Thursday, March 31, 2011

Aajichi Purchundi (Grandma's Little Purse)

Like most kids in India, I grew up around my grandparents. Although having 'parent' attached, they have a special function in the family. They tell you bedtime stories, make goodies for you, teach you important lessons and leave the 'yelling' part to your parents :). My aaji (grandma in Marathi) pampered us to no end (pampered, not spoiled!). A very industrious woman, she always kept herself busy cooking, cleaning, gardening or reading. There were always goodies waiting for us when we got home from school and were ready to gobble whatever came our way. They were truly unique eats and almost every other thing added nutritional value to our diet - ajwain leaf bhaji, ambil (porriage made from finger millet),  whole wheat laddu and other fun stuff. Along with the good food and occasional "Kha ga raanu" ("Eat my little princess" or something to that effect), she told us why the ingredients she used were good for us. Being so informative, she knew lots of simple home remedies. One of her quick ayurvedic powders or steaming hot teas never failed to make me feel better when I was down with something. Her knowledge still doesn't cease to amaze me. I call this post Aajichi Purchundi (Grandma's Sachet/Little purse) because any time I need some comfort, I know she can pull out a little recipe from her bag of knowledge :).

My husband and I were a little under the weather last couple of weeks thanks to the ever changing spring weather. Craving for something hot to drink I thought of one of my aaji's recipes. Lemongrass tea. Lemongrass, known as Gavati Chaha in Marathi (Gavat = Grass, Chaha = Tea), grows in most backyards in India and is used to treat common cold and cough. My grandma had her own concoction which I resort to when I have a cold.

Lemongrass Tea/Gavati Chahacha Kadha

5-6 Lemongrass leaves
2-3 Cloves
3-4 Black peppercorn
1 Inch cinnamon stick
1 Teaspoon cumin-coriander powder (You can use the whole seeds, crush them slightly)
2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
7-8 Leaves of Indian basil/Tulsi (I skipped this as it wasn't available)
1 Cube of jaggery (Can use brown sugar or regular sugar instead)
4 Cups water
  • Heat water and add all the ingredients as the water starts boiling.
  • Keep on medium heat and boil the tea for a good 10-15 minutes.
  • Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes. Strain the hot tea and it's ready to sip. 
The combination of lemongrass and fennel seeds gives the tea a sweet-citrusy flavor. Although my grandma can't make this for me sitting thousands of miles away, it's comforting to know she's just a phone call away when I need one of her home medicines or just want to hear "Kaay re majhya raja".
One steaming hot cup of this tea before bed and you are ready for sweet dreams!

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...