuisine – both sweet and savory. Few of the dishes that I posted earlier were the delicious street food Litti Chokha, this addictive snack Nimki (Stick Crackers)  and this scrumptious flat bread, Sattu ka Paratha which in fact I had posted way back in 2011. And how could I forget the Sarson Masala Bhindi (Okra in Mustard Sauce) and Tori Aur Kala Chana (Courgette & Bengal grams Curry). This Kathal Kofta (Jackfruit Kofta Curry) is also my mil’s recipe however I am not sure if it is a Bihari recipe or not; scrumptious nonetheless.

My effort is to bring forth the distinctive flavors from Bihar and traditional food that has for whatever reason remained unexplored and which deserves to be shared with the world. In fact I had planned of posting recipe for Bihari Gosht & Pua for Holi but I was busy helping my daughter prep for her exams, so it didn’t happen. Anyways, for the month of March, I decided upon this chutney which is finger licking good and pairs with all curries and rice dishes. It even pairs beautifully with the Makki ki Roti (Cornmeal Flatbread) and other flatbreads such as Gobhi ka Paratha or stuffed Tawa Kulcha. Some may find it a tag strong for taste since it has raw garlic and ginger but the taste matures over a period of 2 – 3 days. So do give it a try.


I was amazed with the kind of chutneys that my mother-in-law used to dish out. The Biharis make chutney with the most unassuming of veggies and this chutney is a testimony to that. The Green Pea Chutney is one such chutney that I had after marriage and I can never get enough of her pickled spring garlic; it is simply out of the world. Enough of chatter I suppose, time to head for the recipe.

300 gram approx Oal / Suran (Indian Yam)

25 gm/ 1 tbsp heaped, finely grated Ginger

25 gm / 1 tbsp heapted, finely grated Garlic

2 – 3 Green chilies, finely chopped or roughly ground

1 scant tsp Ajwain (Carom Seeds)

¼ tsp Kalonji / Kala Jeera (Nigella Seeds)

Juice of 2 Limes

1 whole stuffed Red Chili Pickle

1 tsp Mango Pickle (approximately two pieces of mango pickle)

3 tbsp Mustard Oil

Salt to taste


Peel and wash the oal. Dice it in 1 – 1.5 inch pieces. Transfer the pieces to a pressure cooker and add half a glass of water. Pressure cook till the cooker lets out one pressure whistle. (the cooking time will depend on the size of the pieces). Switch off the heat. Once the pressure is back to normal in the pressure cooker, drain the water using a big sieve. Keep the boiled pieces of oal aside and let them cool.

Once cool, mash the oal using a potato masher and in case you do not have that, use the back of a fork to mash it.

In a non corrosive mixing bowl, add all the ingredients to this rough mash and mix everything using a spatula or fork. Use a spoon to scoop out the masala from the stuffed red chili pickle or use your hands to mash it (you may want to wear gloves while dealing with red and green chilies) Taste the chutney at this point and adjust the flavors and also, only if required, add the salt.

Transfer the chutney to a non-corrosive container or bottle. Allow the flavors to mature for a day or two before you begin using it.

Note: Be careful not to over-cook the oal. Also, before you start peeling and cutting the oal, rub a little mustard oil on your hands since raw oal can lead to itching in hands.

Note: Do not be intimidated by the amount of raw mustard oil. It is essential for enjoying the authentic flavors of this chutney.

Note: You can keep the chutney in the sun for a few hours to hasten the process of maturing its flavors. While you keep the bottle under sun, ensure that you do not cover it with a lid but with a muslin cloth for the moisture to escape.

Note: I have seen some people use fresh coriander in this chutney but my mil doesn’t and neither did I.

Note: It keeps well refrigerated for approximately 10 days.


Yield: Makes 1 large bottle.

Are you a chutney fan? Then try these ones too…

Coconut & Roasted Green Tomato Chutney

Nimbu Chhunda (Lemon Chutney)

Panchphoran Tamatar Chutney (Indian 5-Spice Tomato Chutney)

Hareh Matar ki Chutney (Green Pea Chutney)

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27 thoughts on “OAL KI CHUTNEY / सूरन या जिमिकंद की चटनी (Indian Yam Chutney)

  1. This chutney sounds so interesting…I have never made one myself…I love all the different spices that you have in it and the touch of mango…great recipe!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂

  2. Nice to meet you Indian Yam! I honestly thought at first it was a hardy grain bread lol. Well I am sold on how you sell this chutney sounds fabulous and hope I can find this yam to try.

    1. Hahahaha…Evelyne, you are not the only one who perceived it as a bread loaf. There are many bloggers who had the same impression 😀

  3. I thought it was a loaf of bread at first as well. 🙂
    Ugly vegetables often taste the best. I actually did a post on ugly veggies once. I doubt I could find some of these ingredients, but perhaps can substitute a regular yam.

  4. Such an unusual vegetable. I love hearing about the cuisine from the other side of the world–I would love to taste this chutney. Have a great weekend!!!

  5. I love the chutney but that yam is rare over here. Not sure too if I have seen. Good that you have shown the picture. Ahhh!!! just what I need for my rice.

  6. It is interesting how mango pickle can add a ton of flavor to chutney. love the use of nigella seeds too! I can imagine how good the taste will be! Good recipe and very beautiful clicks.

  7. I love chutneys but this variety is new to me ,so is Indian Yam.
    Would love to try this out. Do you think it will work with plain sweet potato as well? Or any other idea with which veggie I could replace Indian Yam?

    1. Hello Daniela,
      I guess a regular yam would work just fine. Please do let me know if you try 🙂

  8. I would never have guessed that the vegetable in the first picture was a yam. First Indian yam I’ve ever seen. Looking at your ingredients list, half of which I am not familiar with, I can honestly say that I have no idea how this chutney would taste. But it sure looks quite interesting. Wish I would take a fork and give this a taste. Thanks for introducing me to new ingredients!

  9. Chutneys are so very interesting and although I have never made myself, I’ve tasted quite a few and I loved them! This one looks particularly tasty!

  10. There are so many interesting flavors in your chutney. I’ve never even seen this yam but now you’ve peaked my interest so I’ll have to seek it out. I believe you when you say it’s the best chutney. I can’t wait to try this.

  11. We make curries and stir-fry of this veggie but chutney is new to me. I am curious how it would taste and picks are surely tempting me to give it a try soon 🙂

  12. Girl, I’m reminded of the fry that mama used to make. Never knew we could make a chutney out of it. Interesting new things to learn everyday. I will be sending this link to my family in India. Unfortunately, I’ve never this vegetable here:(. Thanks for sharing a unique recipe.
    Now, on to your litti chokha which I love love. Made some a month ago for a party,litti stuffed and dunked in ghee..omgg. Will see your version.
    Have a great week my dear.

  13. Hi Taruna, hope u are doing good. Missed commenting on some of ur posts just now covered from litti chokha to suji halwa to chutney with suran. Love how the chutney looks. We cook a lot of dishes with it but never made chutney…would love to try it some day lemee pin so won’t forget. 🙂

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