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Thursday, November 25, 2010

POSTPARTUM FOOD & CARE


DISCLAIMER:

This post aims to provide guidance on what to do during labour pain and postpartum period.

All materials contained in this post are for information purposes only and not a medical advice.

Antenatal care should be followed as adviced by your doctors. Follow the diet chart from doctors as well.

This post doesn't research about customs and sanskars, but will be useful for ladies right from labour pain to post partum and post natal confinement.

This has a detailed description of what to do and what not to do starting from labour pain to postpartum confinement. This is purely a Tamil Brahmin community’s custom. These are the postpartum and postnatal confinement practices and rituals followed by Tamil Brahmin community.

My grandma and mom gave me a hand-written note (in tamil) of the do’s and don’ts during postpartum period for our future family guidance. I AM ATTACHING IT (AS IT IS) IN THE END OF THIS POST. However, if somebody needs a copy you can mail me and I can send you the copy. Though the doctors say one can eat anything, nowadays, follow as much as you can from this post. However, seek your doctor’s advice and your family elders’ advice also.

HOPE YOU WILL FIND THE POST HELPFUL & INFORMATIVE. GOOD LUCK.

WHAT IS A POSTPARTUM PERIOD?

Post partum is the period after delivering a baby. Post partum care is very important for a woman after labour. Post partum practices varies across regions. The period of confinement also varies across regions, from 6 weeks to 6 months and some believe until the restoration of menstrual cycle. The food taken during that period also varies across regions.

In India, elders of a family guide throughout this period to restore the mother’s health after child birth. A special diet known as “PATHIYA SAMAYAL” is supposed to be taken during this period. Doctors in western countries, do not recommend pathiya samayal though. These diet alongwith certain strict regimen should be followed by the new moms to restore their health.

THINGS TO BE AVOIDED DURING THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD:

Avoid pickles, sour curd, hot items, chillies, melons, grapes, spices, and oily food.

Avoid toor dhal as it causes gas problems. Instead use moong dhal.

THINGS WHICH CAN BE USED DAILY DURING THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD:

Betel leaves are rich in calcium and can be used as thamboolam.
Murungai ilai (drumstick leaves) helps in producing breast milk.
Garlic pods boiled in milk can be taken daily. This also increases the production of breast milk.

POSTPARTUM CARE:

The vagina should be cleaned with lukewarm water as and when possible during the 1st week after delivery.

Breast feed. Keep your nipples clean so that the baby doesn’t catch any infections.

Stay indoors.

Have a warm bath daily and not warm shower.

Exercise moderately.

For 1st 30 days, the stomach should be wrapped tightly with a large piece of clean cloth. This helps in compression of the abdomen (lower abdomen in particular). THIS AVOIDS THE PRESENCE OF HOLLOW SPACE IN THE ABDOMEN REGION.

Rub olive oil, Vitamin E oil or gingelly oil on the skin (especially abdomen region).

Food need to be fresh. Say “NO” to processed foods.

Food should be warm. It should be neither too hot nor dry.

Food should be prepared with digestive spices such as cumin seeds, caraway seeds, ginger, garlic, fenugreek, mustard, turmeric, pepper, and fresh curd. Avoid sour curd.

Take ghee internally.

Avoid high sugar and caffeine. THIS WILL LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN.

DEALING WITH POSTNATAL DEPRESSION AND STRESS:

Avoid physical stress and fatigue.

Take rest. Sleep well. Take a nap while your baby naps.

Do not do the laundry work and other chores.

Eat a healthy diet. Take light and balanced diet with nourishing green vegetables.

Do pelvic exercises after six weeks. THIS WILL KEEP YOU IN GOOD SHAPE.

Isolation increases depression. Stay in touch with friends.

LINKS TO PATHIYA SAMAYAL:

The Pathiya thaligai (samayal) is according to the practices followed in an Iyengar community. Click on the names of the recipes to get the link.

