Soopa Shastra Part III: Panakadhyaya and Rice dishes

November 14, 2014

Chapter 2 - Panakadyaya

The second chapter Panakadhyaya begins with descriptions of cooking and processing milk into yogurt, buttermilk, butter and ghee.

Milk
Milk should be taken from a cow buffalo whose calf has grown up and does not need all of its mother's milk. This milk should be poured into a pot, preferably a mud pot, and boiled over smouldering fire. Keep stirring the milk so that it does not burn and stick to the bottom of the pot. Milk boiled down to one fourth, one sixth or one eighth of its original quantity has different tastes and are used in cooking different dishes. If the milk is stirred with cleaned roots of country mallow (sida Indica) or sticks from a citron tree (citrus indica) it thickens faster.

Butter and Ghee
Butter is made my churing fermented yogurt. It can be made by adding powdered roots of dwarf copperleaf (alternanthera sessilis) to fresh milk and churning it. This butter is very tasty and healthy. Fresh butter should be used for make ghee. Heat butter over low heat and stir periodically. It should eb cooked till it stops making any sound. Fragrant ghee can be made by adding either betel leaf, edible camphor or a piece of jaggery to hot ghee. 

Yogurt
Milk is heated all day long over smouldering heat and then fermented to yield good, thick, sweet reddish yogurt. If piecs of citron fruit are added to the milk while fermenting, the yogurt will absorb citron flavor and tanginess. By adding mango juice to the fermenting yogurt, it yields mango flavored sweet yogurt. Kukmuma ranjitha dahi - saffron flavored yogurt is made by mixing saffron to fermenting yogurt. Mix one measure of sugar to four measures of water and flavor it with lemon juice. Mix equal quantity of fresh yogurt to this to make lemon yogurt.

Buttermilk can be processed in diffeent ways: 1. churning yogurt mixed with cream to a semi liquid form, 2. churning plain yogurt, 3. churning yogurt and cream with addition of 1/4th quantity water, 4. churning fifty percent water and fifty percent yogurt with cream and extracting butter. This butter milk will be comparatively thin and good for digestion. Buttermilk may be flavored with ginger, coriander leaves, curry leaves, citron leaves, butter and crushed mango or onion.  

Buttermilk soups
Sour buttermilk is cooked with powdered black pepper, cumin seeds, fresh ginger, curry leaves, onion and a little coarsely fround rice and wheat and seasoned with mustard seeds, asafoetida and garlic to make buttermilk soup. Another way of making soup is to mix equal quantities of buttermilk with excess water used for cooking rice and mix with grated cococnut, coriander leaves, fresh ginger, cinnamon, blak pepper roasted onion and garlic and cook over low heat. Garnish with mustard seeds fried in ghee and flavor with either musk, cardamom or edible camphor. Another way of flavoring this soup is to add rock salt, black pepper, cumin seeds, fresh ginger, curry leaves and coriander leaves. 

Fruit flavored Drinks
Citron Drink: Mix one measure of crystal sugar with twice the amount of water and stir. Mix with citron and pomegranate juices. Add fresh ginger and cardamom and later filter through a clen cloth and stir in rose water or jaminie water to flavor and cool. This is considered to be a royal taste in summer.

Tamarind Drink:Mix one measure of crystal sugar with twice the amount of water and stir. Soak tamarind in water and extract thick juice. Boil the tamarind juice and cool. Mix it with the sweet water and add fresh ginger. Stir in buttermilk and strain through a clean cloth to yield a pungent cool drink.

Extracting juices from various fruits: Take rice gruel and grind the bark of fruit trees separately along with edible camphor and apply this paste to respective fruits such as mango, lemon, pomegranate, bilva, orange and purple berries. Fruit peces will start producing juice. Collect the respective juices in different mud pots. Add sugar and preferred flavoring. Wrap the pots in wet cloth to cool the juices.

