Neeragaram is the usual morning drink or even breakfast for many of the people who work in the fields. Their day starts very early and they need to be sustained until they are back home much later in the day. This Neeragaram not only sustains them but also provides them with many nutritional benefits besides being very tasty. Numerous are the health benefits of this meal.
Neeragaram is a Tamil word. Rice or Millet is soaked in water during the night and in the morning this will be taken as a morning drink by adding salt. For additional benefits fresh thick yogurt with sliced shallots and fresh coriander leaves can be added to enhance the taste and the food value.
Though appearing to be a simple meal there is a science behind this preparation. As cellulose of the cooked rice is covering the starch, our body is therefore not able to extract the starch completely from the rice. However when it is soaked in water, the bacteria will multiply and begin to break the outer layer of the coked rice which than brings out the starch. By morning Neeragaram will be starch rich rice.
Neeragaram will be best if it is made with our traditional rice varieties but Millet is also a favourite. Those with a Kapha constitution are encouraged to use Millet instead of rice and secondly if they like to have it with yogurt, to use Goat Yogurt only. Those who are of Pitta and Vata constitution can take rice and regular Yogurt.