Monday, April 9, 2012

Kambu Koozh / Pearl Millet or Bajra Porridge - The natural body cooler - stepwise tutorial and five years of blogging!









Little did I know about the nutritious fibre rich Kambu Saadham or the millet meal  before I was married or settled in central Tamilnadu. These grains, of two varieties named veerian kambu or nattu kambu, entered our house in small sacks before summer. The grains which came directly from the farm had to undergo a long process;  stones removed by handpicking, getting rid of dried grass and tender sticks mixed along and then washed, dried and pounded in the traditional ural and ulakkai alternatively by two maids.....wish I had the pic and regret for not being into blogging then....

While we had to squeeze our brains planning a meal out to satisfy all the members in our joint family on a daily basis, this millet meal received  unanimous support as it was undoubtedly favourited by all!
Honestly, I never had a hand in preparing these meals then, ma-in law and ammayi supervised the maids to get it done in bulk. I concentrated in making the kuzhambu and koottu ( I will do a separate post soon) which went with the meal. This hot meal served with sesame seed oil or nallennai on fresh green plaintain leaves with the koottu and kuzhambu is considered heaven!

According to the folks of the state and the elders in the family, 'Kambu saadham' is regarded as a food which generates heat in the human body and the reserves of the cold meal diluted with buttermilk believed to neutralise the heat and in turn serves as the best body coolers in summer!
This, infact is the Kambu Koozh which is again a healthy option and quite common summer street-side drink stored in earthern pots here!

Well, through this post I had tried my best to recreate the same traditional way I had witnessed years back, in a lesser quantity, which I personally make at home regularly. The woody flavour of the Kambu compliments with the bronze utensil in which it is prepared and I had stuck on the same authentic way, though elaborate!


The recipe is divided into 2 parts for the ease to follow

 Part 1- Preparation of the Kambu Saadham 
   and
 Part 2 - Preparation of the Kambu Koozh from the above meal


The step by step method, I hope, will guide through even a beginner!



Part 1- Preparation of the Cumbu or Kambu Saadham 


                        Pearl Millet or Bajra commonly known as Cumbu or Kambu in Tamil




Wash 1 large cup of  Kambu well in running water and drain on a kitchen towel.




Pulse in a mixie while the grains are not completely dry but a little moist. Like rice grains,this way it's easier to powder!
 I have broken the grains in quick shots / pulse mode. Repeat once or twice..




 ..till you get 'an overall coarse' powder.




 Do not disturb the powder sticking to the mixie lid, if you have any.
Even if you dont see the finest powder sticking to the inside of the lid, don't bother.
Sieve the rest..




 to separate the coarse, fibrous grains




The prime lens let me down a bit here by focussing  only on the finest powder :)(sticking to the insides of the mixie lid, said earlier). Hope you can make out the difference between the three!




The coarse powder should get into the pot first. Add little by little in a thick bottommed bronze pot of boiling water (4 cups :- the cup used to measure the grains earlier)




Stir it along as it boils and gets cooked




After 15-20 minutes in medium flame. Notice the cooked grains.You can feel it and ascertain between your finger tips.




Stir along the finer power now. You can alternatively close the pot with a lid and keep the flame to minimum and let it cook. But see to it you use a bronze or heavy pot as I have used here as it tends to stick to the bottom if left unattended.




Always have an eye on the pot and stir once every couple of minutes.




This wont take long. Between 5-10 minutes and is cooked.




The finest powder should go last. Keep stirring as you add along with 3/4 tsp of salt.




The porridge gets thicker in about 5-8 minutes. Let it remain in the pot for 15 minutes till the piping heat subsides and the gruel gets thicker.




to a serving consistancy of Kambu Saadham or the  healthy millet meal!



                         
  Served with  with spicy Mochai- kathiri Kuzhambu and mild Murunga Thazhai ( drumstick leaves) koottu



Part 2 - Preparation of the Cumbu or Kambu Koozh


The meal thus made is rolled into large balls and immersed in cold water.  This method would have been effective in those days when they had no luxuries like refrigerators and the meal kept well for  one or two days.
In fact these balls are the ones used to make the Kambu Koozh.


The first part of the recipe is through and all you have to do to make the Koozh or the millet-buttermilk-porridge, is by whipping up,

2-3 serving spoons / tbsps of the above millet meal (cooled down to room temp or preserved as balls or refrigerated)
a cup of cold and sour curd + a cup of cold water
or
2 cups of cold and thin buttermilk
salt to taste

whip the above ingredients in your blender and serve cold in a tall glass.
This would serve two tall glasses.