DURING LABOUR PAIN : Jeeraga kashayam

SPECIAL RECIPES TO BE TAKEN DURING POST PARTUM PERIOD:

FOR BREAKFAST:
Idli OR bread slices
Dosai with less oil
Sevai

Soup

FOR LUNCH:
Rice
Ghee
Karuveppilai kuzhambu
Karuveppilai thogayal
Milagu kozhambu
Vatha kozhambu
Manathakali vathal kozhambu

Poricha kootu

Simple dhal made with moong
Any curry tempered in ghee
Milagu rasam
Jeeraga rasam
Poricha rasam
Kandathippili rasam
Angaya podi
Ela vadaam (roasted in direct flame)
Curd rice with Manathakkali vathal OR thumattikaai vathal fried in ghee
Prasava lehiyam (after lunch)
Soups in the evening

FOR DINNER:
Rice with milk (Paal saadham) during night with Narthangai salt pickle

HAND WRITTEN NOTE GIVEN BY MY GRANDMA AND MOM : RIGHT FROM LABOUR PAIN ALONGWITH THE DETAILS OF HOW TO DO PUNYAGAVACHANAM AND ALSO THE CUSTOMS & PRACTICES DURING POSTPARTUM.

Monday, November 22, 2010

IDLI USILI - 5 VARIETIES



Here are some varieties of idli usili or idli upma. Idli lemon usili, Idli molagapodi usili and idli coconut usili. This can also be made with leftover idlies.

NOTE: Idlies can be perfectly and easily crumbled when kept in refrigerator.

COMMON INGREDIENTS :

Crumbled idlies - 12 ( 4 FOR EACH VARIETY)
Salt - little

COMMON TEMPERING: (THIS TEMPERING IS FOR 4 IDLIES)

Ghee - 1 tsp.
Oil - 2 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Chenna dhal - 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Dry red chillies - 1 or 2

METHOD:

IDLI LEMON USILI:

Crumble idlies, add a dash of salt and temper with the given ingredients. Squeeze a lime and garnish with coriander leaves.

IDLI MOLAGAPODI USILI:

Crumble idlies, add a dash of salt and temper with the given ingredients. Add idli molaga podi and give a quick saute.

IDLI COCONUT USILI:

Temper the given ingredients alongwith scraped coconut. Crumble idlies add a dash of salt. Mix both. Serve hot.

IDLI PULI USILI:

Crumble idlies, add a dash of salt and mix with pulikachal mix.

IDLI PLAIN USILI :

Crumble idlies , add a dash of salt and temper with the given ingredients. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

AGATHI KEERAI KARIAMUDHU / AGATHI LEAVES CURRY


This is a famous Iyengar kariamudhu (curry) which is made on Dwadashi days. People fast on 'Ekadashi' day and have 'Dwadashi Paranai' (special food or thali) on the next day which levels the acidity and the menu by itself is fantastically medicated. We don't use tamarind for this thaligai(samayal). The menu is as under:

1. Rice
2. More kozhambu
3. Agathi keerai kariamudhu (poriyal)
4. Poricha kootu
5. Poricha sathumudhu(Poricha rasam)
6. Nellikkai pachadi or Nellikai thogayal
7. Akkaraadisil or any kannamudhu (payasam)
8. Sundakkai vathal fried in ghee
9. Curd

Known as agathi in Tamil, gaach munga in Hindi, avisi in Telugu, agase in Kannada and akatti in Malayalam, agathi leaves have medicinal properties and removes toxins from the blood. Boiling agathi leaves in water and drinking the water kills the germs and bacteria in the stomach. Yet, it is not supposed to have agathi leaves daily. It can be made once in 15 days and can be consumed only twice a month and that is why our ancestors have made it a point to consume it on dwadashi days. Coming to the recipe,

INGREDIENTS:

Agathi keerai - 1 bunch
Sundaikkai vathal (Dried turkey berry) - 10 nos.
Coconut scraped - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - as per taste
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 1 or 2
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Oil - 1 tsp.
Ghee - 1 tsp.

METHOD:

Take out the agathi leaves, discard the stem and chop it finely. Boil it in water alongwith turmeric powder and salt till done. Drain the water completely (Do not discard the water, and this can be drunk).

Heat ghee and fry the sundaikkai vathal (dried turkey berry) till dark brown. Keep aside. Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal and chillies. Add the boiled agathi leaves, sugar and coconut. Saute well and finally add the fried sundaikkais. Mix well and this is an excellent side dish with Dwadashi meal.

Monday, November 15, 2010

THAVALA ADAI



INGREDIENTS:

Raw rice - 11/2 cup
Toor dhal - 2 tablespoon
Pepper - 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tsp.
Curry leaves - a sprig
Hing
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tablespoons ( for tempering) &
Oil - for shallow frying

To grind to a paste:

Toor dhal - 3 tsp.
Green chilly - 1



METHOD:


Pound rice, tur dhal and pepper to rawa consistency.

Soak toor dhal for 1/2 an hour and grind it alongwith green chilly to a paste.

