Despite the muggy weather, I look forward to summer for three reasons: mangoes, palm trees (ice apple/taati munjalu) and peace and quiet. I absolutely cannot live without one of them. Yesterday I made nongu paal, a sweet summer dessert made from sugar palm seeds or desserts (nongu in Tamil) that is popular in Tamil Nadu. The perfect summer drink to beat the heat.
I recently posted a picture of palm seeds on Sailu’s Kitchen’s Facebook page and got a lot of responses. I have gathered a lot of information about palm seeds, their health benefits, the desserts prepared with them and the local names by which they are known in different parts of the country. For the benefit of my dear readers, I also give the local names of Toddy’s palms. Telugu to Taati Munjalu, Tamil to Nongu, Bengali to Taal Shash, Gujarati to Thadfali, Talfadi, Galeli, Konkani to Targula, Kannada to Taati language, Tulu – Eroll, Marathi – Tadola, Malayalam – Karimpana Tengu, Urdu – Munjal, Odia – Tala Saja, Bihar – Taar ka ka kao, Hindi – Tari or Taal It is a natural cooling agent, contains vitamins and minerals, improves digestion and acts as a mild laxative.
taati munjalu, toddy palm fruit, nongu, tadgola
In Andhra, palm vendors sitting on the side of the highway with bunches of palm fruits are an everyday sight. I am fortunate to have access to fresh palm seeds every summer. Every day a seller of sugar palm seed comes to the house and delivers fresh taati munjalu. I often squeeze tender peeled taati munjalu, add a little sugar and put them in the fridge for an hour before I eat them.
During my visit to Tamil Nadu, I enjoyed the nongu sharbat and nongu paal scented roses sold by the street vendors. I have never seen Taati Munyalu being made into a dessert in Andhra. I was very intrigued by the idea of adding chopped nongu to nannari sharbat (sarsaparilla or sassagandhi) and serving it fresh. Both nanari and negu have a cooling effect on the body. Biting into a cool bowl of nong pole on a hot day is like manna from heaven. It makes you feel fresh and addicted.
Learn to make Nonga Pole
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