Deepavali legiyam Its Deepavali, and no celebration is complete without gorging on sweets. But one may tend to get carried away and overeat during this time, and then complain of bloating and stomach ache. An age-old remedy that has been followed as part of the Deepavali tradition is the preparation of Deepavali legiyam or Deepavali marundhu which is said to aid digestion after indulging in rich sweets and delicacies. It is said that starting your day with a spoonful of this herbal preparation can help one stay healthy and keep the stomach at ease. In fact, after the customary oil bath ritual everyone is required to first take a spoonful of the herbal marundhu before consuming any of the savouries or sweets.
Also, since Deepavali falls during the season change between summer and winter in India, a time the body is susceptible to catching colds and other infections, this herbal mixture is said to aid the digestive system by fighting the ill-effects of the heavy foods that one may indulge in at this time. It is also offered to lactating mothers, to keep minor ailments at bay, and give them strength.
Each family has their own traditional recipe. I remember vividly my grandmother making it and rolling it into tiny balls and making us eat with a spoonful of ghee/clarified butter. This liquorice-like “medicine” is a cure-all that Indian families have relied on for generations, as per Ayurveda.
It is typically made a day before Deepavali, using various natural ingredients which are cooked with jaggery and ghee.
1.5tsp – Coriander powder
1tsp – Black pepper powder
1tsp – Cumin powder
1/2tsp – Dried ginger powder
1/4tsp – Cardamom powder
1/2tsp – Carom seeds
1/2tsp – Yashtimadhu (liquorice/mulethi/athimadhuram) powder
1/2tsp – Chitrak (sitharathai) powder
1/2tsp – Pippali (long pepper) powder
300g – Jaggery
1tbsp – Ghee
*Take a wide mouthed kadaai or pan and dry roast the ingredients except ghee and jaggery.
*Once dry roasted, grind it well.
*Slowly add water and grind it into a nice paste. Now add ghee in the pan. Let it heat for 30 seconds and then add the paste and jaggery.
*Mix it well and let it cook for about 20-30 minutes. Once the ghee starts separating from the mixture, you would know that it is cooked.