Yennai Chadam – fermented rice

My mor milagai post on Instagram started a conversation between me and Radha, another Tambram schoolmate of mine. She mentioned how well it combines with fermented rice. This morning I had a bowl of rice that had now been fermenting a good 30 hours. I could see fermentation bubbles on the surface and it had that distinct funky smell. I had intended it for something else which the overcast skies put a spanner in. I could have made panta bhat, the Bengali version that has been on the list, but I also wanted to chip away at the mor milagai stash. No, it is not stashed away in my, now infamous, refrigerator #2 but might as well eat through the rest of the pantry while I am on #missionpantryclean.

This fermented rice used to be a popular breakfast dish in all parts of the country where rice is the staple. Known variously as pazhayadu, tangalanna, or yennai chadam, it was a great way to not only prevent waste but actually improve the nutritional content of the cereal. Fermentation, as we all know, increases the bio-availability of nutrients especially the B vitamins, as also calcium, and certain other trace minerals. Ayurveda bestows rice fermented like this with cooling properties, just what you need in the coming summer months. Hooray, for fermentation! Continue reading “Yennai Chadam – fermented rice”

Sarson ka Saag aur Makki ki Roti

sarson ka saag

Spring is upon us! Temperatures are climbing steadily – we are already at 27 degrees C. But a nip still lingers at night and in the mornings. Therefore, the mustard family gets to reign for a few more weeks. I have mentioned mustard fields and I have talked about Punjab…but I haven’t yet talked about their favorite winter greens preparation.

About Saagsarson da saag (Punjabi) or mustard greens. When I first started reading food blogs a couple of years back, I was impressed by the familiarity of the Western world (the US-based blogs, in any case) with ‘saag’ which is the Punjabi word for greens in general. Just like Kashmiris refer to one specific kind of green when we say haak, saag too refers to sarson or mustard greens, unless specified otherwise – palak ka saag (spinach greens), bathuey ka saag, so on and so forth. Punjab has never heard of saag-paneer. The saag-paneer combination intrigued me till I discovered it was the American avatar of good old palak-paneer, which, I am told (by none other than our own desikudi, Musical) is not that traditional in rural Punjab. Continue reading “Sarson ka Saag aur Makki ki Roti”