Kambu rice or koozhu with pacha payaru kadayal is a famous dish in Kongunadu Cuisine.
Unique health foods as well as traditional foods made from pearl millet need to be promoted.
In the northern states the millet seeds are ground and used for making the bajra roti.
Kambu- 1 cup
Water- 3 Cups
Blend kambu in a mixer for two to three seconds and break it into a course kurunai form and clean it with water.
Cooking Kambu rice
Add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of kambu and cook it in a pressure cooker till 4 whistles like rice.
Can also be cooked in a thick bottomed vessel in low flame instead of pressure cooker.
Cook well. Uncooked grains may cause an upset stomach.
Allow it to cool.
Pacha Parupu Kadayal
Pacha parupu or Moongdal(full)- 1 cup
Small Onions -10 (chopped)
Tomatoes- 2 big or 3 medium sized cut into same size
Green Chillies- 5 (Slit vertically lengthwise)
Few Curry leaves and coriander leaves
Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
Cooking oil- 3 teaspoons
Salt- to taste.
Red chillies - 2
Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Soak the payaru overnight. (Sprouting is optional)
Cook the soaked payaru with 21/2 cups of water in a pressure cooker.
Allow it to cool.
In a kadai add 2 teaspoons of oil to fry chopped small onions, tomatoes, and green chillies. (1 teaspoon of garlic and ginger paste is optional)
Add the cooked parupu to this smashed mixture.
Add salt, turmeric powder and mix well. Add curry leaves and coriander leaves.
Allow it to boil for 5 minutes in low flame.
Transfer the parupu kadaisal to the serving bowl.
Add 1 teaspoon of oil and let the mustard splutter, add jeera, redchillies and pour/add it to the parupu kadaisal.
Version 2 (in apressure cooker)
Add 2 teaspoons of oil to fry chopped small onions, tomatoes, and green chillies. (1 teaspoon of garlic and ginger paste is optional)
Add the soaked parupu to this smashed mixture and 21/2 cups of water.
Allow it to cook till 4 to 5 wishtles.
Open the cooker when cool and add the salt and seasoning to it.
Yummy parupu kadaisal is ready to serve with kambu rice. This can also be served as an accompaniment to rice, rasam and roti.
Kambu Kozhu is delicious when consumed the next day with butter milk.Add salt, raw chopped onions and green chillies to add flavour. Serve as porridge.
A neglected cereals and called as the poor man’s grain with marvelous health benefits
Kambu- Pearl millet is one of the primary food grain produce in Tamilnadu, now neglected by the elite and called as the poor man’s grain is high in iron and zinc.
Millets, currently consumed in the rural and tribal areas of india, need to be popularized. Pearl millets rotis are recommended by many Health professionals, Dietitian and Nutritionist.They are trying to promote this grain and have started advising their patients to include pearl millet in their diets on alternate days.
Pearl millets are small in size, greenish brown in colour and has a sweet nutty flavor. It was the staple food for most of our ancestors. The earliest archaeological evidences show that pearl millet was cultivated in India around 2000 BC. But it is popular as birdseed and livestock fodder in Western Europe and North America and considered as grown in the poorest countries and consumed by the poorest people
India is supposed to be the largest producer of Pearl millet. It can withstand climate change risks. Also called as Kambu or Bajra adapted to production by low rainfall , low soil fertility, and high temperature, and can be grown in areas where other cereal crops, such as wheat, maize or rice, would not survive. In its traditional growing areas, pearl millet is the basic staple for households. It is also one of the most drought resistant crops among cereals and millets.
Studies say severe anemia in women and school children in India is because they mostly eat wheat and rice based foods which are very deficient in iron. Women aged between 18-45 will need more iron. 160 grams of iron-rich pearl millet flour is enough to provide 70 percent of their iron needs in daily diet. Significant quantities of Iron and Zinc are present in animal based food sources. Bajra will help women depended on plant based food sources in improving nutritional anemia.
Carbohydrate content in kambu is lower than wheat and rice.It helps to reduce the bad cholesterol level in our body. Its a great body coolant. Its consumed as porridge during summer in tamilnadu.
It is consumed in variety of dishes in Tamilnadu Kerala, Andhra Maharashtara, Gujarat, Bengal, Orrisa, Punjab.
Pearl millet serves as a major staple food for many populations around the globe, however, it is still considered poor man’s food and does not find place in the food purchase lists of the elite