Kummiyanam is a nutritious dessert prepared with rice, assorted legumes & palm jaggery for Aadi Iruthi celebrated by the people living in & around Tirunelveli. We offer kummiyanam to the lamented souls while remembering them in the Aadi month, a Tamil calendar month usually falls between 15th of July & 15th of August. In this month we remember the departed men on the day of amavasyai (no moon day) and the departed women on aadi irudhi (the last day of Aadi). Ironically, Japanese also visit the cemeteries during the same period to pay tributes to the departed souls.
On the last day of Aadi month (Aadi iruthi) people here remember dheerka sumangali (a woman who died while her husband is alive) of their family as it was believed that those women guide the family from heaven. We all remember our grandmother on this day and offer Kummiyanam & ulundha vadai to the figurine made of a new sari representing her as shown below. Nowadays many of us do not make such figurine and we just replace it with her photo.
It was a heavenly sight to see those houses at the dusk filled with aromas of various flowers, incenses, sandal paste, etc. The photo below is taken at the residence of my husband’s uncle in Tirunelveli on this Aadi Iruthi remembering my husband’s grandmother.
Health Benefits of taking assorted legumes:
It is a good idea for vegetarians/ vegans to take a mixture of various legumes along with rice to get a full spectrum of amino acids equivalent to a complete source of protein. You may click here to know more about the benefits of legumes published by American Institute for Cancer Research. Palm jaggery aids in digestion and also acts as a cleanser & wipes out toxins from our system.
Although we prepare kummiyanam specially for this festival, we can serve this payasam as a dessert during lunch for other special occasions also. Now the recipe for kummiyanam is as below:
Total time taken: 40 min
Yields : 2 cups
- Red rice (mapillai samba arisi) – 1 tbsp
- Greengram (paasi payaru) – 1 tbsp
- Lima beans (mochai payaru) – 1 tbsp
- Cowpeas (Karamani) – 1 tbsp
- Chickpeas (konda kadalai) – 1 tbsp
- Blackgram (karuppu ulundhu) – 1 tbsp
- Horsegram (kollu) – 1 tbsp
- Palm jaggery powder(karuppatti) – ¾ cup
- Dried ginger (chukku) – 1″ piece
- Cardamom (yelam) – 1 No.
- Ghee (nei) – 1 tbsp
- Cashew nuts (mundhri) – 10 Nos.
- Water – 4 cups (3 cups for pressure cooking, 1 cup for syrup)
How to prepare kummiyanam:
- Heat a sauce pan with palm jaggery & water until dissolved and keep aside.
- Powder dried ginger & cardamom using mortar & pestle and keep aside.
- Dry roast rice & legumes separately until they release their aroma.
- Grind roasted rice & legumes into a coarse powder (approximately ¾ cup).
- Pressure cook powdered rice & legumes (simmer for 15 min after reaching high pressure).
- Add palm jaggery syrup into cooked legumes through a fine mesh and allow the mixture to boil in medium flame.
- Then add powdered ginger & cardamom before removing from heat.
- Add roasted cashews & ghee into kummiyanam and serve hot or chilled.
- We can use the regular rice or any other traditional rice variety instead of red rice.
- Some prefer to use rice flour instead of adding rice as it is useful as a thickening agent.
- We can add coconut milk at the end to make this payasam rich & creamy.