Classic Blackgram Porridge

Oil bath, almost a forgotten weekly routine followed by every South Indian family until 3 or 4 decades ago, offers pretty much the same benefits of Ayurvedic massage. Nowadays people prefer to visit Ayurvedic clinic for massaging therapy, and spend a few hours & a few bucks there, but they take oil bath at home only on the day of Deepavali festival every year as a religious ritual.

Earlier my grandfather was so particular that we all should take oil bath every Saturday or Sunday. After taking oil bath early in the morning we were served classic uluntham paruppu kanji (blackgram porridge) for breakfast, and meals with poondu kulambu (garlic curry) for lunch. Afterwards we usually take a good nap and wake up with renewed energy in the evening.

As children we were hostile to the idea of applying tepid sesame oil all over the body, leaving it at that for about half an hour, using herbal bath powders that redden our eyes, and drinking bland milky porridge for breakfast. Later we realized after reaping the benefits of this amazing tradition: oil bath rejuvenates the body & mind and acts as a stress buster, herbal bath powders are the safest cleansers & scrubs, and classic porridge soothes the entire digestive system. Nevertheless we take oil bath as and when required particularly during summer.

Classic south Indian porridge is normally prepared by using blackgram lentils as the main ingredient and also by adding ample pods of garlic & a small piece of dried ginger. This porridge is usually mixed with copious amounts of cow’s milk and served with cane jaggery bar (achchu vellam) and/or curry leaves chutney (kariveppilai thuvaiyal).

For children who refuse to take bland porridge we can make it sweet & creamy by pouring palm jaggery (or cane jaggery) syrup & coconut milk into the porridge and enhance the flavor by adding cardamom powder.

Normally it is recommended to take classic porridge for 3 consecutive days from the day we take oil bath as it is useful to increase the stamina, alleviate mouth ulcers & stomach ulcers, ease the digestion and reduce the excessive body heat. I would like to leisurely sip this porridge after taking oil bath to combat scorching heat waves during summer. Obviously we can take the same porridge even after undergoing Ayurvedic massage therapy.

Now you can check out the recipes for milky blackgram porridge (ulundham paruppu kanji), sweet porridge (karupatti ulundhu kanji) and also for curry leaves chutney (kariveppilai thuvaiyal) posted in the next page.


82 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandhya says:

    Great post megala! These rich traditions have so much thought and knowledge behind them and are so good for us.

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, indeed! Thank you so much.

  2. Christy B says:

    Mmmm coconut milk in this one would certainly make it tasty!

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, thanks! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Really good for health…… Remembered my granny

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Rita says:

    Such a good dish, you are talented!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you!

  5. Old school living was so much better! ๐Ÿ˜Š My Nani had all these rituals and ways, we miss her wisdom and guidance. I learned but sadly not enough.

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, I think this is the case for each one of us, we could not learn enough from them.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Awesome post Megala

    1. Megala says:


  7. 3C Style says:

    I learn so much from your post about your culture. Love it! My grandma used to make me drink sardine oil in the morning. I didn’t like it. But I would have taken an oil bath everyday with pleasure. Lol.

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, I guess it is really horrible to gobble up sardine oil, nowadays kids are making fuss to swallow this oil available in capsules. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you so much for your time.

  8. It seems like you are so busy at home! What a story … You are a poet!

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. You are blessed with talented grand parents also you deserve them as you are always passing it to the society. This post gives great feel, our ancestors truly had poetic life. Love this post ๐Ÿ’œ

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much, dear Subbashini!

  10. Welcome ๐Ÿ˜Š

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