Category: Ginger

WV4 ~ Ginger Buttermilk (Allam Majjiga)

Nitya Malli from Frontyard
Nitya Malli (Vinca/Periwinkle)

A glass of ragi ganji without sweetener
Was in a rush, so just had few pieces of apple

Half cup of leftover Pea Sprouts Soopa with Kale
One cup of Spinach sautéed with onion and fresh garbanzos
One cup of Tomato dal in rasam consistency

A glass of ginger flavored buttermilk from homemade yogurt

One cup of cut carrots and cucumbers
One big bowl of hot tomato rasam
For dessert: half apple grated and added to a cup of cold soymilk. No smoothie but tasted good on this warm summer night.

Weights and Abs class, and an hour walk at the gym – morning
Gardening in the evening

In retrospect:
Busy day, stressed out by evening and that triggered carbo cravings. Big bowl of hot, hot tomato rasam and cold ginger buttermilk saved the day.

Indian Yogurt, Ginger and Kavvam
Indian Yogurt, Ginger and Kavvam

Ginger Flavored Buttermilk (Allam Majjiga)

Ginger buttermilk saved the day many times in my life. My mother prescribes it to comfort stomachache, headache, sunstroke and lack of energy. It’s a cure-all elixir in her world. Continuing the tradition is this amma’s daughter. There is a saying in the Sutras “Just as nectar is for Gods, buttermilk is for humans”. I believe it.

Preparing buttermilk at home is very easy.

Take a ladle full of homemade yogurt in a glass. Add a pinch of salt. Churn with a Kavvam (traditional wooden churner from Bharath) until well blended. Then add a cup of water and churn again until a light froth appears on top.

To flavor the buttermilk with ginger: Take a thumb sized fresh ginger. Peel the skin and grate it finely. Take the grated ginger with your fingers and squeeze the ginger juice into buttermilk. Churn again until well mixed.

Enjoy this refreshing drink after a meal. You could also add few pieces of crushed ice or ice cubes for that cold effect. Ginger buttermilk is a neat alternative, if you are trying to avoid caffeinated drinks.

Allam Majjiga
Allam Majjiga ~ for Today’s Meal


Potent Pacchadi: Allam Pacchadi

Allam Pacchadi (Ginger Chutney)
Allam Pacchadi (Ginger Chutney)

Ginger, one of the oldest and most popular spices in herbal medicines is spicy, peppery and fragrant. It is good both in sweet and non-sweet dishes. It adds a hot yet refreshing warmth to curries and cakes. Ginger is so good to health; our elders devised a great recipe for everyday consumption. That is allam pacchadi or ginger chutney. In this another 100 plus year old recipe, ginger, tamarind, jaggery and dried red chillies are ground together, then to remove the rawness fresh tadka is added and cooked for few minutes. This is a potent pacchadi, usually taken in small quantities and tastes excellent when served with idly, dosa or pesarattu.

Allam Pacchadi (Ginger Chutney)
(makes about cup and half)

Ginger: Fresh and young, thin skinned ginger is best for this recipe. Gently peel the skin and finely chop the ginger. One full cup.

Tamarind: Take two tablespoons of thick tamarind pulp.

Dried red chillies (Indian variety) – 6, small finger length ones

Jaggery: We need about quarter cup of jaggery for this recipe. Pound or grate it for easy mixing.

Take all the above in a mixer or in a mortar. Add half teaspoon of salt. Pulse or pound to smooth paste. Remove to a cup.

Do the tadka: In a small pan, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add a sprig of curry leaves and pinch each cumin and mustard seeds. Also a pinch of hing. Toast to fragrance. Add ginger chutney to the pan. Cook for five minutes on low heat, stirring often. Remove and serve. Stays fresh for a week, when refrigerated.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari.

Allam Pacchadi (Ginger Chutney)
Allam Pacchadi with Idly ~ Breakfast Today


Ginger Lemon Soopa

I am glad to see a new word “soopa” reintroduced into our cookery lexicon by Pratibha and Jigyasa through Sukham Ayu cookbook. Like the authors I found it interesting that ayurvedic texts refer to watery broth/soup like preparation as soopa. Research is done rarely in centuries old Indic cookery. We are more used to label our food items in occidental and arabic terms, and blindly repeat the colonial self-aggrandizing stories of our food roots. So, for a change, it is greatly refreshing and empowering to know about soopa. I think this Sanskrit word alone is worth the book price. Original research equals to precious gold, don’t you agree? Welcome back Soopa. Goodbye Soup.

Here is a soopa I made from Sukham Ayu. The base is toor dal and the flavor is from ginger and lemon. It’s a familiar, charming soopa, simple yet sublime. Perfect to usher in “I am not cold but not yet warm” spring season.

Ginger, Lime, Toor dal Ginger Lemon Soopa

Ginger Lemon Soopa
Recipe adapted from Sukham Ayu, page-37
(makes about four cups of soopa)

Toor dal: Pressure-cook half cup of toor dal in two cups of water to soft. With a wood masher or whisk, churn the dal to soft, smooth consistency.

Ginger: Take a 1×1 inch piece of ginger. Peel the skin and grate. Add the grated ginger to mashed toor dal. Also half teaspoon each- red chilli powder and salt, and quarter teaspoon of turmeric. Add half cup of water and simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Tadka: While the soopa is simmering, do the tadka. In a small pan, heat a tablespoon of ghee. Add and toast 10 curry leaves, cumin, and mustard seeds, in that order. When seeds start to pop, sprinkle a pinch of asafetida. Sauté for couple of seconds and pour this tadka into the simmering soopa. Mix and turn off the heat.

Lemon: Flavor the soopa with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Serve hot. Soothing and a strength saver, ginger-lemon soopa is a great warm-up food and recommended during convalescence.

© Recipe and Photos Copyright 2009 Indira Singari


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