Panang kizhangu (Palmyra sprout) is popular among south Indians & Sri Lankans. We usually steam the palmyra sprouts, pound them when dried, and relish the pounded palmyra sprout as a savory snack. Sri Lankans boil these sprouts, dry them, make into a flour and use the flour to make sweet puttu, koozh or add into some non-veg curries as a thickening agent.
Traditionally palmyra sprouts were cooked either by steaming or by roasting them directly over the hot coal in an old-fashioned Indian stove. Generally cooked sprouts were kept on the terrace for a day or two until dried completely and later pounded using ural & ulakkai, a large mortar (2-3 feet high) & pestle (about 5 feet length). My paternal grandmother used to pound them with great finesse that each & every bits were of same size. Nowadays we pressure cook these sprouts and grind into a fine powder using mixer-grinder.
Our maternal grandmother preferred to serve these sprouts roasted but not pounded, I still remember the wonderful aroma of roasted palmyra sprouts that we relished during our visit to her house. Sometimes our maternal aunts took over the whole process of steaming, drying & pounding under the supervision of our maternal uncle! It was worth the wait for all the children as we were served with delicious flavorful snack later.
Health Benefits of panang kizhangu: Studies conducted in Srilanka states that it has anti-cancerous properties also.
- Palmyra sprouts have low-GI and hence useful for diabetics.
- These sprouts are rich in fiber and it helps to ease the bowel movement for people with constipation.
- Since these sprouts have low calories they are ideal for weight watchers.
- They also act as wonderful detoxifiers.
Panang kilangu podimas recipe: First we need to prepare the sprouts as shown below before eating these sprouts or preparing the snack.
- Before cleaning these tubers, their skin should be removed.
- Then we need to chop off their heads and wash them well.
- Pressure cook them (simmer for 20 min after bringing to high pressure) after adding 1 tbsp of turmeric powder & 1 tsp of salt; alternately you can apply turmeric & salt paste on each sprout and steam them.
- Dry these cooked tubers under the Sun for a day or two.
- Slit open along the groove and remove the hard white spine.
- Remove fibres while breaking them into small pieces.
- Discard the spine & fibers.
- These dried sprouts can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for upto 3 months, and they may be pounded as and when required.
- Prepared palmyra sprouts – 10 Nos.
- Coconut meat – 1/4
- Green chillies – 3 Nos
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Salt – 3/4 tsp
- Grind the prepared palmyra sprouts & other ingredients into a coarse powder using food processor or mixer-grinder; you may have to grind them in 2 or 3 batches if you have more volume. If you are grinding them in batches you can add salt at the end.
- Serve as an evening snack with a cup of coffee or tea.
- You can also cook palmyra sprouts using charcoal grill or BBQ grill to enhance its earthen flavor.
- Please keep in mind that too many garlic cloves may spoil its taste, and I have used 2 cloves for 10 sprouts.
- The more coconut we use the more it is delicious.
- We can refrigerate the dried sprouts for 3 months and grind them with fresh coconut as and when required.