                Kambu Koozh served with raw mango slices marinated in brine and chilly powder




                                                       Suggested accompaniments

                                       Maavadu / tender mango pickle- recipe here                                   
                                     Mangai oorugai / cut mango pickle- recipe here

                             The Cold Kambu Koozh  topped with finely sliced onions and corainder leaves serves as the best body cooler on a summer noon!

Author's Note

            Marking the fifth year of blogging I had wanted to make an exotic recipe post but rather ended up with an authentic post of the state. The past few days had been hectic with lots of travel and a bit of commitments which kept me occupied. Anyway I am happy that I could make this traditional Tamil recipe post, a step by step tutorial which anyone who loves the same can give a shot. These kind of posts gives me more satisfaction as a blogger!
                                                             and
                              Before I sign off let me thank from the bottom of my heart
My dear readers and followers for the staunch support you had been rendering for the past five years of my blogging!


                                Expecting the same from you all in future too :)



Loads of love,
Bharathy :)

57 comments:

  1. What a delightfully simple yet refreshing recipe! And I LOVED that brass pot!

    Saee Koranne-Khandekar
    www.myjhola.in

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  2. Congrats on 5 yrs of blogging...Wishing you and spicy chilly man more such yrs of blogging. Kambu koozh sounds like a fulfilling one pot dish apt for breakfast ...Nice pictorial too

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    1. Thank you so much sharmee! You are one among my precious readers who never failed to visit the space, even when i take a long gap to visit yours :) Hugs!! :)

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  3. Congrats!! Wat a delicious meal this would be the best ones for everyday morning n also love the accompaniments...so very much.. i would drink atleast 6 glasses with the yummy maangai oorukai n maavadu.. love the authentic preps..

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  4. Many congratulations.....five years and going strong!
    I purchased cumbu last time from Namakkal and yet to cook in any form. Now I am sure i will make use of it soonest! Friends in school used to bring koozh for us as they normally do not cook at home. It used to be very delectable. Time to recreate and relive the experience, I guess!

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    1. Lata, hope you would try and let me know soon. Sure you would be addicted to this one and will end up making it frequently! :) Thanks for your wishes! :)

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  5. Congratulations on your 5th yr of blogging.
    Kamban koozh is very healthy and perfect for this summer.First time here and happy to follow your lovely space.

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    1. Thanks a ton, Sudha :) You made my day!

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  6. This looks so good,,nd refreshing,... :)

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  7. Congrats!!! Refreshing drink. Nice clicks, love the porridge in clay pot.

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  8. Wow! 5 years of blogging and still going strong. I am very happy for you. Love kambu anything. I wish we can find them as fresh here. My grandmother used to make kambu mavu urandai and give it to us for snack. I can smell it now. Very beautiful clicks and very informative post. Keep Blogging!

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  9. Congrat Bharathy, 5 years of blogging omg, thats really fabulous..wat a healthy drink,my grandma's signature dish..Havent had this since a long..

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  10. congrats bharathy...This is such a healthy meal..looks so good..


    Aarthi
    YUMMY TUMMY

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  11. I salute you for your patience !! taking spectacular step by step pics in between is a lot of hard work. Congrats on completing 5 years. very informative post and traditional too.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  12. First of all congrats on your 5 yrs of milestone Bharathy.. and next is same pinch we had kambu saadham on saturday with drumstick sambar :)

    I looooooooooooove everything about this post and love koooozh and saadham a lot lot. Used to have this atleast 3 times a week throughout summer. And the picture with moor milagai, maanga chinna vengayam Omg tempts me a badly. Seriously I wish to have that in my hand right away..

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  13. Heartiest Congratulations on completing 5 yrs of blogging..wish you all the very best always.
    Nice authentic recipe with such a lovely presentation and explanation.

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  14. Keep up with the blast. Congrats bharathy! Good going n wishing you many more years of blogging. What an authentic recipe with kambu koozh. My grand mom used to make it for every summer.

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  15. lovely post sis, and congrats on the 5 years! can't believe it's been that long. that means i will hit 5 years very shortly too :) have to check the exact date, i never really "celebrate" it!

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  16. Congratulations Bharathy, it's been a pleasure knowing you..wishing you many more years to come. very beautiful pictures, love all the shots!..

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  17. Congratulations and wishing u many more...
    wonderful post with awesome clicks :)

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  18. Congrats Bharathy.You have celebrated the anniversary in style:). Very authentic and nutritious recipe and a very good body cooler too. All the clicks are very pretty.Usually I prepare kambu dosai.Never tried any other other recipes with.

