Paruppu Kanji always brings back memories of Sivarathri to me. Paruppu kanji was always associated with; in fact, it was the most important ingredient of Sivarathri. When we were children, the elders in the family observed a dawn to dusk fast on Sivarathri day. After the evening pooja, they ate some salt less food. That's how Paruppu Kanji got its place in Sivarathri celebrations. Paruppu kanji also went with, vella dosa and Obattu in our house.
After dinner, the whole village observed a Jagaran on Sivarathri night. There was no TV those days. We had to invent our own variety entertainment programmes. The men folk played cards. The women folk assembled in one place and spent the time reciting religious stories and singing devotional songs and comparing various issues connected with family. We children ran from group to group and showcased our talents in singing and dancing. It was a night for us to remember till the next Sivarathri. The jagaran did not end with the night. We had to keep awake the whole of next day and could sleep only in the night to get the full blessings for keeping awake. Now back to Paruppu Kanji.
This Parippu Kanji was made in enormous quantity on Sivarathri night. After we had our fill of it during dinner, we also had more of it at intervals, when we were keeping awake for Sivarathri.
Paruppu Kanji is made of moong dal and hence is a rich source of protein. It also contains jaggery which gives lots of glucose to the fasting body. That may be reason why it was included in the Sivarathri menu, in the first place. Let me today give the recipe for Paruppu Kanji.
Moong dal ¼ cup
Jaggery ¼ cup + 1 tbsp.
Milk 1 cup
Dry roast the moong dal to a light pink colour (this gives out a good aroma). Cook the moong dal with 3 cups of water, until very soft.(This can be done in a pressure cooker).Add the jaggery and boil for 5 minutes, until the raw smell of jaggery disappears. Add the milk and boil well. Paruppu Kanji is ready to drink.
Tips: In our family, the moong dal is always fried to a light pink colour before it is cooked. Be it for paruppu kanji or for any other curries. The grains do not form a sticky mess when cooked, if the dal is roasted.