Menthi or Menthula Sankatti (Telugu)/ Vendhaya Kali(Tamil)/ Fenugreek(Methi Seeds) Rice Balls
This dish is very common in my house and usually prepared for breakfasts. When I was a kid my mom used to beg, threat and bribe us to eat this dish or atleast taste some, but I never even went near it which I regret now. I always wondered how they can have it for breakfasts and when I had them after so many years realized how good and filling it was. This dish is especially good to have in summer/hot climates or even when one is having stomach pain. This will help to cool the body and also reduce the pain in stomach for people suffering from heat. Do not worry that it will be sweet as you cannot feel that when you are eating and also you will not know the bitterness from methi seeds. So why not try this out as summer is nearing and you can have once in 15 days or once a week as you wish.
Recipe from Mom/Grandmom( Read an alternative method down below)
Raw Rice/Pachi Biyyam/ Pacha Arisi – 1 ½ cup
Methi Seeds/vendhayam/Menthulu – 1/4 cup or little less
Jaggery/bellam/Vellam – 2 cups or less about 1 ½ cups
Gingelly oil/Nallennai – 4- 5 tbsp
Wash and soak rice in water also add methi seeds along with it for 4 – 5 hours. Then grind in a mixie to a fine paste.
Heat a thick vessel or clay pot( for good taste) and add jaggery pour some water till it is covered and boil until it melts. Filter or strain the water/syrup. Take the water back in the vessel and switch on the stove. Pour the ground batter and cook continuously. Also add gingelly/sesame oil and mix well with a spatula seeing that it does not stick to the vessel. If needed add more gingelly oil. The consistency should come out like a thick ball. Dip you fingers in water and touch the balls it should come out without sticking. Once done remove and when still warm make balls and serve.
At my house they add jaggery though sugar can also be added, but adding jaggery is better, you can read about this below this post. In place of jaggery can also use karupatti(palm sugar)
Another method to cook for people who want to use less jaggery is the one I am posting now. This is what my grandma and mom suggested.
Instead of raw rice boiled rice can be replaced( this also helps to cool the body or acidity).
For people who will be tasting it for the first time or trying or are doubtful of the qty above can reduce the amount of methi seeds by little from the above mentioned qty.
Grind the rice with methi seeds to a fine paste. Add water just enough for grinding and once done add additional 3/4 - 1 cup of water or little more and add the ground paste in the vessel. Cook with stirring continously on medium high flame. When it come up to a boil, reduce and cook on medium low flame. Keep stirring and while the cooking add 1 tbsp of gingelly oil now and then so it does not stick the pan. Keep stirring and once it is little thick and raw smell leaves. Remove the consistency can be anywhere between thick to semi thick consistency. For people who are sugar conscious they can follow this one.
Melt jaggery or Palm sugar(karupatti) in a pan with water. Once it is melted filter to remove impurities adn transfer back and boil it again to a thick syrup consistency. For serving can place a small amount of the rice balls/paste and pour this syrup on top. Mix both and eat. Taste equally good. Hope this helps you all. You can use the same amount of jaggery or karuppati as mentioned above or for sugar conscious people can use 1/2 of it as per the taste you want.
Benefits of adding jaggery instead of sugar:-
Jaggery is rich in iron and thus is highly recommended for anaemic people. It also contains many minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Manganese and Zinc. Since no chemicals are used in preparation of jaggery, some minerals and vitamins remain intact in it, compared to refined sugar.
Sugar is absorbed almost instantly in your body. Jaggery, being unrefined, is absorbed more slowly. Thus, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as rapidly as sugar.
The most common sweetener, sugar or sucrose, is extracted from sugarcane and refined in pure form through chemical treatment. An enzyme called sucrose (or invertase) converts sucrose into glucose and fructose which provide energy to the body. Insulin, secreted by the pancreas, stimulates transport of glucose into the cells through a membrane. In diabetic patients, glucose gets accumulated into the body due to insulin deficiency. Refined sugar in pure form is made up of only glucose and fructose. Its intake is more harmful than jaggery which is a natural sweetener prepared by heating and boiling sugarcane juice to a concentrate without using chemicals.