Another Ganesha Chaturthi has passed by, and many of us who indulged in those sweet and soft little dumplings are perhaps longing for more. But the next time you make kuzhakattai, go for a healthier option - cook them in palm leaves.
Kozhakattai, or dumplings, can be made in different forms. Between different kind of fillings and various types of rice used for the dough, there are several options.
Common practice in our kitchens is to steam-cook the dumpling on idli-plates. But they are also cooked wrapped in several different leaves, like banana leaves. But using palm leaves is perhaps the healthiest way to cook it.
Known as Panai Olai in Tamil, the palm leaf is known to be rich in nutrients, has calcium and certain vitamins too, says Dr. Selva Shanmugam, a Siddha doctor.
When you cook the dumpling inside the leaf, it cooks slow, and the steam moves into the dumpling through the leaf, taking the nutrients along with it. ‚ÄúThe phytonutrients in the leaf then transfer to the kuzhakattai,‚ÄĚ says Dr. Selva Shanmugam.
As it is, the dumplings we make at home are not unhealthy. The rice dough, palm sugar, coconut and dal used bring along a lot of nutrition. But using the palm leaf takes it the extra mile because it also helps the body absorb the nutrients from the ingredients, according to Dr. Selva Shanmugam.
Using palm leaves helps us control diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, he adds.
There could be one alteration in the core recipe. Instead of the regular white rice powder used to make the dough, one could go for healthier dough made of the samba rice or red rice.
So it‚Äôs not just during festival time that you can make this, once a week could do you some real good!
For other such healthy diet ideas, watch ‚ÄėUnave Amirtham‚Äô at 4:30pm on Weekdays on NEWS7 TAMIL
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