Posts Tagged ‘pepper kozhambu’

Postpartum recipe series

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

No, I am not a know it all. Just that I wanted to share some of the recipes that are in use for postpartum which can heal the body and relieve the aches and pains of labor.

After giving birth to R, I was so hungry and N called the cafeteria for food. When we toured the hospital I had asked about vegetarian food and I was told, yes it was available. Little did I know that the vegetarian option was soy burger with fries, veggie pizza, pasta alfredo, tomato soup and broth. Ofcourse, I like all of them, but it was not appropriate for the situation. It was a funny and irritating scene- there I was fuming and ready to let it all out on N, and poor N who was with me since morning who also did not have any food, did not want to order any of that as he knew it is going to increase my anger. We had packed only food for N since I knew I will be given food at the hospital.(Lesson learnt: pack some extra food just in case as hospitals provide patient freezers and microwaves)

After a quick phone call to our neighbor, he brought some idlis to the hospital and boy, that tasted like nectar!

Basically postpartum recipes are easily digested food like idli or idiyappam, hot rice with moong dal and vegetables and lots and lots of ghee. The idea is to soothe the insides for mommy as well as to provide nourishing food to make up for all the energy loss. Such simple foods will also not cause a problem for the baby if the mom is nursing.

Though in India such postpartum recipes are prepared for 60 days after birth of the child, here I was told to start eating all vegetables(even cabbage and potatoes) so that the baby will get all the nutrition. I did a mix of both, traditional postpartum recipes for twice or thrice a week and normal food for the rest of the days.

The first on my list is Garlic kozhambu which is good for digestion.

Ingredients for Garlic-Pepper kuzhambu: (Makes about 200 ml)
List 1:
Whole black Peppercorns- 2 tsp
Toor dal- 2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Dried red chilies- 2
Curry leaves- a fistful (2/3 of a cup)
Peeled garlic cloves- 10 or 12
List 2:
Tamarind paste- 3/4 tsp (dissolve in 2 cups of water)
Salt to taste
Sesame oil(Gingerly oil)- 2 tsp
Ghee- 2 tsp

Method:

Fry all the ingredients in list 1 in sesame oil. Transfer to a blender, add salt and blend to a coarse powder. Add tamarind paste and then blend it to a smooth paste. Transfer to a sauce pan, add another glass of water, check for salt and tanginess(add more tamarind paste if you like). Simmer it till the water evaporates and you can see the kozhambu coming together like a thick paste. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Add the ghee and switch it off. The more ghee and oil it absorbs the tastier the kozhambu will be.

Instead of blending the garlic you can boil whole garlic pieces in the kozhambu after frying.

This can be stored in the freezer for upto three months also.

Serving:
Serve the kozhambu with hot rice topped with ghee(must), poppadams and some sort of plain kootu(vegetables cooked with moong dal). It’s enough if you eat a handful of this rice with kozhambu, not like a plateful!

You can add more garlic to make it garlic kozhambu or more curry leaves to make it curry leaf kozhambu also.

Warnings:

Well not really warning, but suggestions:

This is only for postpartum do not eat it when you are pregnant.

You have to have it with hot rice topped with ghee otherwise there is no purpose of having the food.
Since this kozhmabu already has garlic and pepper, do not serve this with any sort of greens(spinach for example)
And of course, do not eat it with potato curry :)

Since this is a real healing food, I am sending this Garlic-Pepper kozhambu as an entry for Siri’s Healing food event, hosted this month by Sara.