It's been a long time since I have written in this beloved space of mine. After having gone through a severe viral attack for the first time in my life with a prolonged recovery period, I realised that for full healing to happen, apart from the nutritional needs of the body, one also has to address the mind body system. In my quest for complete well being, I delved deeper into aspects like chakra healing, hand mudras and other alternative therapies known in the modern world as energy healing systems.
After deep research and practice, I'm not only healed but also feel well equipped for the journey I'm about to undertake.
A dish I have been making often for myself while being engrossed in this learning is a ganji made with ash gourd. It is healing, soothing, nourishing and satisfying and just perfect when you want to eat a clean meal. The upside is that it is very easy to make and you can rustle it up within minutes.
Ash gourd is a vegetable that has tremendous medicinal value and a host of health benefits and is a great detoxifying agent. So if you are someone who is recovering from an illness or a post festive binge, make sure to include it in your diet.
Rice is one of the most easily digestible grains and these two ingredients together make this ganji, kanji or congee a satisfying and healing meal.
This meal is good when one is ailing or recovering but can also be had when one wants a light meal. I love to eat this with fresh homemade yogurt. And if you feel good, you can also add papad and pickle to this meal to perk it up (not advisable if its meant to be a detox meal).
Its normal to eat to your heart's content during festivals and ceremonies and if you are on the lookout to detoxify post an event, this would be a perfect meal to have.
People go to great lengths these days in order to detoxify themselves. At times, it may not be needed to subject oneself to arduous and unnatural ways which may not be good in the long run. Rest, simple home made meals and exercise when possible are the essentials that usually do the trick, most of the times. And meals such as this one always emerge as a winner!
Detoxifying and Rejuvenating Ash Gourd Rice Ganji, Kanji or Conjee Recipe
½ cup rice (preferably hand pounded or semi brown)
1 tsp ghee or vegetable oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
4 to 5 fresh curry leaves
1/2 tsp asafeitda or hing
1 small green chili, slit (or use a dry red chili)
½ cup ash gourd cubes (peeled and chopped)
3 ½ cups water
1 tsp salt or to taste
Lime juice (optional)
Wash and soak the rice in water for 20 to 30 minutes.
In a pressure cooker (or any other utensil of your choice) put in the ghee. Once the ghee melts turn down the heat and add the mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds begin to pop, put in the rest of the seasoning ingredients- the curry leaves, asafetida and chili and quickly put in the chopped ash gourd pieces and stir well. After a couple of minutes add the drained rice.
Pour in the water and bring it to a boil. After the water starts to boil, add the salt, cover the lid and pressure cook for 3 to 4 whistles.
After the lid comes down and the cooker is ready to be opened, open the lid and check the consistency. If there is excess liquid, cook for 3 to 4 minutes more without the lid or until the desired consistency is reached. Add the optional lime juice and serve warm.
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