Extrtacting Jackfruit Juice: Take out the sweet fruit segments from ripe jackfruit. Tie them in a clean cloth along with one of the following- sesame oil, mineral salt, edible camphor, rock salt or black pepper. Hang the tied cloth and keep a clean pot underneath. Juice from the jackfruit will trickle down. Collect it and perfume with cardamom, musk or camphor and enjoy.


Chapter Three - Rice
Mangarasa begins the rice chapter with a statement of eight defects that should be avoided in cooking rice. They are over burnt, forming into a lump, half-cooked, mixed with husk, unclean, gains that are out of shape, gruel remaining after cooking and getting dried. Before cooking rice should be cleaned by winnowing and picking impurities. Then it should be washed in clean water five to six times. 

Butter treated Rice: Cook rice in water and before draining the gruel add a betel nut sized piece of fresh butter into the pot and then drain the gruel. Cover the rice pot with a four-folded clean cloth and keep on top of smouldering fire fot tempering the steam inside. When the cloth is removed you get waterless, smooth, fine, shining aromatic rice which removes tredoshas - vatha, pitha and kapha.

Rice with coconut and mung dal: Take equal quantities of mung dal and rice and sufficient amount of salt. Boil them in water and after it is cooked, sprinkle fresh grated coconut over the top and close the pot and set it aside for some time. For serving open the pot, remove the coconut from the top and serve coconut flavored rice.

Milk Porridge: Take thick buffalo milk in a pot and add one fouth quantity water to it. Put the pot over the stove and start boiling the milk. Take one eighth quantity of good rice, clean it well and stir it into the boiling milk. Allow it cook well. When the rice is well cooked, remove from the stove and add a little salt, enugh sugar and cardamom powder and stir well.

Butter Porridge: Take fine wheat granules (suji) and soak it. Squeeze it to extract the juice. Grind grated coconut and extract coconut milk in equal quantity. Take equal quantity of well boiled thick milk. Mix all of the above together and stir in a small quantity of rice flour to thicken. Make cups with betel leaves and fill them with the prepared liquid and steam cook until the contents are thickened. Remove from the stove and cool and then cut into small pices. Add the pieces to thick milk and flavor with prefered perfumes and warm it slowly. Sugar may be added according to taste.

Tamarind Rice: Take both sweet oil and tamarind juice in sufficient quantity and heat them along with asafoetida. Take good fragrant rice and cook it well. After the rice has cooled, combine it with the oil and tamarind mix and add garlic, parched black gram powder, salt and powder of dried ginger. Mix well and serve.

Mustard Rice: Grind mustard into a powder and mix with fresh lemon juice and add salt, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, fenugreek, dried ginger, onion and season it with mustard seeds and asafoetida fried in oil. Take well cooked rice and mix with the above mix and and a few spoons of oil. Mustard rice has a pungent taste and it incrases hunger.

Curd Wheat Porridge: Take wheat and wash it well and add cumin seeds. Put equal quantities of rice guel and water and boil and reduce it to a thick liquid. Add equal quantites of milk and curd to it and stir well. Season with salt, cardamom, curry leaves, tender ginger, citron and onion. It will be a salty, fragrant rich and wholesome dish.

Resources:
Achaya, K.T. Indian Food: A Historical Companion. Oxford University Press 1994
Bhatt, N.P. & Modwel, Nerupama Y. (Editors)  Konatambigi, Madhukar (Translator) Culinary Traditions of Medieval Karnataka. B.R. Publishing Corporation, Delhi  2012
Doniger, Wendy Purāṇa perennis : reciprocity and transformation in Hindu and Jaina texts. State Univ. of New York Press, 1993.
Kamat, Jyotsna K. Social Life in medieval Karnataka, Abhinav Publications, New Delhi 1980
R. Narasimhacharya M.A., M.R.A.S History of Kannada Literature University of Mysore Publication 1940
Photo Credit:
Photo of kitchen by Harsha K R https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

AMMINI RAMACHANDRAN