Each and every morning,as soon as she wakes up,Lil Angel runs to the garden to see how 'her' plants are growing. You might remember that me telling you that we have a yam plant growing and she checks its 'progress' every morning.A stroll to the back yard and she will be looking up at the drumstick tree and counting how many are ready to be picked.
Around here a few herbs and trees are found in almost every one's back yard. Tulsi [Holy Basil] , Betel leaves, Pirandai, Karpooravalli [Plectranthus amboinicus], Guava tree ,a couple of tomato plants, Curry leave bushes ,coconut trees, drumstick trees, Gooseberry trees,etc.But all are present in each and every house,so we exchange the produce when we have them in excess. We pass on a huge bunch of drumstick leaves to my neighbor every time he comes to visit her mom. I pick up betel leaves from my SIL's home.We pass on drumsticks or coconuts if any body needs them for the day's meal.So it goes like this...
A long time back, my neighbor was literally throwing out a huge bunch of pirandai creepers as they were literally pulling down the fence with their weight. I got a small cutting from it and planted in my yard and now it is flourishing.
So this chutney is obviously made from the creeper in my yard and it is something that we can prepare as a side dish to rice when you need a change or out of vegetables or just enjoy it for its medicinal value.
P - Pirandai Thuvayal / Chutney
Theme - Misc / Condiments
Pirandai which is known by the Botanical name- Cissus quandrangularis, is a creeper and here is how it looks...Can you see them hanging off the fence....
A closer look....
The other names include
- Devils Backbone [!!!]
- Veldt Grape
- Edible-stemmed vein
- Vajravalli, Ashthisonhara [Sanskrit]
- Pirandai [Tamil]
- Nalleru [Telugu]
- Mangaroli [Canarese]
- Hasjora / Harbhanga [Bengali]
- Chaudhari / Kandavela [Marathi]
- Chadhuri / Vedhari [Gujarati]
This plant is supposed to be of medicinal value and is used extensively in Ayurveda and Siddha Medicines.
Some of its properties ...
- A very good bone healer. It is used in traditional medicine to mend broken bones.
- It is used in the cure of asthma and cough
- Stimulates the appetite and good for the digestion.
- Siddha medicine uses the various parts of this plant in various forms like powders / concoction / juice etc to treat disorders like ear ache, irregular menstruation, digestive problems etc.
- It is claimed to be a tonic and a relaxant.
- It is also said to be a good source of Carotene, Calcium and Vit C
With so many properties it is only wise to use this plant in our diet in a regular basis. The juice of this plant is added while making pappads , the tender part of the plant can be make into vatral [sun dried crisps], added to dosa[ recipe will posted after this mega BM] added to gravies , made into chutney / dip...
One important point that is to be noted is that the juice from the plant causes itching. So it is advisable to use a glove while picking the plant / while cutting it. If you don't have a glove , the simplest way out is to smear the hand with sesame / gingelly oil and then cut the plant / chop it to cook.
Also tamarind is used in the recipes that has pirandai. This is also to prevent the itching after / while eating the preparation.
Tender links of pirandai - 10
Urad dhal -2 tablspoosns
Tamarind- small gooseberry size
Red chili -2
Sesame seeds- 1 teaspoon
Peppercorns- 1 teaspoon
Grated coconut- 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Oil -1 tablespoon
- Wear a glove / smear sesame oil before you handle the pirandai. Wash the pirandai well and remove the tendrils and the ribs and chop into small pieces. Choose the tender parts as it is less likely to be fibrous while grinding.
- Heat oil in a pan and put in the chopped pirandai and cook for a couple of minutes till it shrinks a little.
- Remove with a slotted spoon.
- Into the same pan add all the other ingredients except salt and roast till the dhal turn golden brown.Do this on medium heat.
- Cool everything and grind to a smooth paste adding salt and a little water.
Serve with steamed rice....
- Some of them prefer the chutney to be a little grainy but we prefer a smooth chutney.So I use tender links and also grind it to a smooth paste.
- You can also add a handful of curry leaves / coriander leaves / mint leaves for a different flavor.
- Adjust the red chillies to suit your taste...
- There is no need to season this chutney
- Also goes well with idli / dosa
- If you hands itch after handling the pirandai, apply gingelly oil and rub some salt.
Take a look at the Blogging Marathon page to check out what my friends are cooking in this A- Z series...
Previously in this series...
- Dates Cake
- Eggless / No milk / No butter!!! - Baked
N - Nannari Sherbet - Regional / Tamil Nadu
- Ice cream Falooda And Kulfi Falooda - Regional / N.Indian
O - Olo Kobi Bhaja - Regional / Odisa
Labels: Blogging Marathon, Cooking with herbs / flowers, Grandma's Remedy, Herbs, Tamil Nadu Cuisine, tiffinsides, Whoz on my side