Panang kizhangu (Palmyra sprout) is popular among south Indians & Sri Lankans. We usually make steamed & pounded palmyra sprout and relish as a savory dish. 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 recipes.
Traditionally palmyra sprouts were cooked either by steaming or by roasting them directly over the hot coal in a old-fashioned Indian stove. In those days 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 can pressure cook these sprouts and grind into a fine powder using mixer-grinder.
Our maternal grandmother preferred to serve the 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 of us, as we were served with the 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 good for diabetes.
- 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 de-toxifiers.
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.
- Now the sprouts are ready to be pounded.
- 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 else you can add salt while grinding.
- Serve as an evening snack with hot 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 & flavor, I have used 2 cloves for 10 sprouts.
- The more coconut you use the more you enjoy its taste.
- Since cooked sprouts can be stored in an air-tight container and refrigerated for upto 10 days, you can grind them with fresh coconut before serving.