This is the month of Karkidakam, the last month in the Malayalam year. It is the month of monsoon and considered a bad month as there is no farming due to heavy rains. People being peasants, traditionally, they will have less food to consume. People mostly stay inside because of the heavy rains and try to follow a restrictive diet of karkidaka kanji for rejuvenation.
This is the month that people can get a lot of diseases and immunity will be on the lower side as there is not much exercise. According to Ayurveda, Karkidakam month is the best time for rejuvenation therapies and restrictive diets. This is the best time of the year to go for panchakarma therapies.
This month is also known as the Ramayana masam, the month dedicated to reading Ramayanam. And also, this month, people consume marunnu kanji or medicinal gruel so as to boost their immunity.
Benefits of Marannu Kanji
Marannu Kanji helps in the detoxification and rejuvenation of the body. On the whole there is a complete cleansing of mind and body.
The ayurvedic concoction is consumed for 7, 14 or 21 days combined with ayurvedic massages.
Tradition preparation of Marannu Kanji for rejuvenation
The Marunnu kanji is prepared with special and a set of 16-17 medicinal herbs easily found around the houses in Kerala. Two common herbs are the touch-me-not and the hogweeds, (known as punarnawa in Hindi and Tavizaham in Malayalam). The fresh herbs are crushed and the juice is squeezed out, which is mixed with the rice and cooked to prepare the immunity boosting concoction.
As it is not possible for those staying in cities to get the fresh herbs, nowadays instant medicinal porridge packets are available.
Ingredients for the medicinal porridge
Navara Rice is a vey traditional rice used for the preparation of the porridge. Navara rice has been used since ancient times and is considered a medicinal plant. This rice variety which is endemic to Kerala is good for people suffering from diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis.
Green gram which is a good source of protein and essential amino acids.
Fenugreek also is used in Indian cooking and medicine. It is good to reduce diabetes and cholesterol.
Broken wheat or dalia is rich in fibre, protein, carbohydrates and energy thereby strengthens bones, assists weight loss and reduces fatigue and anaemia
Cumin seed, coriander seed, sweet fennel.
In this recipe we are adding coconut milk also, which improves digestion and relieves constipation. Coconut milk also helps build muscles and bones.
And a number of herbs picked from around the houses.
However, in case of a busy schedule you can prepare marannu kanji at home using the instant pack.
Method of cooking
Boil plenty of water. We have 2 cups of rice so we will boil 8 cups of water.
When the water boils, add the Navara rice after washing thoroughly. If the rice doesn’t turn while, that means the rice is original.
Then add the fenugreek seeds. Boil, on a low flame, until the rice is half cooked. Add more water.
Now that the rice is half cooked, add the green gram and broken wheat. Stir all the ingredients. When the green is half cooked then add the second coconut milk. Boil for a while. Stir at intervals so that the ingredient does not stick to the bottom and get burned. When the rice and the green gram are cooked well, then add the medicinal herbs. Boil for a few minutes. Add the first coconut milk and heat, do not boil. Remove from flame. Consume hot
Tip: divide the ingredients in 7 or 14 part to be cooked on different days. Add jaggery for sweetness. Temper with ghee and shallots to enhance taste.
The older generations say that if you consume marannu kanji for one month that can cleanse the body, boost immunity and increase vitality.