Pounded Palmyra Sprout

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.

img_5865 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
Panang Kizhangu (palmyra sprouts)

Idicha panang kizhangu, an ancient recipe:

Traditionally palmyra sprouts were cooked either by steaming or by roasting them directly over the hot coal in an old-fashioned Indian stove. Generally we keep the cooked sprouts on the terrace under the sun for a day or two until dried up completely. Then we pound them 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.

img_8088-scaled Pounded Palmyra Sprout
Palmyra sprouts with their skin

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.

img_81141 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
Cooked sprouts

Health Benefits of palmyra sprouts (panang kizhangu):

  1. Various studies conducted in Sri Lanka state in unison that these palmyra sprouts have anti-cancerous properties.
  2. They have low-GI and hence useful for diabetics.
  3. These sprouts are rich in fiber and it helps to ease the bowel movement for people with constipation.
  4. Since these sprouts have low calories they are ideal for weight watchers.
  5. They also act as wonderful detoxifiers.

Pounded Palmyra Sprout:

img_8127 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
Iditha panang kizhangu (pounded palmyra sprouts)

First we need to prepare the sprouts as shown below before pounding them.

Time taken: 30 minutes

How to cook panang kizhangu:

  1. First we need to peel the panang kizhangu.

    img_8090 Pounded Palmyra Sprout

  2. Then chop off its head.

    img_8094 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
    Repeat the same for all the remaining sprouts.

  3. Wash them all under the tap water.

    img_8097 Pounded Palmyra Sprout

  4. Now add water (150 ml), salt (1 tsp) & turmeric powder (1 tbsp) into the pressure cooker.

    img_8110 Pounded Palmyra Sprout

  5. Then add the sprouts into the cooker as shown below.

    img_8111 Pounded Palmyra Sprout

  6. Pressure cook them.

    img_8113 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
    We need to simmer for 20 minutes when it reaches the high pressure.

  7. When the pressure is released transfer them to a large plate.

    img_8114 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
    We can leave these hot sprouts aside until they reach the room temperature.

  8. Remove the hard white spine and the fibers.

    img_8117 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
    We can remove the spine at the centre after slitting open the sprout along its groove and also remove the fibres by snapping the sprouts into small pieces (approx. 2″).

  9. Now panang kizhangu is ready to use.

    img_8115 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
    Either we can take these sprouts as a snack or we can dry them under the sun for a couple of days to prepare the flour or podimas.

How to prepare palmyra sprouts:

You may also refer to the gif below:

pk-960x506 Pounded Palmyra Sprout
how to prepare panang kizhangu

Ingredients:

  1. Cooked & dried palmyra sprouts – 10 Nos.
  2. Coconut meat – 1/4
  3. Green chillies – 3 Nos
  4. Garlic – 2 cloves
  5. Salt – 3/4 tsp

How to pound the palmyra sprouts:

  • Add coconut, green chillies, garlic pods along with the prepared palmyra sprouts into a large mixer jar.
  • Blitz them at the lowest speed.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Add salt & mix well with a spatula.
  • Serve pounded palmyra sprout as an evening snack with a cup of coffee or tea.

Tips & Tweaks:

  • Traditionally palmyra sprouts are slow cooked overnight in hot charcoal inside the conventional stove. Nowadays we may use charcoal grill or BBQ grill to cook them.
  • We can also steam them after applying a turmeric & salt paste on the sprouts.
  • We should ensure that all the sprouts are completely dry before pounding them, else we wont get this sandy texture.
  • I have used 2 garlic cloves for 10 sprouts, but adding too many cloves would lead to a strong pungent flavor.
  • The more we add the coconut the more it is delicious.
  • My grandmother used to add some fresh curry leaves while pounding, but I feel that the flavor of curry leaves would overpower the earthy flavor of these sprouts. You may add them if you like to make it more nourishing.
  • The dried sprouts can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 months, and they may be pounded as and when required.

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    1. I guess you want me to write a guest post for your blog, in that case I would love to do it. 🙂

    1. I guess you want me to write a guest post for your blog, in that case I would love to do it. 🙂

  1. This an amazing dish Megala! The Zulu make a dish called Putu which is made of dried freshly ground corn. My wife was raised by Zulu nannies and loves this. Yours looks truly amazing.

    1. Thank you ! We do make puttu using corn and other grains, and it is so fascinating to find the same ingredient taking different avatars in every region !!

  2. This an amazing dish Megala! The Zulu make a dish called Putu which is made of dried freshly ground corn. My wife was raised by Zulu nannies and loves this. Yours looks truly amazing.

    1. Thank you ! We do make puttu using corn and other grains, and it is so fascinating to find the same ingredient taking different avatars in every region !!

  3. Lovely meghala ji seeing those in the picture i am ready to eat them we used to say these as tegalu(in our language) n ur receipe with palmyra it is so interesting loved it superb

  4. Lovely meghala ji seeing those in the picture i am ready to eat them we used to say these as tegalu(in our language) n ur receipe with palmyra it is so interesting loved it superb

  5. I probably wouldn’t have the patience to pound them either! Great recipe that you’ve modified and handed down within the family 🙂

    1. Yes, it seems ours is one of the few families still making this dish! Thank you so much for reading my posts!

    1. Hi, thanks for visiting! You may check with an Indian or Asian grocer there, it is really worth trying!!

    1. Hi, thanks for visiting! You may check with an Indian or Asian grocer there, it is really worth trying!!

  6. Wow, My mother in law made this when I went back home last year. I took photos and the recipe but never got to post it. She made it a bit different. So delighted to see this recipe since these traditional recipes are slowly vanishing. Now a days people are not focusing since its a lot of work to get the panang kilangu – make the pathi and let them mature, peeling the kilangu etc. Thanks for posting

    1. Thanks! Yes, pounded sprouts may sound unfamiliar, but I had seen hawkers selling steamed sprouts at the school gates when I was in school.

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