The above picture is the pirandai plant in my mom's home. Usually we make only pirandai thogayal at home. We have never made pirandai kuzhambu. As the pirandai was very tender, I was tempted and plucked some. I thought, "Why don't I try a kuzhambu with it?". I just had some ingredients in mind which I thought would go well with pirandai kuzhambu and which will also neutralise the itch. I tried with those and it was worth the try. Now I am sharing this with you.
MEDICINAL BENEFITS OF PIRANDAI :
Pirandai has enormous medicinal benefits. It is useful in curing digestive problems , breathing problems, cough, piles, nausea, flatulence (vaayu or gas in digestive track, stomach and bowels). It acts as an appetiser.
IMPORTANT NOTE WHILE CLEANING PIRANDAI:
1. Pirandai makes the hand a little itchy. So, do not use your hand while washing the stem. Run under tap water.
2. Apply little gingelly oil to hand before cleaning and chopping. After chopping or cleaning again apply gingelly oil, rub a little salt over your hands and rinse your hand OR use a glove.
3. Adding tamarind to pirandai dishes is a must as it neutralises the itching tendency of this stem.
4. If the pirandai is not sauteed well, it will itch. So saute well.
Tender pirandai - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Tomato - 1 big
Tamarind - lemon sized ball
Salt - to taste
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Black sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/8 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Gingelly oil - 2 tablespoons
Clean pirandai and chop roughly. Puree tomatoes. Soak tamarind in little water and extract juice.
In a pan, heat a tablespoon of oil and fry black pepper, toor dhal and sesame seeds until golden brown. Now add the chopped pirandai and saute well until you hear crackling sound.
When cool, add little water and grind to a paste. Keep aside.
In the same kadai, heat the remaining oil and add hing, turmeric powder and the pureed tomatoes. Saute well. Now add the tamarind extract, ground paste and allow it to boil until the raw smell diffuses and oil leaves the sides.
Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pirandai kuzhambu is ready to be served with hot rice and elai vadam.