I wanted to share one more palmyrah product this week. I will wrap up the palmyrah recipe series with ‘panangkatti’ or palmyrah sugar. During my great-grandmother’s time, ‘panangkatti’ was considered the regular sweetener for cooking and beverages and not the processed sugar of today. My mother recollects her grandmother serving her tea with a piece of panangkatti.
Very rich in nutrients and a good source of vitamin B12, ‘panangkatti’ is considered particularly good for diabetic patients as well as those seeking to reduce their weight. Whenever I travel to Jaffna, I always try to bring my parents some good ‘panangkatti’ as the best in the country is available only there and both my parents are diabetic.
While there are some people like my parents who prefer ‘panangkatti’ to regular sugar, its usage in the country has been on the decline over the last couple of decades. Therefore, its production has also reduced while the prices have gone up and it is now much more expensive than the regular sugar one can buy in any store.
This is what my mother remembers of her grandmother’s recipe for making panangkatti, for those interested in knowing how it is made. The accompanying photo is of some ‘panangkatti’ that my mother had bought last week from Katpaham.
- Palmyrah sap – ½ cup
- Rice flour – 1 tbsp
- Stir the palmyrah sap (palm water) continuously in the pot over medium heat, till it thickens beyond the consistency required for ‘paani‘.
- Add a tbsp of rice flour and continue stirring till its consistency becomes denser and it is no longer watery.
- Scoop a tbsp of the ‘panangkatti’ mixture into the woven palmyrah leaf thimbles and let it cool and set.
- Store the ‘panangkatti’ thimbles in an air-tight container.
Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.