hmmmm… hee-kamah (Jicama)

hmmmm….

hmmmm… jicama

Fun guesses! The moon, trees, chocolate — and oh Manisha, termites!? Eek! I’m not that adventurous yet πŸ™‚

The photo is a closeup of the skin of jicama — and Krithika is closest — it’s also known as Mexican yam bean, among other things. This is one of those vegetables I’ve always wanted to try, but never quite knew what to do with it. I bought one yesterday on the breakdown lane at the grocery store — for 99 cents I thought I would take a chance. It was perhaps slightly beyond its peak, but still very usable.

jicama, pared and cut
jicama, pared and cut

Jicama can be eaten raw, and I found lots of recipes from salsa to slaw. I tried it raw and found it too floury for my taste, so I wanted to cook it. I was planning to do a simple stir-fry until I saw Archana’s awesome-looking zucchini curry at Spicyana. I decided to try that instead. Taking Archana’s recipe as a starting point, I substituted jicama for the zucchini, and added some baby red onions instead of sliced onions.

To prepare the jicama, just wash and pare the brown skin and fibrous layer underneath with a knife. Vegetable peeler is not so effective here. I don’t know whether it would discolor quickly in open air, but I left it in cold water overnight and it seemed fine. It retains its crunch even after long cooking, and has little taste of its own so it takes on flavors nicely. I’ll definitely be using more jicama in the future. Thanks, Archana, for the delicious curry!

Jicama Curry with Baby Onions

1/2 lb jicama, pared and cut into long chunks
1 c baby red onions (shallots), peeled

1 tsp oil or ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves, torn
1 dried red chile, seeds removed
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 c coconut milk

salt to taste

Heat oil or ghee over med-high heat and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried chile. When mustard pops, add baby onions and roast them until they begin to brown. Add ginger-garlic paste, jicama, turmeric, chile powder and cumin-coriander powder. Fry a few minutes, then add a splash of water and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook about ten minutes, or until raw taste of jicama is gone. Uncover and stir well, then add coconut milk and salt to taste. Simmer another ten minutes or so, and correct the seasoning.

Serve over hot white rice.

jicama curry with baby onions
jicama curry with baby onions

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19 Comments »

  1. Nabeela said

    hehe…surface of the moon?

  2. Shankari said

    tree trunk???

  3. mm said

    I agree with Nabeela, you have found a way to get to the Moon! And I must say, it is a nice picture of it too! mm

  4. Asha said

    Huh?!!!!!

  5. shilpa said

    I am bad at guessing but still….

    is it cocoa or chocolate?? trying to do some cake?

  6. Manisha said

    My first thought was oh no! termites. But it’s filed under cooking so unless you have found a new way to relish the protein in ants …. πŸ˜€

  7. krithika said

    Is it Yam ?

  8. DilipUK said

    looks like a woody/barkie type surface….~still thinking~….you tease you….hehehe

  9. Lera said

    hee-kamah! the name sounds to like a rib tickler,linda, this one is something i’ve never heard of, may be you could enlighten us a bit more about this yummy looking curry..:) Happy weekend!

  10. Krithika said

    I usually add them in salads or make salsa. Your curry looks delicious !

  11. Asha said

    Jicama , here I come:D:D

  12. shaheen said

    aw. i missed the guessing game..though i would have guessed termites..hi hi..interesting vegetable.

  13. Puspha said

    I’ve just learned a new name for this as I used to know it only as yam bean. Probably Jicama is the American name. Itz great eaten raw dipped in peanut gravy.

  14. lakshmi said

    i missed the game

  15. indosungod said

    I have seen Jicama in the grocery store but have never cooked it. I should try it

  16. Thanks, everyone, for your comments πŸ™‚

    Lera, I’ve since learned that jicama has a simple but rich taste when stir-fried or dry-roasted in a little Pam spray in the frying pan (great for dieters like me!), and is a decent source of potassium and Vitamin C while being low in sodium and calories alike. Have a happy weekend too, Lera πŸ™‚

    Krithika, I bet your salsa is delicious πŸ™‚

    Asha, I can see you racing for it in the produce section… πŸ˜‰

    Shaheen — good gracious — more termites!? That would be protein-packed πŸ˜‰

    Pushpa, I’m going to try it with peanut chutney, thanks πŸ™‚

    Hi Lakshmi, glad you stopped by anyway πŸ™‚

    Hi ISG — do try, you would like this crispy veggie πŸ™‚

  17. THIS is very bold, very creative. I’m putting it on the NC agenda.

  18. Andy said

    oh my goodness!!
    i’m hispanic and i’ve known this delectable vegetable since forever.
    i recommend you try it raw with lemon juice and chile powder. it is a fun and easy snak!

    Thanks for the tip, Andy! πŸ™‚

  19. KAREN said

    I TRIED THE JICAMA THIS PAST SUMMER IN CHICAGO, I NOTICED IT ON LOTS OF SALAD BARS AND LOVE THE RAW CRUNCHY VEGGIE, COULDNT FIND IT WHEN I RETURNED BACK HOME TO NORTH CAROLINA, BUT HAVE SINCE HAD MY FAVORITE SUPERMARKET ORDER IT IN. I LOVE IT RAW AS A SNACK AND IT SEEMS TO BE AN EXCELLENT DIGESTIVE

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