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An Antidote to your Gluttony: Deepavali Marundhu

The best thing about diwali in India is the diverse ways in which it is celebrated across Indian states and cultures. Every household has their own traditions related to Diwali and it is very uncommon for two families to share the exact same festivities. However largely, the most common connection between families that celebrate Diwali in India, is the act of gluttony. On Diwali day, one can expect to be served at least one intensely delicious looking snack wherever they go. Gluttony isn’t ever considered a sin in India and the celebration of it during Diwali is proof of that. 

 

I hail from Tamil Nadu, a state in the south of India whose celebrations of Diwali or Deepavali as we call it, is starkly different from how Diwali is celebrated elsewhere in the country. For starters, our Diwali day starts at 4 am with sleep-inducing oil baths while most of the country celebrates in the evening. While gluttony definitely remains a shared virtue, Tamil households premeditate the ill after-effects of the festive gorging through means of a bittersweet antidote. Deepavali Marundhu (or medicine in Tamil) also known as Deepavali Legiyam is essentially a digestive aid to the heavy foods that we indulge in during the festival. On the morning of Diwali, after our ritualistic oil baths and before we consume or partake in anything else, we take in exactly one spoonful of marundhu on an empty stomach. Each family has their own unique recipe of the marundhu which has been passed down over many generations. Deepavali marundhu stands to be the most unique and constant thing about the festivities in my family and I share with you my grandmother’s recipe for the same.

 

Deepavali Marundhu / Legiyam

Preparation time – 20 minutes

Cooking time – 20 minutes

 

Ingredients 

  • Ajwain (Omam in Tamil) – 100 gms 

  • Indian Dried Long Pepper Root (Kandathippili in Tamil) – 112tbsp

  • Dry Ginger (Sukku in Tamil) –  50 gms (or) Ginger – 2 inch piece grated

  • Greater Galangal Root (or Thai Ginger) (Sitharathai in Tamil and Kulanjan in Hindi) – 2 sticks

  • Cloves – 3 to 4 in number

  • Cardamom – 1 tbsp powdered

  • Cinnamon – 1 to 112pieces

  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

  • Raw Turmeric – 12inch piece

  • Jaggery – 112 cups, powdered

  • Water – 12cup for the jaggery

  • Gingelly Oil – 2 tbsp

  • Ghee – 4 to 5 tbsp

  • Optional : 

Indian Long Pepper (Arisithippili in Tamil) – 112tbsp, 

Coriander Seeds – 2 tsps,

Black peppercorns (Milagu in Tamil) – 1 tsp, 

Rock Sugar (Kalkandu in Tamil) – 2tbsp 

 

Instructions

  • Dry roast all the ingredients. After it has cooled, combine them in a mixer and grind it to a fine powder.

  • Sieve the powder well after grinding to ensure there are no lumps and stray stones.

  • Mix the powder with water to make a fine paste.

  • Dissolve jaggery in water and filter it finely. The jaggery is added to combat the bitterness and spice of the paste.

  • Mix the two semi liquids in equal quantities. 

  • Heat a pan with gingelly oil and ghee.

  • Add the paste and saute it well under medium heat.

  • Keep mixing the paste under medium heat till it becomes thick and glossy.

  • Once the paste forms a consistent texture and the ghee starts to separate from the sides of the pan, transfer it to a container and let it cool.

 

Some advice from my grandmother: 

  • Take care to mix and match the quantities of the ingredients keeping in mind your spice tolerances and preferences. 

  • Be sure to avoid excessive consumption of the marundhu. One or two spoonfuls is prescribed per day. 

  • The Deepavali Marundhu can be stored for a year from the day it is prepared and one spoon a day might just keep the doctor at bay. 

 

Let’s get responsible in our quest for gluttony this year. Happy Diwali and most importantly, happy gorging! 

 

This article is an HCAU x HC at UCLA Halloween and Diwali Collaboration! Be sure to check out the other articles on their site here: 

https://www.hercampus.com/school/ucla/7-spooky-sweets-make-halloween

https://www.hercampus.com/school/ucla/most-delicious-gluten-free-pumpkin-pancakes-perfect-fall-how-make-them

https://www.hercampus.com/school/ucla/how-make-easy-vegan-peanut-butter-cups-halloween

A confused yet continuous work-in-progress with an affinity for pretty lighting and pink skies. Currently, a prospective Economics and Finance major at Ashoka.
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