Thursday, May 17, 2012

Authentic Mysore Idli (Mallige Idli)

Idlis are rice cakes prepared out of fermented batter of black gram (urad dal) lentils and coarse powder of parboiled rice (idli rava). Idlis are popular breakfast of South India and now gaining popularity globally. They are usually served with chutney and sambar.

Here is an authentic south Indian recipe for soft smooth idlis which are also called as mallige idli in Mysore (Mallige means Jasmine. These idlis are white and soft like jasmine flowers).

1.    De husked black gram lentils – 1 cup
2.    Idli rava (now available readily in any south Indian stores)- 2 ½ cups
3.    Salt to taste
4.    Ghee or refined oil – 4 tea spoons

Soak black gram lentils in water for 6 hours (preferably if you soak in morning, it will be ready to go for grinding by evening.) Grind these lentils in blender or ultra grinder to smooth batter adding water little by little .The batter should be smooth, increased in volume and white in colour. Take care not to make it too thin or too thick. It should sit like a blob when slipped from spoon.  Before grinding lentils, soak idli rava in hot water and cover it. After 15 minutes drain the excess water and squeeze the rava to remove remaining water. Add the soaked and squeezed idli rava to smooth batter of black gram lentils and mix well. Add salt. Allow this batter to ferment. If it is summer it takes hardly 4-5 hours to get ferment. It takes a long time to ferment in winter.

Smear cups of idli plates with ghee or refined oil. Fill these cups with idli batter. (Take care not to fill the cups to brim as idlis get mixed up while cooking). Steam it in idli cooker for 20 minutes. Serve hot with sambar  , chutney and butter.

Nutritional facts:

Fermentation enriches nutritional value of food. During fermentation enrichment of essential amino acids, vitamins, mineral and bioactive compounds take place. In Idli batter thiamine and riboflavin increase during fermentation. Fermented idli batter is rich in probiotics (Probiotics are the good bacteria that promote healthy digestion and build immunity. The most common friendly bacteria (probiotics) are lactobacilli and bifidobacteria).

Black gram is rich in vitamins, minerals and devoid of cholesterol. It is store house of calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese etc. Urad dal contains vitamins and dietary fibers. Due to high potassium content urad dal acts as an aphrodisiac. According to text of ayurveda black gram also helps in increasing body bulk and body energy level. It strengthens the body and increases lifespan. “Vigna Mungo” or black gram helps to increase bulk of stools. The moistness increasing property coupled with bulk increasing quality helps in easy movement of bowel.  Therefore usage of this bean is recommended in conditions like constipation, piles and colic. This herb is a very good liver stimulant.

Rice is a rich source of carbohydrates. Rice contains all the essential amino acids. It does not contain appreciable amount of fat, and they contain no saturated fat.

Properties of ghee (Clarified butter) as described in Ayurveda

Ghee and oil are widely used in ayurveda system of medicine as mediums to administer herbal preparations. Herbs, pastes of herbs or decoction of herbs are infused in oil or ghee and later administered to patients after diagnosing the conditions and diseases. 

Properties of ghee: Ghee prepared out of cow’s milk is considered to be having medicinal properties and is widely used ayurvedic preparations.

Dhee kaanthismruthikaarakam balakarm medhokaram shuddhikrudvataghnam shramanaashanam swarakaram pittapaham pushtidam

Cow’s ghee has following properties

It increases intelligence.
Helps in enhancing memory power.
Rejuvenates the skin from inside and increases its glow.
Boosts body energy
Detoxifies body
Normalizes vata. (Imbalance of vata causes diseases)
Increases clarity of voice.
Normalises pitta
Nourishes the body
Improves digestion and increases body fire.
Increases quality and quantity of semen.
It is very effective in disorders of eye.
Acts as a good Rasayana
It is the best form of fat.

Properties of ghee prepared out of buffalo’s milk

1.    Strengthens the body. 
2.    Makes you feel healthy
3.    Increases fairness and glow of skin.
4.    Normalizes kapha and vata
5.    It is very effective in piles (hemorrhoids),  IBS,
6.    It is used in disorders of eye.

Among these two ghee prepared out of cows milk is considered to have more medicinal properties. Freshly prepared ghee is very effective and useful.

The ghee which has been kept for 10 years is called as “PURANA GHRITA”. It is widely used in treating epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

The ghee which has been stored for more than 100 years is called as “KUMBHA SARPI”. The ghee which is stored more than 100 years is called as “MAHAGHRITA”. Mahaghrita  is used in chronic cough and disorders of eye,

The ghee should not be administered in tuberculosis, upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis when mucous secretion is more, indigestion, constipation, fever and diabetes.

