Cook the chopped elephant yam in a little water with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder till it is soft. You can also do this in the microwave or a pressure cooker. Do not add salt or the vegetable will not cook.
Grind together 3/4 cup of grated coconut, the red chillies and cumin seeds with a little water to a very smooth paste. Keep aside.
Drain all but about 1/4 cup of water from the cooked elephant yam. Put the cooked elephant yam and turmeric water, the cooked chickpeas, the curry leaves and the other 1/4 tsp turmeric powder in a pan. Bring to a boil and add the salt. Turn down the heat to medium and add the coconut paste.
Mix well and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or so, until the vegetable and chickpeas are coated in the coconut paste. Add the powdered jaggery and mix well.
The preparation shouldn't have a gravy as such but still be quite wet by now. Empty the kootukari into a serving dish.
In another pan, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds. When the start spluttering add the lentils and saute till golden. Pour this into the cooked vegetable.
In the same pan, put the remaining 1/4 cup coconut and toast it till it turns a deep brown and gives off a nice aroma. Stir frequently to ensure the coconut does not burn.
Add this too, to the cooked vegetable. Serve warm as a side dish to a main rice based meal. Stir the kootukari just before serving, so that the tempering and the toasted coconut is well mixed.