Purple Yams

I was reminded of an old favourite that I used to have when I was very young. It is a simple traditional Tamil dish made with purple yams. Puple yams are known as rasa valli kilangu (இராசவள்ளிக்கிழங்கு) in Tamil. They are traditionaly prepared as a congee (கஞ்சி). This dish can be replicated with most beans, grains and tubers. I am not going to state measurements for ingredients as it is made to individual tastes and consistency.  It is traditionally made very sweet hence I used a lot of sugar. I made this dish with regular white sugar even though I prefer it with palm sugar. This an oil-free vegan dish.


  • Purple Yams
  • Coconut milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • Sugar/Palm Sugar
  • Pandan leaves (optional)


  1. Peel yams well. It should be fully whitish purple.
  2. Chop yams as small as you can make them. This will not only quicken the boil but also help to better mash them.
  3. Add chopped yams to pot and add water until about an inch above yams. Don’t add too much water. You may add more water later depending on your preference. I prefer it thick.
  4. Add pandan leaves and a pinch of salt.
  5. Boil over medium low heat.
  6. Let it boil for about 15-20 minutes until yams are soft and tender.
  7. Use masher to mash yams until it looks like chunky soup. If you prefer it thinner and smooth. Use hand blender or added it to blender later.
  8. Add as much sugar as you like. I add a lot of sugar as I like it sweet. You may want to add another pinch of salt at this point depending on how you like it.
  9. Add coconut milk. I only add a little as I do not want to obscure the taste of yams.
  10. Keep boiling for another 5-10 minutes.
  11. Leave on hob to cool or refrigerate. I like my yams to be warm hence I do not refrigerate.
  12. Additionally, you may boil the rest of your coconut milk separately and add to your bowl as you like.

Laks Indrakaran

Kajang, Malaysia

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