Elephant foot flower chutney/ Yam flower gojju

Hello dear reader!

I guess you are reading the post title for the second time if you are familiar with the plant of elephant foot/ yam or suvarna gadde (kannada). Definitely you will do so if you have come across its stinky flower. Yes, to confirm it is chutney with yam flower, not tuber.  

Elephant foot flower chutney

It was about 3 years back, when I just started my blogging journey. My relative Sahana who shared interesting traditional dishes and few interesting ingredients like this to me already, her interests matches that of me. It helped me in my research on food articles. Thank you very much Sahanakka for sharing your knowledge with me. When I met her one day, she mentioned about this flower of Amorphophallus paeoniifolius/ elephant foot. I was surprised to know that this flower is edible as we only knew so far about the worst scent it releases when it blooms. When I double checked, she also stressed about its harvest before it blooms into stinky flower. So it must be used when in the form of bud. These flowers are found just before monsoon sets in if you have planted yam.

It remained in my mind after I heard it for the first time and I could not get hold of at least one flower till this year. Meanwhile, there was a discussion going on in a whats app vegetable group in which I am a participant.  Last week (mid May), I spotted one flower bud sprouted above the ground in my garden from the recently planted yam seed. 

I could not wait more to try my hand in cooking of this flower, immediately shared my thought of using it in my kitchen to hubby. He was skeptical about 2 points one is smell & another is the itchiness. Yes, as the yam tuber, there is a possibility of any part of this plant such as stem and flower may itch on eating. This reaction is due to its high content of calcium oxalate. I searched a bit in google about it and understood that this exotic flower is very famous in Goan cuisines.  Sunnachi as it is called in Goa and they make delicious curry out of it. So I had no second thought  to pluck the yam bud thinking it may bloom anytime and made this chutney. It is too tasty with the smell resembling that of mushroom (especially shiitake) while cooking. I used little more tamarind in-order to avoid any itchiness. This chutney goes great with rice and ghee/ or with curd rice too.

To explain about edible parts of this flower,

There are 3 layers visible in this flower - top purplish bulb like structure, below that a structure looks like mini corn cob and another layer covered with tiny flowers. All these are covered by an external leafy part. All these parts are edible and can be used in the dish.


Let’s check the recipe now!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 3-4


Yam flower bud/ Suvarna gadde hoovina moggu – 1

Freshly grated coconut – ¼ cup

Tamarind – 1 tsp

Salt - 1-1.5 tsp, adjust to taste

Onions – 1 (small)

Garlic cloves – 3-4

Red chillis – 2

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Sambhar powder/ gojju powder – ½ tsp, you can add your choice of masala

Coconut oil – 3 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig



  • Cut yam flower bud found above soil. Chop off the stalk portion. Other than stalk, every part found about soil can be used in cooking.
  • Wash clean holding under running water. Watch carefully as there may be bugs found as this flower attracts many of them, remove if found any.
  • Pat dry with a clean towel. Water content may trigger itchiness in hands while cutting this flower.
  • Carefully chop the flower into small chunks. Keep aside.
  • Peel garlics. Peel and chop onions finely.
  • Now heat a thick bottomed pan/ kadai. Add 2 tsp oil.
  • Add cloves of garlic and chopped onions.
  • Fry until onions turn translucent.
  • Add chopped yam flower, turmeric powder and tamarind.  Add sambhar/ gojju powder or choice of masala. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add salt, sprinkle little water and cook the flowers covered until they turn soft.
  • Switch off the stove when it is done. Allow cooling.
  • When it is cooled, take it in a mixer jar. Add grated coconut and grind to make smooth chutney.
  • Transfer to the serving bowl.
  • Prepare a seasoning of mustard seeds and curry leaves in coconut oil. On spluttering, add it to the chutney
  • Serve chutney with hot rice and ghee.
Yam flower gojju