Friday, November 13, 2020

Deepavali Lehiyam - Quick Version

Diwali is here and it is the festival that is celebrated with elaborate sweets and savories. To boost as well as to keep our digestive system to be in perfect shape, we have the tradition of having Deepavali marundhu or lehiyam (marundhu in Tamil means medicine, it is a homemade medicine made out of spices that are used as a remedy for general overeating and any digestion related conditions) that is given as the first to thing to have on that day. It can be had anytime but especially during the festival, it is important to have this as we tend to overeat and treat us with food in all possible ways. I have already posted the traditional method of making Deepavali marundhu involves soaking. Sometimes it happens that we forget to soak overnight or for 8-10 hours. This recipe helps if it happens like that. Nowadays, all the ingredients are available in powder form. So it's easy to whip up easily in 20 minutes. Chitharathai (galangal root)and adhimadhuram (licorice) are thick and require soaking for getting a smooth paste. If you have powders of these, it can be made in a jiffy. In fact, all the powders if in hand be mixed into jaggery water and lehiyam can be made. Even though the mix of this lehiyam is available in stores to buy, you can try this if you still want to keep it homemade or semi-homemade. This really works well, as I have tried this a few times. In fact, except for dates, honey, jaggery, ghee, oil, you can blend all the rest of the ingredients to a smooth powder and store them in the fridge to make any time.


makes 2/3 cup

Ajwain / carom seeds - 2 tbsp

White pepper powder - 1/2 tsp

Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp

Jaggery - 2/3 cup

Adhimadhuram /  Licorice powder - 1/2 tsp

Chitharathai / Galangal root powder- 1/2 tsp

Sukku podi (dried ginger powder) - 1/2 tsp

Fresh ginger - 1 to 1.5-inch piece

Piper longum fruit (arisi thipili) - 2

Piper longum stem (kanda thipili)-1

Coriander - 1/2 tsp

Cumin - 1/2 tsp

Cardamom - 1, small

Dates 7 to 8

Clove - 1

Water - 1/3 plus 1/3 cup

Sesame oil - 1 tbsp

Ghee - 2 tbsp

Honey - 1 tsp(optional)


Boil the jaggery in 1/3 cup water to dissolve on a medium flame (may take a couple of minutes). In the meantime, grind ajwain, clove, cardamom, cumin, coriander, kanda thipi, and arisi thipi to a coarse powder or fine powder. Then add dates, fresh ginger. Pulse for a couple of times. Use 1/3 cup water step by step pulsing and grind to a smooth paste. 

Filter the jaggery to remove impuritues. Take the jaggery water in a pan, add the ground paste, white pepper powder, black pepper powder, dried ginger powder, galangal and licorice powder. Make a smooth paste without any lumps. Add one tbsp sesame oil and heat the pan. In about 7 minutes, the mixture would start to thicken.

Add 2 tbsp ghee, and continue cooking with stirring. In the next 3-5 minutes, the mixture would come to a mass and won't stick to the pan. If you take a small portion in your hand, you can roll it and won't stick to your fingers, when it cools. Remove from flame and let it cool. 

Transfer to a dry container and serve as and when needed. 

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