Sunday, January 4, 2015

अपमार्ग | நாயுருவி | Acyranthes aspera


Mom is standing in background locating karisalankanni, while i clicked.
Snap has not done justice to the dark pink prickly fruits, as if tiny insects are sitting in perfect symmetry

True nature of soul is bliss. Bliss exists at all levels, physical, ethereal, mental, discerning, absolute bliss.
Physical Level: C-sections are prevalent all over during delivery. Just imagine scarless painless delivery. My first yoga teacher told this would help in normal delivery when tied below knees of a pregnant woman during her labour period. It had to be immediately removed post delivery it seems.
Ethereal Level:

Mom said, as children, they would ask another kid to hold this and pull it out swiftly for fun. But this would cause such irritation and pain, that only village children can bear and forget and still play around together.

Medicinal Uses:
  • herb for digestion, burns fat, helps in downward peristalsis movement - ayurvedicdietsolutions 
  • enhances will power and controls the mind of user - Ashwini Kumar Sharma
  • breaks stones, used for urinary calculus, irritation in bladder and urethra - herbtime
  • helps in labour inducement during delivery, but should not be used before full term - 101herbs
  • 14 curing recipes with apamArg - astrogle

Mar 9th update
Hardly, 2 months passed, and the summer is already scorching, the greenery on the roadside has disappeared, its all turned yellow and dry. MAtham mumAri, when was that period ever??? 60s folks born in Chennai lament, how pleasant Chennai was then and how unbearably hot it is now. And tree plantations are now sponsored by real estate magnates from Australia and Belgium, selling Indian land to Indians as exorbitantly priced apartments, without any natural trees around. With India's population!!!

Apparently nayuruvi seeds when eaten will make hunger disappear for even 6 months. My teacher talks of a wood (i don't know what wood) that burn without smoke for 6 months. No wonder folks meditated with food/water for months together.

Nayuruvi, kuppaimeni, karuvepu ilai chutney

Kambu rava ghee roast, nayuruvi chutney, maanga moong dal sambhar, athi palam smoothie

Chutney Recipe:
  • Stir fry equal quantities of curry leaves, nayuruvi leaves and kuppai meni leaves in ghee. Took a fistful of each leaf
  • Add a little ground nut (optional) and sliced ginger with 1 big green chilli as per taste and fry along with leaves (liberal doses of ginger if morning) *
  • Let it cool
  • Add a quarter medium sized coconut, salt and grind till it reaches the consistency you like the best
  • Fry mustards, cumin seeds curry leaves in oil and add to this chutney
* Guiding principle is ginger in morning, dried ginger in afternoon and haritaki or kadukAi at night

VAta NArayan Kambu ghee roast
Pluck fresh vAta Narayan leaves and grind them to a smooth paste
this batter has kambu, rava, wheat flour with cumin seeds, pepper along with vAta nArayan paste

Mango Moong dal SAmbhar
One or two mangoes fall down every now and then, when mangoes are there, who needs tomatoes or tamarind for tangines. The fallen side is damaged, or birds or squirrels would have pecked it, we chop that off, and use the rest.
  • Add moong dAl, shredded mango, chilli-corriander-turmeric-salt and pressure cook
  • Heat ghee, splutter, mustards, cumin seeds, curry leaves with asafoetid and add pressure cooked dal
  • Garnish with finely chopped corriander leaves
PanchAng stated payovrat sometime last month, and ever since that i have been experimenting with milk shakes - with fresh rose leaves (results in violet milk shake), yummy Avaram poo milk shake and today it was athipalam smoothie, with jaggery and ellaichi.

Mar 12 2016 update
It was my varmam aasaan who introduced nayuruvi in his lecture. And now i realize, this is a prohibited leaf. So is athi palam. When tomatoes are getting prohibited, you can imagine the list of prohibitions. Gave up ice creams, gave up this as well.

