This is a quintessentially Kongu preparation, especially during the summer moths because of its cooling effects. Kongus being a farming community and long before rice became a staple, Kambu was part of the daily diet, cultivated primarily during the drier months and rich in minerals and fiber, which as we all know is what we need more than carbs. A diet rich in these cereals is essential for a healthy diet and a rice free meal was not uncommon in a lot of Kongu homes. I hear doctors in India are advising increasing the use of these cereals and reducing the rice consumption especially for people who have diabetes or gluten allergy. Our fore fathers were much smarter than we give credit for.
Kambu Saatham is also one of my recent interests. I love the Kambu dosai MIL made once with the Kambu she found lying around my pantry. I have been hooked and try to bring some whenever I visit India. Nothing fancy, cooked just like rice and primarily eaten with yogurt and pickle on the side, I got reintroduced a few summers ago. Especially on hot and humid summer days there is nothing cooling and at the same time comforting. I have seen Kambu sold as bird feed in the US.
Kambu that my mother brought here was already pounded and the outer skin removed.
1. 1 Cup Kambu
2. 3 3/4 cups water
1. Pick out the stones and break the cumbu coarsely in a blender
2. Heat the water in a pressure cooker, mix the cumbu and cook for 5 whistles. When the pressure is gone open the lid and if slightly watery, keep the heat in a low flame and mix it, till it thickens a bit.
3. Make them into balls and drop them in water.
Serve with yogurt or buttermilk with a favorite pickle on the side.