This article is copy righted. The author Dr.SavithaSuri is an Ayurvedic Physician and web master of Ayurveda help through ayurveda remedies .Read more about properties of ghee at Properties of ghee as described in ayurveda

Properties of Oils – as described in Ayurveda

Medicated Oils are widely used in Ayurveda for massaging, administering medicines and to treat diseases. Sesame oil , mustard oil and castor oil are mainly used as bases for most of the oil preparations. Among these sesame oil is considered as best. Oils are considered as excellent normalizers of vata and hence used in diseases in which vata dosha is dominant.

Properties of sesame oil:
Sesame oil brings aggravated vata to normal condition. When it is infused with various herbs, it almost cures all diseases. Sesame oil increases hair growth and enhances volume of hair and its shine. It strengthens the hair roots, kills lice and prevents formation of dandruff. It heals the boils of scalp caused by infections and prevents hair loss. Regular use of sesame oil, infused with hair friendly herbs prevents itching of scalp.

Massaging sesame oil on body has immense benefits. It rejuvenates body skin and increases its glow and fairness. It strengthens and tones the muscles and ligaments. Sesame oil massage is very beneficial in body pain, joint pains, insomnia and dry skin.

Sesame oil should not be used in diseases in which pitta and rakta (blood) are vitiated.

Properties of Castor oil:
Castor oil enhances body strength.It is very beneficial in all types diseases where vata is dominant. It normalizes and tames vitiated vata. Castor oil is widely used to treat skin diseases.

Properties of mustard oil:
Mustard oil is used in skin diseases, fungal infections and itching on skin surface.

Read complete article at Properties of oil as described in ayurveda

Health benefits of butter – An ayurveda perception

Dictionaries define butter as “a solid emulsion of fat globules, air, and water made by churning milk or cream and used as food”. Butter is known as “Navaneeta” in Sanskrit. It is referred as navaneeta in texts of ayurveda too.  Butter is usually made from cow’s or buffalo’s milk. But it can be made from milk of other mammals like sheep, goats, camel etc.

Butter prepared out of cow’s milk contains saturated fats, monosaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, plenty of Vitamin A, Vtamin D, Vitamin D and Cholesterol.

Texts of ayurveda consider butter prepared from milk of cow, buffalo and sheep for medicinal use. The health benefits of butter are very well explained in ayurveda.

Butter prepared from cow’s milk has the following medicinal properties.

•    It acts as a body coolant.
•    This butter nourishes body tissues and increases body energy level.
•    The complexion of skin and strength of body increases when butter is consumed.
•    Butter increases appetite.
•    It alleviates vata and pitta.
•    Very effective in piles or hemorrhoids.
•    Reduces cough.
•    Elderly people and infants are benefited by butter. It acts like an elixir when administered to infants and elderly.

Butter prepared from buffalo’s milk has the following medicinal properties

•    It increases vata and kapha.
•    Butter prepared from buffalo’s milk is heavy to digest.
•    Consumption of this butter alleviates pitta, burning sensation and tiredness.
•    It increases quality and quantity of semen.
•    Body fat or medho dhatu gets increased by consuming this regularly.

Butter prepared from sheep’s milk alleviates vata, pitta and kapha and is superior to all other types of butter.Texts of ayurveda eulogize the medicinal properties of sheep's milk.

Sheep milk is treasure of nutrients. It is richer in vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium than cow milk. The chains of fatty acids in sheep milk have many health benefits. They have little effect on blood cholesterol level of humans. It is easy to digest fat portion of sheep milk.

Butter mixed with sandal wood paste is usually massaged over babies body to cleanse its skin and soften it. This improves complexion and glow of skin. Butter massage also helps to prevent drying of baby skin.

Health Note: Butter AND cholesterol

•    If you have atherosclerosis, heart disease, high cholesterol ( hypercholesterolemia) in the upper range 200-239 mg/dL or high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia), the American Heart Association recommends a maximum daily limit of 200mg of dietary cholesterol, and advises no more than 7 percent of calories be eaten in the form of saturated fat.
•    A new study shows that exposure to a chemical called diacetyl, a component of artificial butter flavoring, can be harmful.

This article is copy righted. The author Dr.SavithaSuri is an Ayurvedic Physician and web master of Ayurveda help through ayurveda remedies .Read more about medicinal properties of butter at Health benefits of butter – An ayurveda perception