Friday, January 15, 2010

The Palm Shoot

Sorry folks. I wanted to share with you so many things especially this festive season. But Alas! I had some problem with loading my pictures.  So I just could not post any thing. Anyway now that I have got it settled(so I think) hopefully, here I am again......

I just wanted to share something with you all. This is unique to Andhra Pradesh, my State. Any guesses? I don't think you can guess it unless known to you earlier.
These are young palm shoots.

The palm fruit is black in colour with a thick outer shell. It contains three fruits which are soft fleshy and contain water. The tender fruits are available during summer. The soft flesh and the water inside are great sources to beat the hot Indian Summers. In fact the water of the fruit is of great help in cases of sunstroke. The fruit is nutritious too. Toddy is made out of these fruits by fermenting them. Palm jaggery is another product.

But once harvested from the tree, the fruits should be consumed as early as possible, or else they become very hard and don't digest easily. But once the fruit start maturing, they are left on the trees till fully done. Just before the rains, they are harvested and planted in the fields covered by the mud. By the time the rainy season is well advanced we have these shoots emerging from the fruits. These shoots are then separated from the seed and either steamed or roasted on coals or dry palm leaves and timber. I love the ones which are roasted than the ones which are steamed. These are very tasty.

Now here you can see them bundled and teid with dried palm leaf ready for marketing. These palm trees are found in many places of Andhra, but mainly in the coastal areas.

You can see the brown covering they have on them.

Here I have split one length wise. This how they look. The thin stick like thing  known as Chandamama -the moon or Dongaadu -the thief , has to be removed from the shoots before eating. This is not edible. But why is this called as moon or thief I don't have any clue. Now the top portion near to roots is very tasty. This shoot is quite fibrous and a bit heavy on digestion.

But I just love them. Every year when the monsoon sets in after the dry summer spells, I think of these palm shoots and eagerly wait for them. As the winter sets in, these start arriving in the market. 

They make a great snack and are healthy too being natural...
So do write your comments...


  1. Hi ,
    Is the thief stalk poisonous if boiled with the main root, as I boiled them without splitting before reading your post and the roots taste bitter. I had boiled it with salt and tumeric.

    I will now try to cook it in butter and pepper and see if it makes a difference.


  2. Hi Cora!

    The stalk is not poisonous. As I showed you above they are not removed before boiling or roasting. They are removed only before eating as they don't have any taste.

    Actually we get boiled or roasted ones in the market.So we don't have to process them further.

    My granny knew how to process raw ones. The village folk who process them will be knowing.

    I don't have any idea of these process as we get the processed ones. I will try to find out if any one knows it.

    I think your shoots might have tasted bitter may be because of turmeric, I am not sure if they put salt while boiling as the processed ones we get here don't taste salty.

    Anyway, let me try to find out if any one can give the procedure.

  3. Even I like them too. They are called Tegalu in telugu. I'm a telugu man. As I searched for Palm shoots, I came across your blog. It's nice.I like both roasted as well as boiled ones. My dad is from West Godavari, so he likes it boiled with a pinch of salt.

    Btw, all of the stalk is not called Chandamama or the moon. The topmost softer part alone is called chandamaman. My mother used to warn me against eating it in my childhood while I was too naughty and insisted on eating it.

    I'm a vegetarian too though I dislike cooking, I'd pay frequent visits to your site and try to spread the word. Nice to talk to you Ms. Sharma..

  4. Thank you so much, for stopping by my blog, reading and leaving your comment. Thank you. Please do visit my blog. I will try to post frequently from the New year :).

  5. The top portion of chandamama is neither toxic nor harmful. In fact it is a leaf in making .If you open it u'll see it is a leaf.It is not advised to eat as it is hard n not easily digestible. The taste as experienced by cora is purely due to turmeric n salt which is not required.

  6. Oh! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and explaining it all.