Sunday, 12 October 2014

Adhiyaman's gift to Avaiyaar

Of the seven philanthropists, believed to have reached Tamil Nadu during the Sangam era, Adhiyaman was very popular.

His act of sharing the only rare gooseberry fruit with the wise Avaiyaar has earned him a very respectable place in history.

He was a part of the velir clan and one of the kadai Ezhu vallalkal. 

Adhiyaman Neduman Anji belonged to a prolific Tamil horseman tribe and ruled over modern day Dharmapuri and Salem. His capital was situated at Tagadur.

Adhiyaman was fond of the wise old Tamil poet Avaiyaar and the two became great friends. Their friendship is believed to have begun with Avaiyaar’s anger on the well-meaning king.

Adhiyaman used to delay giving her gifts to prolong her stay in his court. Not knowing the king’s true intentions, Avaiyaar got angry with him. But when he explained his true intent, the two became good friends.

One day Adhiyaman got a rare variety of a gooseberry (Nellikani). The King came to know that the fruit had the power to extend one’s life. He immediately chose to offer it to Avaiyaar.

Adhiyaman gave the rare fruit to his best friend...

“Oh, wise lady! Thousands of Kings come and go, but the wisdom of a poet like you is more precious to earth than the valour of an ordinary king like me,” said the great philanthropist, offering the fruit to the grand old lady of Tamil literature.

Author’s note:

The gooseberry fruit is termed as the healthiest of fruits as it has the highest Vitamin C content. It is an antioxidant and helps in boosting protein metabolism. Here is a recipe that you can try out with Indian gooseberry.

To prepare this you will need:
1 cup rice (cooked)
Urad Dal (2 tablespoon)
Red Chilli (3-4)
Asafoetida power – a pinch
Black Pepper – 5-6
Mustard, Jeera (cumin seeds), Kadipatha, groundnuts – for seasoning
Gooseberry – 3-4
Mint leaves (optional)

The ingredients...

Roast the Urad Dal, red chiilies. Dry grind them with the pepper. In a small wok, add 1 spoon of oil. When the oil is sufficiently hot add the mustard seed. Wait till it splutters. Add Jeera, kadhpatha, asafoetida powder and the groundnut. When the groundnut is roasted well, add the seasoning to the rice. Add the chilli/urad dal powder, salt, mint leaves. Mix well. Grate the gooseberries and add to the rice and mix well again.

This rice can be served with plain curd/raitha or pickle.

The rice can be served with pickle or raitha...

Since the gooseberries are not cooked, the vitamin and other nutrients are preserved.

Recipe courtesy: My aunt, Mrs. Varalakshmi Krishnamurthy who retired from the catering institute in Chennai.