Hailing from Citrus family, Citron aka Narthangai gains utmost importance for its immense medicinal value.
Narthangai has nice aroma with strong sour taste. You wouldn't be surprised if you see many Narthangai trees of more than 100 years old. The fruits, flowers, roots and leaves are used both in cuisine as well as for medicinal purpose. The unripe variety of citron have green outer skin where as the ripe one will change to yellow skin.
5 facts about Citron/Narthangai/bitter orange that probably you don't know:
1) Remember your childhood days when you feel like vomiting your mom would give you a piece of Narthangai/Citron pickle to chew???? Yes, citron removes bitterness in tongue and also enhances the digestion process. This is the secret behind your mom offering you uppu narthangai.
2) Squeeze out the juice from ripe citron/Narthampazham, add few palm candies and dilute this concentrate with enough water to make Narthangai juice. If you consume this juice regularly, it improves body's immunity. After recovering from any disease, you might feel weak and to improve your overall health this juice really helps.
3) Even the leaves of Citron are used in South Indian cuisine. They are used to prepare no oil pickle which goes well with your curd rice. Nartha illai podi and Veppilai katti are famous recipes prepared using the tender leaves of Narthangai/Citron tree leaves. This no oil pickle is so good for weight watchers and for those who are restricted to consume less oil diet .
4) Both the unripe and ripe variety of Narthangai is good for your blood. Yes, it removes impurities from the blood. They are good for your stomach too as they help to heal your stomach ulcer.
5) Narthangai is safe to consume during pregnancy, in fact pregnant ladies can drink narthangai juice along with honey regularly to have a normal delivery. Even the first few months nausea and vomiting can be controlled by chewing few dry narthangai pickles.
By this time you would have got amazed with the health benefits of this simple garden tree and would love to explore recipes prepared with Narthangai. Here I am with few recipes using Narthangai and its leaves
1) Narthangai Sweet Pachadi
2) Nartha ilai podi
3) Narthangai Rasam
Indeed Narathangai Pody is very tasty and good for digestion. I prepare this for years and use it for final curd rice during the meal. Along with other pickles, we make at home we make this regularly during the season and which always will be fine even after one to two years, may come for more also, since we don't make more than a year’s quota.ReplyDelete
It is my mother's favourite who was 95, alive till 2016, but we continue.
The process is developed by me, may be about 15 years beck.
Mix Nraththai, Elumichchai, and karuveppilai leaves in equal quantity and add For about 9 cups of cleaned, Ribs removed, and chopped leaves with 1Tsp Black pepper, about 25/30 LalMich ( Red Chilli), 1/4 Tsp Omam (Ajwain) , 1 Tsp Jeera, 1 tsp Black salt, 1 Tsp of Sea Salt + 1/4 spoon of asafoetida powder. I only dry the leaves for two days and directly use that after finely chop it. I only sauté the lal mirch slightly with 1/4 spoon of sesame oil till it become crispy and not more that. If black salt not available one can use ordinary sea salt or even table salt. This is the preservative for the life of the podi. Immediately after mixing and finishing it should slightly more salted which will get reduced in a month’s time.
Now we can grind all ingredients slightly coarse with 50% salts and take it out and cool them warm. Now grind the leaves along with the balance salts for two minutes till they become just minute pieces and take out and measure with the cup. Keep it aside in a paper in single cup heaps. Divide the ground ingredients in equal measure to the number of cups. Put some , say 3 cups of leaves now in to the grinding jar and three measures of poweder and grind for 3 minutes take it out and repeat the process to the balance leaves also.
After last set grinding, mix all the quantity to jar, after tasting the salt /mix level. Add salt if require more to your taste and all other individual ingredient can be added in the right way by powdering separately, but to be mixed to the total quantity and to be mixed for a minute at least. It will be nice to taste and also has all the herbal quality to ease the digestion and save the stomach. You can make it in to small balls( Don’t pres more) immediately after grinding or can be moulded with some cones to size and kept in a plastic cups or glass bottles and better store the full quantity inside the fridge to keep up its Ph level till the last. I am sure this will be liked by one and all.
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