Friday, November 11, 2005

Yellow Rice / Lemon Rice (Nimakaayi Annam)

A simple basic Ayurvedic(South Indian)recipe which is light ,full of flavour, appetizing and healthy.

Yellow Rice / Lemon Rice (Nimakaayi Annam)

Soak 1 ½ cup of rice in water for half an hour. Cook the rice with enough salt(each grain should be separate and not sticky).
Add 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts (groundnuts)to the cooked rice and mix well. Keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add ½ tsp of mustard (avaalu, ria) and let them splutter.Now add 1 tsp black gram (urad dal,
minappappu),1 tbsp of Bengal gram(channa dal, senaga pappu), 1 tbsp of chopped ginger, 2 slit green chillis and fry till the dals brown. (Approx for 2
minutes) on medium heat.Now add 1/2 tsp turmeric, 10-12 curry leaves and 1/3 tsp of asafetida (hing, inguva) and fry for 15 seconds. Turn off heat.
Now add this to the rice with 3 - 4 tbsp of lemon juice. Combine well. Adjust salt and lemon juice.
This is a very light dish which I often make especially for long journeys or picnics.
The nutritive values of ginger, asafetida,rice and turmeric are immense and I have listed below the value of these herbs/spices.

Ginger- Ginger is carminative, digestive, sialagogue (which produces saliva), blood purifier and anti-colic. It also has cardiac stimulant, aphrodisiac and anti-rheumatic properties. It has been described as one of the best ama-pachaka, meaning a substance helping to nullify toxins produced in the body by improper digestion. Ginger is a diaphoretic; it brings heat into the body, increases perspiration and stimulates the circulatory system. Therefore, it is good for chill and cold. It also has cough-suppressing qualities. It soothes sore throat and relieves congestion and sinusitis. Helps in treating rheumatism and migraine.It is also used to incite delayed menstruation, relieve menstrual cramps and lessen the intensity of migraine.

Asafoetida- Asafoetida is one of the key digestion promoting herbs of the Ayurvedic tradition; it is also antispasmodic and expectorant. This is a spicy and very fragrant herb and is rich in healthful sulfur compounds. Asafoetida is considered a stimulant, not only to the digestion, but also to the respiratory system and the nervous system (but calms nervousness). Further, it is an aphrodisiac. Asafoetida is obtained from the juice of the plant; it is fried before use (otherwise it is irritating). For digestive complaints, it is relied upon to improve the "digestive fire" and thereby speed the digestion of food, alleviating problems of heaviness, fullness, bloating, or gas after eating. By improving the digestion, asafoetida helps prevent the formation of excess phlegm and ama.

Turmeric- Turmeric is a natural preservative, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibacterial. It is considered a powerful purifier by ayurvedic healers. It enhances the digestion, strengthens the liver and nourishes all the body tissues. It is also considered a varnya herb in ayurveda--one that enhances the complexion. Turmeric is warming, and offers the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. Turmeric contains iron and potassium. It is a powerful antioxidant and helps to fight free radical damage. Turmeric has shown results as a cancer-fighting agent, in balancing the ratio of good and bad cholesterol, in preventing oxidation of cholesterol, and in helping to prevent plaque and reduce inflammation in brain cells such as that which occurs with Alzheimer's.

Rice forms an important component of our diet. Rice is light and easy to digest. The use of rice increases the enzymes, components of blood, muscles and other elements of the body. Rice and its products are useful in the treatment of constipation, fever, diarrhoea, dysentery, abdominal complaints.

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