Groundnut is called as “Poor men’s Cashewnut.” Protein content in the peanut is equal to the cashewnut, so groundnut has the space in our traditional food habit. Groundnut should eat properly otherwise it might create disturbance to our body. Always it is best to eat the groundnut either roasted or steamed. Nutritionist says Steaming will loss the nutrients in the groundnut. In the villages, roasted peanuts are eaten along with jaggery, this practice was the follow up of making Kadalai Mittai.
Kadalai Mittai is available in all the petty shops of Tamilnadu. Kovilpatti is often suffixed to its name Kadalai Mittai. The tongue which tastes the kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai will not accept other place Kadalai Mittai as “Kadalai Mittai.” Splitted peanuts are hold by vellam pagu or jaggery syrup, the wringling colourful coconut shreds on top of Kadalai Mittai says “I am a Kovilpattian.”
Earlier time, palm tree based by-product business was the main occupation of the people here. Initially, the palm jaggery of this region and the peanuts of Toothukudi region are combined then sold as “Karupatti Kadalai Mittai.” Later, the demand in sourcing palm jaggery made them to use the sugarcane jaggery for the Kadalai Mittai preparation. Now the groundnut cultivation is also declined in this region, at present peanut is sourcing from Aruppukottai and Dindigul.
The jaggery is brought from Salem area. Kadalai Mittai preparation seems to be easy, if the attention of preparing jaggery syrup lost for few seconds it will wipe out the taste and flavour of Kadalai mittai. Right proportions of Sugar, vanilla essence, Liquid glucose are mixed with jaggery syrup or vella pagu to obtain the taste and consistency. Some says two or three types of Jaggery are melt to get the syrup. Put the shelled and roasted peanuts in the bubbling jaggery syrup. Stir swiftly and the peanuts embedded in hardened syrup. Plunk it on a board and flatten it with a rolling pin. Cut the peanut bed with Knife.
If the peanut bed is cut with knife, the smell of Kadalai Mittai will gathers the people near around.
The time you have been in this post brings the feel that “you have eaten the Kadalai Mittai”… Say “Thanks for me” anyhow don’t forget to taste the real Kadalai Mittai.