Nilavembu | Andrographis paniculata | Bhu neem / KAlmegh | Kirayat


If we have bitterness competition between nilavembu and Adhuthoda, don't know which will win. Praying should never have to drink this decoction for brain fever, snake bites and the like. Just as mom was pointing to me, we were rather surprised to see a lady in scooty, carrying so much of nilavembu, the whole plant. My college days, Srirangam nAdi jyoshiyar's name was KAlamegham, a very stout dark, rohini, with bulging eyes. He was the final deciding authority on everything then, including can i reciprocate fellow classmate's love. If he said, no, then cut-cut once for all. Interesting to know that he has the name of such a bitter herb.

List of common names - wiki

Medicinal Uses:
  • to cure viral fever, dengue, brain fever - bimbima
  • appetizer, liver stimulant, vermicidal - herbalcureindia
  • for treating acidity, indigestion, wind, gastritis, peptic ulcers, colitis including ulcerative colitis, heartburn, and diarrhoea. It is best to combine it with aromatic spices like coriander, fennel, cardamom or black cumin to prevent aggravation of Vata from the bitter taste - positivehealth

Pournami avial

Starting 2006, a Dec 18, got me addicted to thiruvanamalai girivalam on pournamis, so much so that, i would dread onsite opportunities. My dear Baroda friend fasts the whole full moon day and visits temple travelling 3-4 hours one way. Now, most full moon nights, i lay awake on the PG terrace tracing the path of the moon on the sky along with stars. PanchAng said, sarvashAk nivedhan. Hence avial. Not all, at least some veggies.

My Hyderabad friend offers a minimum of 60 vegetables to shAkambari devi. Out of 100, after removing prohibited vegetables, at least 75 or so remain, he says. Interesting customs.

Shop quoted 20 Rs for one tiny mango, so mom didn't buy it. There were couple of mangoes hanging up on the terrace even in dhanur mAs. So asked mom to  pluck the smaller one.

Yellow pumpkin, mochai kottai, chow chow, mango, senai kilangu, vAzhai kAi; Payir, Kothavaranga, beans, carrot, avarakkai

Aviyal - Moon is the master of all herbs, everything unto him
Sunday hence - Wheat Milk jaggery ellaichi pudding, Aviyal soup, SAmbhar, Curd
Recipe for Wheat Pudding
Stir fry normal wheat flour (1-2 spoons for two people) in lots of ghee
Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, so that lumps are not formed
When wheat is cooked, add jaggery, ellaichi towards end and mix well
Add fried badam, cashew or raisins

Recipe for Avial
Chop your choice of vegetables
Boil them in turmeric, salt water
Grind a quarter coconut, 1 table spoon cumin seed to a smooth paste
Heat coconut oil in kadai, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves
Add the boiled vegetables, mix well with coconut paste and take off the flame

With the water left after boiling vegetables, add lots of freshly ground pepper and drink as soup.

The joy of simple things - kept gazing at the roses and jyoti and finally clicked. Wonder what is there in mango leaves! After months after instruction, at last plucked one leaf for RAghavendra swAmy

Mom would sweep, while, i would wrap the kolam, just as milk cooker starts whistling
Wonder how that period would have been, when women actually drew rice flour kolams for ants and smaller creatures! Life has changed after guruji. Dhanur mAs is a refreshing month. Nothing can rejuvenate better than pre-dawn magic. No matter when you go to sleep, get up early, offer pongal to God before sunrise. Only early morning temple visits in PG; at home, cleaning, kolams, neivdhyam, everything before sunrise. His path is difficult, am just trying with all my lacunae. Trust some day, am there. Amazing! this whole movement of sun and sky above! There is freedom in absolute surrender and obedience. When colleagues, question, how many rules, i now i realize, it is just being in tune. Wasting a full moon ardra, so back to work.

Aviyal for my future sister in law:
Manathakkali keerai kootu, vaazhai thandhu more kootu, potato roast, avial, beans paruppu usili, cauliflower peas fry, pineapple kesari, akaaravadisal