Happy Deepavali to all of you!
You can get the hang of deepavali once you have all the sweets and savories, new clothes ready and everywhere you can hear the bursting of fireworks. But it is complete only when you have this marundhu (medicine) or deepavali lehiyam ready to eat this in empty stomach on the day of Deepavali. This is very important as it helps you have a good digestion when you eat different kind of snacks and a big feast during the festive times. I am from a traditional Iyengar family and these kinds of home remedies and specialty recipes are the ones that I love the most though I try out many different cuisines. This lehiyam is my all time favorite. I make this now and then and have a steady stock of this since we all love to eat a small gooseberry size often which helps in keeping our system tuned up.
There are two methods: either you can roast and grind all the ingredients or soak them overnight, grind and make. I mostly make in the latter option. In both ways the taste is the same and when you make it, the aroma of all these spices fills your entire home.
Jaggery - 1 ans 1/4 cup
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Cardamom - 1
cloves - 2
Dried ginger - 2in piece
fresh ginger - 3 in piece
White pepper (whole) - 1 tbsp
Black pepper (whole) - 1 tbsp
Galangal root (chitharathai) - 3 in. piece
Licorice (athimathuram) - 3 in. piece
Piper longum fruit (arisi thipili) - 4 or 5
Piper longum stem (kanda thipili) - 3
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Cumin - 1/2 tbsp
Ajwain (carom seeds) - 50g
Dates - 15
Mace - a tiny bit
Take all the ingredients in a bowl. Crush the chunkier ones a little so they soak and grind well. Add boiling water till all the ingredients are immersed. Cover and let it soak overnight.
Next day, grind all of it to a smooth paste. In a pan, heat half cup of water with jaggery. Once it dissolves, filter and heat again the pure jaggery liquid. Add the ground spices and sesame oil.
Take care since the mixture will splatter and stir. Add the ghee and keep stirring on a medium flame.
The mixture thickens and at one point it will swirl around without sticking to the pan. Take a little in spoon and if it doesn't stick in your hands, it is in the exact consistency or else continue cooking it for a few more minutes.
When the mix doesn't stick, switch off the flame and it will continue to thicken as it cools. In a bout 15 - 20 min. you will have this wonderful home remedy Deepavali Marundhu. If you grind and do this even tomorrow morning you can follow the same steps and do this and enjoy your festival. Have a HAPPY and SAFE DIWALI!
Even if you don't have all the ingredients, you can do with minimum requirements too. Ajwain, dried and fresh ginger, pepper are more important. So try this with what you have and enjoy good health during festive times.