Antinunde/ Edible Gum Ladoo

Breast feeding mothers need extra calories. But they should also be very careful as to what they consume because babies have a weak digestive system and are sensitive to a lot of common foods well tolerated by adults. In fact every day vegetables like tomatoes, onions, green chilies can irritate breast fed babies leading to colic. To increase nutrition and calorific value of the mother’s meal as well as making sure that the food contains no potential irritants is an ordeal in itself. Antinunde is one such dish. Consuming this rich food is supposed to strengthen back, aid recovery as well as help augment milk supply. I vouch of the potency of the food myself.It is simple to make and delicious to consume. In fact Honey has been having a merry time with these goodies all along.


Serves 25 ||  Calories per serving  225 Kcl || Protein 3.15 gm ||  fat 5.66 gm || Fiber 2.56 gm

Dates 2 cups
Almonds 2 cups
Raisins 2 cups
Edible Gum 1 cup
Poppy seeds 2 tbsp (optional)
Cloves 6
Nutmeg/ Jaikai grated ¼ tsp
Saffron a pinch (optional)
Jaggery 1.5 cups (coarsely powdered)
Ghee for deep frying
  • Deep fry the edible gum in ghee in several batches till they are light and puff up. Drain on a paper towel and cool. When completely cooled pound them into a fine paste.
  • Toast Almonds on a warm skillet until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Set it aside to cool. When cool enough to handle chop it into pieces similar in size to raisins
  • Similarly chop dates. Toss them into a big mixing bowl along with the raisins.
  • Toast poppy seeds and toss them into the mixing bowl.
  • Add pounded edible gum, ground cloves and nutmeg to the mixture. Mix well and set it aside.
  • To prepare the jaggery syrup which imparts sweetness as well as binds the mixture together, combine the jaggery, saffron and a little water in a thick bottomed saucepan. Cook the mixture unto ‘one thread’ consistency. i.e. dip the back of a spoon into the syrup. Test the mixture between moist thumb and moist fore finger. If the syrup is sticky between the fingers and can be stretched into a single thread, then the syrup is ready to go.This step takes some practice and the mixture will obviously be very hard and can scald. So one should be very careful at this point.
  • Pour little syrup on the side of the dry fruit mixture. Tightly press them on the palm into small balls/ladoos. If doing a particularly large batch, make the syrup in small batches to avoid the chance of the jaggery syrup turning hard before the ladoos are done.
    P.S: Originally Antinunde is made using shredded dried coconut/ copra and cashew nuts. The idea is six cups of dried fruit and nut mixture for every cup of edible gum and 1.5 cups of jaggery. I am not a particularly big fan of coconut and cashew nuts in this dish, therefore Mom eliminated them for me.

Jeerige/Cumin Chutney

Child birth in India is probably a celebrated affair like nowhere else in the world. So many rituals, so many festivities and such joy no wonder we are the second most populous nation on this planet!!
It is also a critical period for the newborn as well as the new mother. A grueling experience for the mother, she needs to be taken care of the first few postpartum months. Back home, pregnant women go back to their maternal homes for the delivery and stay there for months where she is fed with special meals, giving elaborate oil baths and plenty of rest. It is a time of life except for the dietary restrictions.
I find the dietary restrictions rather strange. In my family, permitted foods include vegetables like carrot, beans, beetroot, Methi, dill, and rice & toor dal. No ragi, no wheat no other cereals. In my friend's family permitted foods include tomatoes, brinjal, bread, chapati and Moong Dal. In my co-sister's family it is brinjal, Cluster beans, Ridged gourd, Ivy gourd. No beans, no carrots. So postpartum or 'Banati' foods typically vary substantially. Universally accepted postpartum foods include garlic and Ghee.
My mother also tells me that folks back home have so much more to follow like having to wear warm clothing, consuming betel leaves after meals etc. All these are followed for anywhere between three to nine months postpartum. I wonder what my grandmother has to say to women here in the USA going back to work two weeks after childbirth!!!

I will be posting for a series of recipes that are specially served to new mothers in my family. I am sure there are new mothers out there who will find these recipes useful. Of course other folks can try these as well, for it is definitely worth the effort.

We will need,

Kopra/ Kobbari/ (dry coconut) 1/2 cup grated
Tili Saaru Powder 1 tsp
Garlic 4 large cloves
Jeera 1.5 tsp
Mustard 1/4 tsp
Tamarind 1/2 tsp extract
Jaggery 1/2 tsp crushed
Ghee 1 tbsp
Curry leaves 6-7
Salt to taste

  • Roast kopra and Jeera separately till fragrant.
  • Combine kopra, Jeera, Jaggery, tili saaru powder, tamarind and 1/2 a cup of water in a blender. Pulse till almost smooth.
  • Add the garlic to the same blender and pulse till smooth.
  • In a wok heat the ghee, drop the mustard seeds. Once it stops spluttering, add the the ground mixture and bring it to boil.
  • Simmer for a 15 minutes and turn off the heat. Serve hot with rice and ghee. To make a fab meal serve it with Rasam, Rice, pickles and Papads.

Herekai/ Ridge Gourd Chutney

Herekai or ridged gourd is one my favorite vegetables. Though not as versatile as say the ash gourd, it is definitely something to have regularly on my shopping list. It is a vegetable which is quite popular back home. In fact i remember it growing in many a backyards just like that. So for a quick fix meal, just hop to the back yard, pluck a plumy gourd and bingo! dish out something truly comforting. It is generally considered 'sheeta' or 'cold' food therefore out of bounds for me. ( postpartum/ Bananti) Rest of my folks nevertheless enjoyed it immensely.

We will need,

Herekai/Ridged gourd 1 lb
Green Chilies 2 -4( adjust according to taste)
Dry chillies 2 (adjust according to taste)
Tamarind extract 1 tsp
Jaggery 2 tsp (crushed)
Oil 2 tbsp
Curry leaves a handful
Hing a dash
Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Coriander fresh a handful

  • Clean the ridged gourd. Give it a rough chop and set it aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok. Throw in the mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves. Once they stop crackling throw in the chilles. Cook for a brief minute.
  • Throw in the ridged gourd and cook covered till the vegetable is tender. Set it aside to cool.
  • Once it is cool, combine it with the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pulse till the mixture is smooth.
  • Serve hot with a dollop of ghee and rice or Mudde.