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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pirandai/hadjot/nalleda Thogayal

How many of us are familiar with a creeper that has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits, and known to our indigenous medicinal systems for centuries? Known by its botanical name Cissus quadranularris, is simply known as Adamant Creeper, or Devil's Back Bone, or Pirandai in Tamil , Hadjot in Hindi and Nalleda in telugu.
Being a tamil brahmin, I have come across this plant in my childhood. My Grandmother used to make papad-the popular side dish in vegetarian meals by mixing the pirandai juice with the urad dal paste. And we used to eat this as thogayal/chutney/pachadi during annual death ceremony of the departed elders in the family. Recently I viewed in TV programme when they showed making of fryums/vadam during summer- a vathal made with idli rava and juice of this perandai. It not gives taste but also puffs up well when dried and fried in oil. I made and it was true. even the fryums were white. Knowing about its medicinal and health benefits I decided to have it in my house. This creeper grows everywhere and can be grown in pots at home.
I made thogayal couple of times with this using grated coconut as a combination.
To my surprise I read an article about this in a magazine two days back by Dr. Chandra Venkatasubramanian. I am happy to share the information given by her here. This made me to make the thogayal again today and I take pleasure in sharing with you all.
Here is the recipe as given by  her. I normally  use two tablespoon of grated coconut 1/4 teaspoon methi seeds and 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds along with other  ingredients.
The pirandai/hadjot is not regularly used because of its itchy nature. But if handles properly, the itchiness can be avoided. Always pick tender pirandai, and rub a little gingelly oil on hands to avoid any form of itchiness.
I am giving all the details about this single ingredient "pirandai/hadjot/nalleda" for a simple recipe which when consumed has many health benefits.
Here is the recipe.


Urad dal
3 tsp
Red chili
1 piece
Tamarind paste
1 tsp
1 12” piece/1/2 cup when cut
Curry leaves
2 sprigs
Sesame oil
3 tablespoon
To taste
Small piece

Wash the pirandai plant, break at the nodes and remove the nodes, too.
If the pirandai is tender, you can break it with hands easily.
Pull the fibres apart, as you do while peeling drumsticks.
If the plant is a bit aged and thick, cut it into pieces.
Soak gooseberry size tamarind in water to extract pulp.
(can use one teaspoon tamarind paste)

Heat oil in a kadai and add urad dal, red chili, hing and fry till dal turns golden.
Remove the fried spices in a plate and in the same oil fry cut pirandai/hadjot till it turns light brown.
Add curry leaves to it.
When the fried items are cool, grind the  spices in a blender into a coarse powder and then add fried pirandai,salt, soaked tamarind pulp or paste, little jagree and grind into a thick coarse paste with very little water.
This paste/thogayal tastes wonderful when mixed with hot rice and a little ghee.
This chutney can be consumed weekly twice to get relief from indigestion and gastritis.
As a variation mint leaves and coriander leaves can be added while grinding.

Medicinal uses and health benefits of Pirandai/hadjot:
It is a good home remedy for piles when consumed as chutney.
This plant is widely used for regeneration of connective tissues in the bone healing process since ages.
Traditional healers have used the plant to treat bone fractures, as well as stomach ailments, digestive problems and eye diseases.
It is good de-worming medicine; it also treats piles and menstrual problems and is the best home remedy for ear pain.
It is good for treating sprains and swollen joints when made as a poultice.

Other preparations with this pirandai:
This can be ground and added to dosa batter to make pirandai dosas.
This can be dried in the form of flakes (vathal) and fried in oil like vadams till they are crisp.

Courtesy: Dr.Chandra Venkatasubramanian.