Azhwars (literally meaning immersed in God), are Tamil poet saints and ardent devotees of Lord Vishnu who lived between 6th and 8th centuries. There were 12 such Azhwars who showed their devotion through their emotion filled poems and hymns. All the Vishnu temples, where the azhwars sang their hymns are called the 108 Divya Desams (divine places - 106 in our physical world, and 2 more elsewhere!). These verses were later collected and codified by a Vaishnava scholar, Nadamuni, and are called Naalayira Divya Prabhandam (4000 divine compositions!)
The great azhwar, Vishu Chittar, also known as Periya Azhwar lived in th 6th century in Srivilliputhur. His love for the Lord was such that, in his hymns (known as Thiru Mozhi) he imagined himself to be mother Yashoda, nurturing Baby Krishna as a mother would do, by feeding, bathing, decorating and also reprimanding him for pestering the gopis. In one of his hymns, “Innamudhandri Ammantharen”, the sweet dish Kummayam finds a mention! The beautiful verse roughly translates to “…after having devoured kummayam with butter, and having emptied the curd pot, and also having destroyed the asuras – demons – you pose like an innocent baby in front of me. I doubt if you are my son and I am terrified to even feed you!”
Split green gram dal (mung dal) – 1 cup
Jaggery (powdered) – 1 ½ cups
Method:1. Dry roast green gram dal till it becomes reddish in colour.
2. Allow to cool, and grind it into a very fine powder and set aside.
3. Dissolve jaggery in warm water and strain, to filter out impurities if any.
4. Add more water to the jaggery water to make 4 cups.
5. Mix the prepared flour in the cooled jaggery water in a heavy bottomed pan.
6. Cook on medium flame stirring all the time to prevent lumps.
7. When the cooked flour acquires a glazed look and starts leaving the sides of the pan, remove from fire.
Serve the kummayam with a drop of ghee to your kids as well as adults!
This dish goes to Padmajha’s Tasty Bites for Toddlers event.