DIY Karkkadaka kanji

I have to confess that Karkkadaka kanji, the rice-based gruel cooked with herbs by no means enthused me. But this bitter porridge believed to be an immunity booster and one which aids digestion is a should for a lot of in Kerala throughout July and August (Karkkadakam), the final month of the Malayalam calendar when heavy rains lash Kerala. Availability of ready-to-cook kanji kits has made it accessible to all. The kanji is believed to assist digestion, enhance immunity and stop ailments through the month of July-August (Karkkadakam) when heavy rains lash Kerala.

With lockdowns in lots of a part of the State — and nation — to examine the unfold of COVID-19, the kits will not be simply out there. So, how about making it at dwelling, because it was performed until a couple of a long time in the past?

Mary Antony, a former trainer from Aluva, has at all times made her personal medicinal kanji. She has it for 3, 5 or seven days through the month. “I by no means relied on the kanji equipment. I comply with the recipe taught by my ammachi (mom) that was handed on to her by her mom,” says the 72-year-old.

Every family in Kerala has its personal model of the gruel, with elements normally sourced inside the neighbourhood. “Remember, the kanji was once cooked at dwelling earlier than the kits turned a development. In truth, you don’t want all of the elements that supposedly go into ready-to-cook packets. Certain key elements are necessary,” says Dr Krishna Rao, analysis officer (Ayurveda), Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Hepatobiliary Disorders, Bhubaneswar.

Key elements

Although njavara rice, an indigenous selection from Kerala, is right, it may be made with kuthari (boiled rice) or unakkalari (uncooked rice with bran). “These varieties can be used individually or in combination,” Dr Rao provides. Digestive stimulants and elements that flush out toxins from the physique are integral to the gruel. “For instance, whereas cumin, turmeric and chathakuppa (crown dill) will assist digestion, a fantastic powder of chukku (dried ginger), cloves and cinnamon eliminates toxins even because it provides flavour to the kanji,” he explains.

Stick to rock salt as a substitute of desk salt or go for a candy model with palm jaggery, jaggery and coconut milk. Shallots sautéed in ghee or oil improves the style, particularly for youngsters. Fenugreek and aashaali (backyard cress) are additionally utilized in some preparations. Mary cooks the 2 with unakkalari and cumin seeds. “Thick coconut milk subdues the pungency of fenugreek and aashaali,” she says.

Keeping it conventional

  • The kanji ready by the Namboothiri neighborhood in Kerala has Njavara rice, kurunthotti, shatavari (Satavar or Asparagus racemosus), tulsi, thottavadi, fenugreek, aashaali and coconut milk, says Vijayasree Vasan, a homemaker from Kumaranelloor in Kottayam district. Ghee and ashtachoornam (an Ayurveda drugs) or shallots sautéed in ghee may be added. “A chammanthi (chutney) ready with leaves of Kodangal (Indian pennyweed, a creeper) is a should. The leaf is floor with ginger, kanthari mulaku (chook’s eye chilli), curry leaves and tamarind,” she provides. The gruel is consumed for 5, seven, 9 or 12 days.
  • On the primary or final Friday of the month the ladies of the household put on dashapushpam (10 sacred flowers) of their hair and apply mehndi on their palms and toes after a shower. Kanakappodi or ponppodi is made with powdered malar (puff rice), jaggery, grated coconut and sugar. For lunch, “Shivoti kanji”, a pongal with unakkalari, jaggery, coconut milk and coconut is consumed. A thoran with 10 leaf varieties can also be ready. “Leaves of thazhuthama (hog weed), thakara (Ringworm plant), pumpkin and lengthy beans are a should. Varieties of cheera and leaves of colocasia and elephant foot yam are added,” she says. Therali appam (steamed rice and jaggery dumplings) cooked in leaves of mulla (Arabian jasmine) are provided to the Goddess.

Gangadharan, proprietor of Pathayam naturopathic restaurant in Thiruvananthapuram, suggests fenugreek be soaked or sprouted beforehand, and cooked with sprouted inexperienced gram and unakkalari or njavara rice to make the gruel. “To this, add a fantastic powder of turmeric, chathakuppa, coriander and dried ginger. Aashaali, cumin and rock salt are combined on the finish,” he explains.

The concoction may be made with out aashaali or chathakuppa. “Cook sprouted fenugreek with unakkalari. Have it with floor coconut or coconut milk and salt,” says Geetha Rajagopal, a homemaker from Tripunithura. Baby Radhakrishnan, a former banker from Ettumannoor, makes use of cumin as a substitute of fenugreek. “My kids find it irresistible with jaggery. Some of my mates put together it with sprouted horse gram and rice. Juice extracted from medicinal herbs/crops will also be added. For occasion, tulsi (holy basil), mukkutti (little tree plant), kurunthotti (bala or frequent wireweed), thottavadi (touch-me-not or Mimosa pudica), and tender leaves of guava.”

Savithri Patteri from Kannur retains it easy with unakkalari and black gram, “both home-grown”. The gram, sautéed and coarsely floor, is cooked with rice and fenugreek. Add grated coconut and ghee earlier than you eat it.

The norm is to eat the gruel for seven, 14 or 21 days through the month, both in small portions or as your night meal. “All ingredients should be cooked well. Those who have diabetes or high cholesterol should avoid jaggery and ghee. Food is a medicine itself. So, don’t have the gruel just because others are also having it. Your appetite, health and age have to be taken into consideration,” Dr Rao provides.

Recipe for Karkkadaka kanji:

Ingredients ( Serves 4)

Unakkalari – 200 g

Coconut milk – From one coconut

Fenugreek, aashaali and cumin seeds – 50 gm every

Salt- as per style

Shallots – 100 gm

Ghee – four spoons


If you might be planning to have the gruel within the night, wash fenugreek, aashali and cumin seeds completely and soak them in separate bowls within the morning. ook them with rice in the identical water. When rice is half-cooked, add coconut milk of thick consistency and salt. Cook nicely. Add shallots sautéed in ghee solely earlier than you eat the gruel. It’s higher to have it for 3, 5 or seven days of the month.

Mary Antony

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