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N is for….. April 28, 2007

Posted by live2cook in Flat and Fried Breads.

I have been preparing recipes for all the alphabets so far covered by Nupur’s A-Z of vegetables and this time I am able to post them before deadline. What a coincidence! N is for Nupur and so is for Naraththai puri and Nellimulli pachchidi.

Naraththai puri:

Naraththai is a Tamil name for a citrus fruit. As per wikipedia, the word “Orange” comes from Narangi (Sanskrit) or Naraththai (Tamil).


I searched the internet for the correct English term for this fruit, which might be helpful for my friends to find and enjoy. The description for Sour Orange resembles Naraththai more. In Tamil, we also refer to it as “Naarththangai”. In some homes, they grow this tree in their garden. But generally, we buy these. The ones that are sold in market is called “jaadhi naarthangai” and the home grown are called “naattu naarthangai”. Home grown naarththangai are bitter than the market ones. We make pickle, a condiment called “pachchadi”, and if the juice is not bitter we can make mixed rice similar to lemon rice.

We can preserve these fruits by sun drying them after curing with salt and turmeric powder. In my home town, all the houses will have a “Naarththangai jaadi” along with “Puli” (Tamarind) and “uppu” (Salt) jaadi (Clay jar). We use these sun dried naarthangai and pickles with yogurt rice. These are considered as home remedy for indigestion and bringing back the lost appetite. The sour taste of naarthangai helps in controlling nausea.

In US, I have not been able to find this fruit in the super markets. I have the sun dried ones brought from India stored in my freezer which I used to make puri.

Here’s what I did:

Took 8-10 pieces of the sun dried naarthangai and soaked in ¼ Cup of water. When they became soft, Ground them in to a paste (using the soaked water) with ½ teaspoon of salt (note that the sun dried fruits have salt), a handful of fenugreek leaves, 5-6 curry leaves, ½ teaspoon of red chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric powder and a pinch of asafetida and ¼ tea spoon of mustard seeds.

In a medium sized bowl, I added 1¼ cups of whole wheat flour to the paste. Mixed it well and kneaded in to pliable dough. Took a walnut sized ball of dough and rolled into 2 inch disc. Took 2 cups of oil in a frying pan and heated it till a small pinch of dough dropped into the oil returned to the surface immediately. Dropped the rolled discs carefully into the hot oil and fried till puffy. Removed it with a slotted spoon and drained it in a paper towel. This is how it looked…

naraththai puri


Nellimulli Pachchidi:

Nellimulli is the Tamil term for dried amla (Indian Gooseberry). Nellimulli or Dried Amla has lots of medicinal values. It is considered as a good source of vitamin C.



Pachchidi is raita, a condiment made with yogurt base.

This recipe is prepared especially for “dwadashi” feast. Dwadashi is the day we end our fast called “Ekadashi vratha”.

Here’s what I did:

Took 20-25 pieces of dried amla and soaked in ¼ cup of water. When they got soft, Ground them into coarse paste with ¼ cup of fresh grated coconut, 1 green chilli, ¼ teaspoon of cumin seeds, 3 curry leaves and ¼ teaspoon of salt(If you buy salted dry amla, grind without salt).

Took the paste in a bowl and mixed it with 1 cup of home made plain yogurt, added salt to taste. Heated ½ teaspoon of oil in a small pan and put mustard seeds and asafetida in it. When the mustard seeds spluttered, poured it into the amla yogurt mixture and mixed well. This is how it looked…



1. Aarti - April 29, 2007

Nice and innovative recipes for N 🙂 Thanks for sharing.. Am not lucky to find dry Amla here 😦 else wud have loved to try Nellimulli Pachchidi!

2. asha - April 29, 2007

Very innovative recipe with Oranges,looks great:))

3. Ayesha - April 29, 2007

I am a tamilian too . but never have heard of it …
Looks lovely

4. Suganya - April 29, 2007

Mouth watering posts.. Have u tried making Narthangai saadam? The recipe is same as lemon rice, except narthangai for lemons.. The fragrant narthangai, its tanginess.. hmm.. I used to have this every summer at my granny’s house… u make me nostalgic … I wudnt mind eating nellimulli as such.. keep it in yr mouth for long time and then drink water… tinglyyyyy… 🙂

5. live2cook - April 29, 2007

Hi Aarti, Asha, Ayesha,

Thank you for visiting and encouraging.

Hi Suganya,

Yup. We make Narthangai saadam. And Nellimulli…I like that way too.

Thank you for visiting and encouraging

6. Nupur - April 30, 2007

Thank you so very much for this wonderful informative post! It was an awesome addition to the event, so thanks for your enthusiastic participation 🙂

7. Sheela - April 30, 2007

Wow, unique recipes for N. I didn’t know nellimulli is tamil for dried gooseberry – and i spent quite a bit of my childhood in Madras 🙂 I love narthangai, and as you mentioned, i can’t find it here in US easily… thanks for your recipes.

8. Suma Gandlur - May 1, 2007

Never heard of these unique recipes using dried ones. Thanks for sharing.
I think the oranges you are referring to are called dabbakayalu in Telugu, if I am right. We make rice and pickles too, using them.

9. Poonguzhaly & Manimozhi Selvamany - November 24, 2007

Hi priya,

Really a nice recipie. Thanks

10. Anita Varma - October 6, 2009

I loved the way you have given this recipe. No complications and so simple. Yes I did make them yesterday and it was divine! Thanks for such innovative recipes–sans heavy masalas but yummy.

11. Kechu - October 12, 2009

I am living in Muscat, Oman. I understand that we (NRI) will not able to source Naraththai leaves. But I am wondering how you are able source dried Naraththai. What is its equivalent in English so that I can look at here in some Hyper Markets, particularly South Indian Hyper Markets.

12. Kechu - October 12, 2009

While we are looking at the equivalent English term for Naraththai or Naarthangai, what is the equivalent English term for Kadarangai. It looks like the word ‘kadaram’ refers to Burma and this citrus fruit should have come to South India from there as trade relationships were existing between South India and Burma & Malasia those days.

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14. Subha - May 17, 2011

Such a unique recipe and helthy too, Thanks

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