Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Karkidaka kanji - a healthy porridge for a rainy month

It's still raining here. (Not even nearly as much as it  for should though! The main dam here apparently has just enough water to produce electricity for the next 72 days! eeks! I can hear the rain gods say; you burn a hole in the ozone, you cut the trees down, you reclaim land from the sea, you fill out rivers and lakes, you dig away the sand on the river bed -  and you the say the climate has changed! I say you have changed, so we can't but change with you!!).
So this is the official month of 'Karkidakam' (We Malayalis, like many others, have our own calendar). This was in the 'the good ol' days', when man respected nature more, a dark and cold month, literally. The skies would be perpetually overcast, bringing down the heavens. It would rain day and night, and night and day. It was difficult for the people to get fresh produce to cook with. Harvest would happen only after this month. It was also a season of illnesses and epidemics. In order to nourish themselves to gain immunity against diseases, during a time when preventive vaccinations were non-existent, and also for nourishment when good food wasn't available, this kanji was prepared daily in homes, during this month; a tradition carried on to this date. 
There are many variations to this kanji. Ayurveda suggests adding a lot of medicinal herbs and spices for gained value. I have posted a couple of other links at the end of this post if you want to take a look or know more about the tradition. This recipe is a simple home-made one. You could add more herbs or spices into this. You can imagine this will not taste like a french onion soup. tee hee. I haven't tasted too many varieties, so maybe there is one, which does taste really nice, depending on what you add. We usually add freshly grated coconut as garnish, which does add to the taste.

Karkkidaka Kanji

What you need
1. Uluva (Fenugreek) - 1 cup
2. Cherupayar (Green gram) - 1 cup
3. Navara rice - 1 cupeat - 1
4. Cracked Wheat - 1 cup

Here's how
Soak ingredients  1 - 3 in water overnight. Next morning, add the cracked wheat to this, and pressure cook this with enough water. Now leave to simmer for 20 minutes; and there you have. You could add a very generous pinch of freshly grated coconut before serving. You could add more or less water, when serving depending on your preference.

You  could read more about Karkkidaka Kanji here and here

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