In Coorg, during the monsoon we celebrate the 18th day of the month of Kakkada in August as ‘Kakkada Padinet’. This month begins in July and ends in August. This year, the 18th day was yesterday. On this day, a plant known as “maddu thoppu” (medicine leaf) in Coorg and Kurinji in Kerala, the botanical name being Justicia Wynaadensis, is believed to contain 18 varieties of herbal medicine and the plant emits a pleasant aroma.
The leaves plucked on this day are boiled to yield a dark purple extract. Sweet porridge (Maddu Kool) and cakes are made using this juice. Today let’s learn to make Maddu Kool.
For the extract
A bunch of leaves and stems from the Justicia Wynaadensis plant
Bruise the leaves and stems and soak overnight in enough water to cover the leaves. Boil this in the morning for half an hour. Strain, cool and store the extract for use.
Bruise the leaves and stems and soak in enough water and boil for half an hour. Strain, cool and store for use.
For the Maddu Kool
1 cup rice, washed
5 cups of the leaf extract (obtained by boiling the leaves as mentioned earlier)
¼ tsp Salt
¾ cup of Jaggery, melted and strained
4 cardamoms roasted and powdered
¼ cup grated coconut ground into a fine paste
Boil the leaf extract. Add salt and the washed rice. Boil in the extract till done. Keep stirring from time to time. Now add jaggery, a little at a time, and check for sweetness as desired. Finally, add coconut paste and cardamon powder. Mix well. The mixture should resemble porridge as shown in the picture below. Maddu Kool is now ready to savor.