Ratalu is a type of Yam. It has nice violet colour and is generally available during winters.
It is used to make many dishes. Gujaratis make maximum use of it in their special mix vegetable dish named Undhiyu.
It is also used to make ratalu puri (a type of fritter dipped in gram flour batter). It is very tasty and is generally made during the night of Lord Krishna’s birth festival or Janmashtami. It is celebrated at midnight and we generally have stalls put up outside the temple of ratalu puri during this festival. People worship and celebrate the Lord Krishna’s festival in the temple and then come out and relish this hot ratalu puri.
Ratalu is mostly used by people during the fasts. This dish is also made during fasts. This is famous at Shreenathji temple (Nathdwara, Udaipur, Rajasthan) and relished by the devotees who come to visit the temple. Here the available dish is deep fried form. It is nice golden and crisp from outside and soft from inside. Almost like french fries. The seasoning sprinkled on it just enhances the taste. I have tried to balance the taste with health by shallow frying it. You get the same taste and texture. You can also bake them in oven. The seasoning can be tried and experimented . You can sprinkle dry mint leaves powder, dry mango powder , red chilli powder to give more tangy taste. For exotic taste sprinkle some oregano, mixed dry herbs, basil , etc. The seasoning can be any of your choice.
Roasted Ratalu (Violet Yam)
- Wash the yam with water. Peel it nicely and then again wash it with water so any dirt if there is removed. Pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles adding salt in it.
- After that remove and let it cool and then cut it into slices of any shape you want. Slice it after it is properly cooled so that it cuts with nice edges.
- Put some oil on griddle or tava and place them on it and then roast them on both the sides till golden in colour. Roast them on medium heat. Originally instead of roasting ratalu it is deep fried till golden. But this will give the same taste and with less of oil.
- Turn both the sides and roast till golden.
- Sprinkle all the seasoning and serve hot.