Sambharam/Morum Vellam is buttermilk thinned with water spiced with curry leaves, limes leaves, hing, chilly and salt. In the olden days when fridge was not part of the kitchen, buttermilk was stored in the china pot/bharani. This will ensure that the buttermilk doesn't turn sour faster. Buttermilk and curd are different. Buttermilk is obtained after churning the curd and the butter is removed. Buttermilk is healthier than curd, with the butter removed. Buttermilk has many healing properties and Ayurveda always recommends the use buttermilk . You can read here to know more.
During the summer months, most homes in Kerala, will prepare the sambharam in large quantities and will be offered to any guests who drop in. In some homes, you can find an earthen pot filled with sambharam in their courtyard. Any passerby can partake the sambharam. In Kerala, summer is the period which the annual temple festivals (pooram/vela) is celebrated. The celebrations will be through the day and participation of people will be in huge numbers, despite the scorching heat. And you can definitely find at least one outlet where sambharam will be distributed free to the people.
A glass of sambharam will instantly quench the thirst and can give a run for the money to any of the bottled drinks, available in the market. A sambharam need not be chilled. The inherent cooling effect of buttermilk is enough to cool your body. The chilled bottled drinks may cool your senses while drinking it, it may not cool the body. The buttermilk cools the senses and the body too.
Each house has their way of making this sambharam and there is no standard recipe for this. You can just go by your taste and availability of ingredients.
- Buttermilk -1 cup
- Water - 3 cups
- Green chilly - 2 nos, slit
- Curry leaves - few sprigs
- Lime leaves/Narakathila - 2 nos
- Hing - few shakes
- Salt to taste
Take all the ingredients in a bowl. Crush the leaves and chilly between your fingers. This will release the flavors into the buttermilk. Enjoy the spicy, flavorful buttermilk. You can't stop with one glass.
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