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  19. This is amazing! I think this might be an acquired taste though... I have been using fox tail millet instead of rice but haven't tried pearl millet like this. Can they be cooked whole like rice? I really want to try more millets in my diet.
    Thanks

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  20. Super post! I loved both version of this, and the pictures makes one instantly hungry! :) Congrats on 5 years of successful blogging! Keep going :)

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  21. its completely new to me...sounds very healthy and perfect.....beautiful clicks too....

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  22. Congrats Bharathy and lovely pics ,call me home or send it across when u make it next time and hope i re-start blogging

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  23. Congratulations on completing 5 years of blogging, Bharathy. This is a wonderful post......healthy, traditional recipes like these are what we need to focus on, to make sure that they are not forgotten.

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  24. Congrats on 5th anniv.. cool post to celebrate :) AWesome clicks !

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  25. Congrats on 5 years..Lovely post..one of my favorite breakfast drink..

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  26. Congrats on completing 5 yrs of blogging Bharathy!!! Lovely post and completely new recipe to me :)

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  27. And I looooove that brass pot and now you know what you have to get me next time when we meet :D :D A smaller pot is enough for my small family ;) ;) ok?

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  28. Congratulations on 5 years of blogging ! I make this in summers, its so cooling for the body ! I made your mushroom masala for lunch yesterday, turned out really nice and spicy...thank you for your lovely recipes...

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  29. Congrats Bharathy! Loved the post, the pot and the Pics.
    I had the Koozh only once and that was from a temple and to be honest I did not like it. I think I have to make it at home to give my opinion and of course with all the pickles and Mor milagai.

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  30. Wow...Congrats on hitting the huge milestone...wish u r space many more yum rocking years to come...love the pictorial and the change in the pics....new recipes to me....love the tasty touch given to the recipes....

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  31. Thank you so much for all your wonderful wishes and encouraging words, girls! Hugs!!! :)

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  32. the pictures are stunning!!!! As is ur blog! Congratulations and thanks for giving us so many wonderful recipes!!!!!

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  33. Brilliant stuff!
    chennaiflowerplaza.com

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  34. Congratulations Bharathy for completing 5 yrs of blogging :) what a wonderful way to celebrate it with authentic recipe. Love the recipe, u and ur blog :)
    xoxo
    Sia | Monsoon Spice

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  35. Congrats on 5years of successful blogging. I love these authentic traditional posts... :)

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  36. Congratulations on the 5 years!Lovely post. Although I use bajra a lot to make rotis, have never cooked it this way! Sounds delicious!

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  37. Congratulations on the milestone Bharathy!! Wish you many many more :) The kambu sadam and koozh look perfect, I have never tasted this. I make something similar with ragi, but now I think I should venture into kambu too. Love the photos, the maa vadu, manga urugai and chinna vengayam look so perfect! Lovely photos!

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  38. I had long been wanting to make Kambu sadam. Thanks for the recipe. The photo shots just make it even more appealing to make it.

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  39. I was searching for this recipe long time. Photographic explanation is fantastic. Thank you Bharathy. Will try this and let you know:)

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    1. Glad to see your comment, lalitha :) its not at all a complicated meal to make as it sounds.. the pictorials will guide u thru..
      Good luck and don't forget to get back to me :)

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  40. Awesome Recipe..!!!
    Thanks a Lotttt..!!!
    one doubt..!!
    can the kambu be broken and stored for long time storage..???
    each time we cant use mixie to break it..!!
    Plz reply..!!

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  41. Welcome to my space and Thanks a lot for your comment. Yes you can pulse the grain and refrigerate. I haven't tried it. Since we rise kambu I am not very sure about it's shelf life either. Using the mixie is the easiest. What is your pandroblem with it??

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    1. Rise = rinse and the word down is 'problem ' :)

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  42. Nice Recipe. In my opinion in olden days they used to soak the koozhu in water to let it ferment. Besides cooling the body, the fermented koozhu also helped in managing the body pain that the hardworking labor class used to endure after the hard day's work in the filed. Fermented Koozhu creates a sort of dizziness (something similar to effect created by eating fermented rice). It helped in catching up the sleep necessary for the body and then get fresh for the next day.

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  43. This is the food in which health meets taste. Simply can't resist eating.

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  44. The recipe is well presemted. On reading the text and seeing the photos, I am confident of making the food. Thanks again.

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  45. Thanks a lot for the recipe. Clearly Said.

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  46. can we use store bought kambu flour for making this koozh?

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