Measure water in the ratio 1:2. (i.e.) 1 cup of this rawa needs 2 cups of water. Keep it ready.

Heat oil in a kadai and temper with mustard seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves and hing. Add water and salt. When it starts boiling add the pounded rawa and ground paste. Stir till thick and like a dough. When slightly cool, take out a ball and flatten it to thick adais (patties). Likewise, shape all the balls to patties.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan, pour in some oil and place these flattened adais (patties), cover it with a lid and when golden brown, flip it to the other side, drizzle oil on the sides and cook uncovered till golden brown. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice, but best with molaga podi or lime pickle.

NOTE: You can also soak the rice for an hour, dry it on a towel and pound it to rawa.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

BABY CORN PEPPER FRY

NOTE: THIS RECIPE CAN ALSO BE DONE USING MUSHROOMS OR CAULIFLOWERS.

INGREDIENTS:

Baby corn - 10
Onion - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp.
Pepper powder - 3/4 tsp.
Green chillies finely chopped - 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder - 1 tsp.
Soya sauce - 1 tablespoon

Salt - as per taste
Oil - 2 tsp.
Spring onions - few
Coriander leaves - few

FOR THE BATTER:

Corn flour - 1/4 cup
Maida - 2 tablespoons
Black pepper powder - 1 tsp.
Soya sauce - 1 tablespoon
Salt - as per requirement

METHOD:

De - husk the baby corns and cut into inch long pieces. Boil in water till half - cooked. Pat it dry and keep aside.

Mix the items given in "FOR THE BATTER" in water to form a smooth batter. Dip the baby corn and deep fry in oil. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai, add onions, and sauté till translucent . Add green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and saute till the raw smell is diffused. Add coriander powder, little salt and pepper powder and saute for a minute. Now add the fried baby corns, soyasauce & mix well. Sprinkle some water. Cook it covered till done. Add finely chopped spring onions and saute it for 10 seconds. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and spring onions. Your baby corn pepper fry is ready to serve with phulkas, parathas, naan and rotis.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

PISTACHIO FUDGE / PISTA BURFI

INGREDIENTS:

Pista(unsalted) - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Ghee - 3 tsp.

METHOD:

Blanch pista and peel the skin. Peeling the skin in a boredom job though.

Spread on a clean cloth and pat it completely dry. Heat a pan and warm the pistas(DO NOT DRY ROAST).

Grate & reserve a few pistas for topping. Grease a plate with ghee and keep aside.

Grind the pistas to a coarse paste. DO NOT ADD WATER.

Heat a heavy-bottomed pan, add sugar alongwith 1/2 a cup of water and bring it to one-string consistency.

Simmer the stove and add the pista paste. Mix well. Stir continuously till thick. Add ghee in between and stir till the mixture becomes like a dough and leaves the sides of the pan.

Switch off the stove and transfer the mixture to the greased plate. Top with grated pistas and flatten with a spatula to desired thickness. Cut into desired shapes while hot. When cool take out the pieces. Store in an airtight-container.

Monday, November 1, 2010

THIRATTUPAAL

This is a traditional Tamil brahmin sweet and is made on all important days. In Iyengar marriages, there is a lovely function. The bride is given a small cup of thirattupaal and will be asked to distribute it to all the people available. Elders tell her that if she distributes to everyone, she can run the family within the means effectively. It is a great deal to make very small balls, like a chickpea, out of it and to distribute it to everyone.

This is the traditional way of preparing thirattupaal. Though this is time consuming, this will be tastier than the microwave version. I got about 3/4 kg. with the given ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

Milk - 3 litres
Crushed jaggery - 2 cups
Cardamom - 8
Ghee - 1 tablespoon

METHOD:

Crush the jaggery bars using a crusher. Powder the cardamoms.

Boil milk in a thick bottomed deep utensil. I used a pressure cooker. Put a small plate inside the milk. This prevents the charring of milk. Stir often. When the milk starts thickening, take out the small plate and stir the milk frequently till it reduces to half.

Now transfer the milk to a wide , heavy bottomed pan or a non-stick kadai. Allow it to boil and stir it continuously till it becomes thick like a curdled texture . Now add the powdered jaggery. Mix it well. The jaggery will dissolve and start thickening. Now add the cardamom powder and ghee. Stir till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. The mixture should neither be too moist nor like a dough. Switch off the stove and transfer it to a container.

DELICIOUS THIRATTUPAAL IS READY.
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