Karkidaka Kanji - the healthy food for monsoon

Karkidaka kanji, is a porridge you drink in the month of karkidaka and hence the name. It is also called oushadha (medicinal) kanji. It has become a tradition to consume the porridge during karkidaka season for its health benefits.

Karkidaka is the time when most of the diseases spread as the body immunity is very low during this time. Due to several seasonal factors, there is an imbalance of the 3 humors ( vata, pitta & kapha) during the season, with a vata predominant dosha. The imbalance results in low immunity which makes the body more prone to diseases. Also, during this time the Agni or digestive fire is on the lower side. This porridge helps to regain the immunity as well as boost the digestive fire which results in a good metabolism of the body.

The monsoon ayurveda therapy and the intake of karkidaka kanji helps to maintain the tridoshas and keep the body healthy for the coming months.

The oushadha kanji is a special combination of different cereals, pulses, herbs and spices. It helps in the prevention of common monsoon illnesses and also manages the pains of the body effectively. Ready to cook karkidaka kits are available in the market which contain all the necessary ingredients in the right quantity. You can easily prepare it at home by cooking accordingly.

Let's have a look at different ways of cooking karkidaka kanji at home.

A simple recipe:

100 gm of njavara rice ( red rice) or unangalari ( broken rice )

25 gm of uluva ( fenugreek) 30 gm of cherupayar ( green gram)

The above ingredients are soaked overnight and well cooked.

Add powdered jeera (cumin), chukku ( dry ginger), kurumulaku ( pepper), elakka ( cardamom), grambu ( cloves) - 2 to 5 gm each.

For taste add coconut milk and also shallots fried in a spoonful of ghee. You can also add karipetti sarkara ( palm jaggery) according to your taste.

Medicinal recipe:

Apart from the above ingredients, one can mix asali ( caraway seed ) while cooking the rice. People belonging to certain parts of the state might also add broken wheat.

Powder of malli ( coriander seed), karimjeerakam ( black pepper), varattu manjal ( turmeric) ayamodakam ( carom seed) are also added.

For best results while cooking dasamoola, trikatu and dasapushpam are also added.

Dasamoola are 10 herbal plants whose roots are used for medicinal purposes:

  1. Bilwa (aegle marmelos) ( koovalam )

  2. Agnimantha ( clerodendrum phlomidis) ( munja)

  3. Shyonaka ( oroxylum indicum) ( palakapayyanji)

  4. Patala ( stereospermum suaveolens) ( pathiri)

  5. Gambhari ( gmelina arborea) ( kumil)

  6. Gokshura ( tribulus terrestris) (nerunjil)

  7. Brihati ( solanum indicum) ( puttarichunda)

  8. Kantakari ( solanum surattense) ( kantakari chunda)

  9. Sali parni ( desmodium gangeticum) (orila)

  10. Prisni parni ( uraria picta) ( muvila)

Trikatu :

  1. Pippali ( piper longum) ( thippali)

  2. Maricha ( piper nigrum) ( kurumulaku)

  3. Shunti ( zingiber officinalis) ( chukku)

Dasapushpam are the 10 flowers which are rich in their medicinal properties. Dasapushpam is also blended into the culture and tradition of karkidaka season. More about Dasapushpam in tomorrow's blog.

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