Yucca is very popular in South America. But, did you know that yucca is a staple food item in South India, particularly in the states of Kerala and Tamilnadu where it is called Tapioca. In Kerala, mashed yucca is often accompanied by beef, fish or chicken curry, and it is delicious. I was surprised to find yucca in the local stores in NYC when I came to the US. Back home, my mother often made yucca curry, yes, yucca curry that is delicious with rice pancakes (dosas). Yesterday I bought some yucca and made this quick stir-fry. It tastes delicious when served with onion chutney, but since I didn't have the patience to make the chutney, I just made the stir-fry.
To prepare the stir-fry you will need:
1 or 2 yucca, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup diced onion
3-4 minced green chillies, depending on your tolerance for heat
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
A pinch of turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
Boil the yucca chunks with the salt and turmeric until tender. I used a pressure cooker to boil the yucca because it takes only about 5 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan and add the black mustard seeds. When they have all spluttered, add the diced onion and cook for a few minutes (do not brown). Add green chillies, salt and turmeric. Carefully, add the boiled yucca and stir gently. If you want mashed yucca, cook until very soft and then mash it before adding to the onion mixture. Sprinkle lemon juice for tanginess and extra flavor. It is best eaten warm, although tastes very good at room temperature. I used it in place of potato salad for lunch and was a welcome change.