Kummiyanam

Kummiyanam is a nutritious dessert made of rice, assorted legumes & palm jaggery prepared by the people in Tirunelveli, Nagerkoil, or Kanyakumari. It is offered to the lamented souls while remembering them in Aadi month (a Tamil calendar month usually falls between 15th of July & 15th of August). Likewise, I heard Japanese visiting cemeteries during the same period to remember the departed.

IMG_0657On the last day of Aadi month (Aadi iruthi) people remember dheerka sumangali (a woman who died while her husband is alive) of their family as it was believed that those women guide the family from heaven. We all remember our grandmother on this day and offer Kummiyanam & ulundha vadai to the figurine made of a new sari representing her as shown below. Nowadays many of us do not make such figurine and it is replaced by her photo.

IMG_0664It was a heavenly sight to see those houses at the dusk filled with aromas of various flowers, incenses, sandal paste, etc. The photo below is taken at the residence of my husband’s uncle in Tirunelveli on this Aadi Iruthi remembering my husband’s grandmother.

IMG_0247Although kummiyanam has been prepared in Aadi month, it can be prepared anytime and served to children or elders alike. You can find the recipe for kummiyanam as below:

Total time taken: 40 min

Yield : 2 cups

Ingredients :

IMG_0625

  1. Red rice – 1 tbsp
  2. Greengram (paasi payaru) – 1 tbsp
  3. Lima beans (mochai payaru) – 1 tbsp
  4. Cowpeas (Kaaramani) – 1 tbsp
  5. Chickpeas (konda kadalai) – 1 tbsp
  6. Blackgram (karuppu ulundhu) – 1 tbsp
  7. Horsegram (kollu) – 1 tbsp
  8. Palm jaggery powder(karuppatti)  – ¾ cup
  9. Dried ginger (chukku) – 1″ piece
  10. Cardamom (yelam) – 1 No.
  11. Ghee (nei) – 1 tbsp
  12. Cashew nuts (mundhri) – 10 Nos.
  13. Water – 4 cups (3 cups for pressure cooking, 1 cup for syrup)

Method:

  • Heat a sauce pan with palm jaggery & water until dissolved and keep aside.
  • Powder dried ginger & cardamom using mortar & pestle and keep aside.
  • Dry roast rice & legumes separately until they release their aroma.
  • Grind roasted rice & legumes into a coarse powder (approximately ¾ cup).
  • Pressure cook powdered rice & legumes (simmer for 15 min after reaching high pressure).
  • Add palm jaggery syrup into cooked legumes through a fine mesh and allow the mixture to boil in medium flame.
  • Add powdered ginger & cardamom before removing from heat.
  • Add roasted cashews & ghee into kummiyanam and serve hot or chilled.

Please Note:

  1. You can use rice of your choice instead of red rice.
  2. Some may not use roasted rice, instead they add rice flour solution into the cooked legumes and allow it to boil before pouring syrup. Rice flour solution is used as a thickening agent.
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52 Comments Add yours

  1. Reema says:

    I wasn’t aware about this custom.. We have sumangali pondagal though.. before/after any auspicious function like wedding..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, it is unlikely that many people heard about such customs. Nowadays it has been practiced by few of the families in southern Tamilnadu!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reema says:

        Yeah that might be reason. Since we belong to palakkad, we do not follow a lot of tamilnadu customs!! My paati is from Thanjavur though!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Chelvi S says:

    Wow, very informative and I have never heard about this – We in Sri Lankan tamils do it on “Aadi amavasai”. I believe this is different.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, we all remember departed males on all amavasai (including Aadi), but this is the only day we remember females who were kanni (spinster) or sumangali !
      Thanks for stopping by !

      Like

  3. kailasam says:

    thanks for the aadi iruthi information

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks for stopping by !

      Like

  4. Such a deeply emotional dish- There’s a lot of history and passion in that recipe right there. I would love to taste it, but it’s just fascinating to hear about the origins, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      True ! Thanks for stopping by !

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely Post and recipe Megala…Awesome !!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. desivegankia says:

    Waooo this is so wonderful and nutritious i am going to make this too good one megala

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks a lot !

      Liked by 1 person

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