Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Recipes using the palmyrah products - An Introduction


Palmyrah palm can be said as a longest living tree offering valuable raw materials in every way to the people in Yarlpanam especially for those in the villages and who make their living from cottage industries by using those raw materials.
In fact the whole tree is valuable and all its parts are used in some way or other and it is not possible to list all its uses. But we will try to give you some;

The sap tapped from flowers is mainly used as toddy a most sought after drink of the people, arrack from this again most wanted drink in a bottle, sweet toddy (Karuppany) a refreshing drink, jaggery, treacle, sugar candy, palmyrah sugar, palmyrah vinegar and many more.

The pulp juice from the fruit is sweet and eaten, dried and made into pinaddu, palmyrah jam and so on.

The seed is grown in special soil nursery and allowed to germinate and takes about three months. After which the germinated seedling is uprooted and the seedling is cleaned and washed and used as panang kizhangu, dried as pulukodiyal and odiyal and their derivatives.

The leaves are used for making bags of all kinds and descriptions, baskets of different kinds, rugs, table mats, containers of all kinds and shapes, hats, mats which most people use to sleep on or sit on, winnows and even baskets to draw water from wells and many more. This forms the main wage earner for the village women

The whole leaf is used in fencing and the tree itself is used for rafts for houses and various other uses. But here in this website we are only dealing with recipes using palmyrah products.

Seed Derivatives:

Each fruit will have usually three seeds and these seeds are planted in specially made soil nursery beds to grow. After 3 to 4 months the seeds start to grow. These seedlings below the surface are lifted out. This is called panang kizhangu and is used in many ways.
The outer sheath cover is removed and it is split into two in the middle and sundried. This is odiyal and this is pounded and sieved to remove the obvious fibres. These are very fibrous and nutritious. The odiyal flour is starchy and is locally made into gruel (Kool), with rice, herbs, chilli peppers, fish, or other ingredients added. This also is used to make odiyal pittu which is a delicacy.
When the outer sheath is removed, this is boiled in water to produce panang kizhangu, or boiled and dried as pulukodiyal. With the outer covering intact, this is roasted in embers to produce another version of panang kizhangu.

The panang kizhangu and odiyal flour are available in the West in the season and hence recipes using them are given in the following pages:

See Recipes of Palmyrah Products for recipes like Odiyal Kool, Odiyal Pittu, Panang kizhangu Thuvaiyal, and Pulukodiyal dishes.
Fruit Derivatives:

The ripe palmyrah fruit is peeled. The pulp is extracted and used for making the Panangai Paniyaram and Pinaddu. It seems that the palmyrah pulp is available in the West nowadays.

Recipe for the Panangai Paniyaram is given.

To make Pinaddu –a kind of toffee, we need fresh fruit pulp and real hot sun to dry this toffee. It is difficult to get fresh pulp unless you live in the local area where the palmyrah grows and during the fruiting season. Dishes using Karuppany will also require fresh product. Therefore we omit those dishes. But Panangai pinaddu is available in Sri Lankan shops if you like to taste it.