Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oaler Batichorchori (Yam in a Bowl)

I am back after a long break. Personal matters kept me busy, but now I hope I am able to blog without any such interruptions.

In the past few posts my recipes were accompanied with videos. Now that I have begun to enjoy this process of making videos, I have decided to continue the practice with my future posts as well.

Winter has come to an end, but before it ended I made it a point to get my brother to shoot videos of me cooking with two winter vegetables, one is sarson ka saag  (mustard leaves) and the other is oaler batichorchori, a traditional Bengali dish where the principal ingredient is yam which in Bengali is called oal.

The sarson ka saag video ran into some rough weather thanks to some technical glitches which my brother is trying to rectify, however thankfully my brother faced no problems editing the video of the yam dish, so here I am with the recipe of oaler batichorchori.
I have named this dish Yam in a Bowl because, oal is yam in Bengali, bati is a bowl and chorchori is what the preparation is called in Bengali.

This is a very simple dish; I really loved eating it every time my mum cooked it. Here I would like to caution you that this is not one of those dishes that anyone can enjoy. There are some dishes which almost anyone and everyone can enjoy irrespective of the region they belong to, but there are some dishes which are cooked with ingredients typical to that region and if you are not used to the taste you may not enjoy it. This dish has to be cooked with mustard oil and if you are not comfortable with mustard oil, then, I guess you will have to drop it.

Below is the video of the dish.

Here is the detailed recipe.

  • ½ Kg yam
  • One potato (optional)
  • Approximately 3 tablespoons of mustard oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Green chillies
  • Red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste

  • Peel and chop the yam into small cubes and soak in water.
  • Likewise peel and chop the potato and soak it in water. You may or may not add potato, I wanted to increase the quantity therefore I added a potato.
  • Drain out the water from the yam and potato.
  • Pour the mustard oil in a vessel and add approximately little more than half a litre of water. When you add a little water to oil, it splutters but when you add plenty of water to oil, you will face no such problem.
  • Heat the oil and water mixture and then add the yam and potato.
  • After it boils, add salt turmeric powder and some chopped green chillies. As I do not eat green chillies I substituted it with some Kashmiri red chilli powder. If you like you may add both.
  • Now cover and cook till the water evaporates and it is done, in case you find that the water has evaporated but the yam is not cooked properly, you can add some warm water to the dish and allow it boil for a while longer.
You can squeeze a bit of lime juice onto the dish, the sourness of the lime gives a tang to the dish and it tastes quite nice.

This dish goes very with rice but you can have it with phulkas as well.


  1. Welcome back, Shilpi! It's so good to see you posting again.

    This is such an interesting recipe - I've never come across anything like it before. I have to admit I hadn't known that bit about how pouring in lots of water doesn't make oil splutter! I wonder why. I love the flavour of mustard oil, so I just might try this someday,,, I love experimenting with new dishes, especially if they're as easy as this one.

    1. Thank you very, very much for this response. I was a little vary of posting this recipe after all it is not what you could call a neutral dish, but then I thought let me just go ahead and post it. I am therefore so glad that you liked it.

    2. Hey Shilpi. This looks very easy.

      In Punjab, yam is known as jimikand. We usually oil our hands before chopping it or they feel itchy. Also it is cooked by frying the pieces and then dunking them into a onion/tomato curry.

      I have never seen it being cooked like this. It looks so easy!

    3. Hi Ava good to see you here, yes I know that jimikand is also another name for yam in certain parts of India. You know that bit about the hands getting itchy, my mum used to say that in the eastern parts of the country that is in Bengal, Orissa and so on, you have to be very careful while cooking and eating this vegetable for you end up getting an itchy throat if you do not take the requisite precautions. Surprisingly here in Maharashtra we seem to have no such problems.