Preparation required to survive during the adverse times part – 3

Sanatan Sanstha provides guidance on how to survive during the adverse times !

To read Part 2, click here Preparation required to survive during the adverse times Part 2

Paratpar Guru (Dr.) Jayant Athavale, the only
visionary active for the survival of humans in the adverse times !

In our previous article of this series on the measures required to survive the adverse times such as floods, earthquakes, World War 3, Corona pandemic, etc. we learned about using earthen stove, biogas, etc. alternatives in cooking and about growing vegetables and fruits.

In this article we talk of long-lasting food items. During the adverse times, it may not be possible to prepare normal or usual meals. To prevent starvation during such times, it will be beneficial to prepare long-lasting food in advance.

 

3. Physical level preparations to survive the adverse times

3 A 5. Buying or making various longlasting food items at home

During the adverse times, shortage of cooking gas, sickness of family members, sudden shifting to another place, non-availability of vegetables in the market, etc. can arise. At such times, it may not be possible to make breakfast or lunch as usual. Under such conditions it would be useful to have enough stock of various long-lasting food items.

A. Some food items mentioned here can be bought from the market and stored. Develop and continue the habit of making such food items at home from now on, since it will be difficult to fetch them from the market as the adverse times intensify.

B. Food items mentioned here are examples and they mostly cater to Maharashtrian taste. Readers can buy longlasting food items or make them at home as per their taste.

C. We have not mentioned many recipes for making long-lasting food items. Most people know of these recipes. However, considering the adverse times, we have provided useful tips on how to make longlasting food items.

If a reader does not know how to make such items, he should seek help of the elders in the family or read a cookery book or watch preparations of these recipes on YouTube.

D. Wherever possible, the matter also gives the average durability of these food items. This period depends on factors such as the climate of the region and precautions that have been followed while preparing them, etc.

3 A 5 A. Rice and ragi (Finger millet) flour, milk powder, etc.
3 A 5 A 1. Rice and finger millet flour : of the two flours, finger millet flour is more nutritious.
Ragi flour

Soak rice grains in water for 3-4 hours and place them in a strainer. After about an hour when the moisture has reduced, roast the rice grains in small batches on medium heat. Roasting small quantities of rice at a time makes the grains pop like popcorn. Finally, grind all the puffed rice into flour and fill it in a dry jar. This flour will last almost 3 months. It can be eaten with milk, curds, buttermilk or curry. Sugar or jaggery can be added as per taste while having it with milk.

We can also make finger millet flour using the same method. This flour will last almost 3 months.

3 A 5 A 2. Wheat / Barley flour
Wheat flour

Wash wheat grains and place them in a strainer to drain the water. After about an hour, when the grains are fairly dry, roast them nicely on medium heat. Add roasted chickpeas and cumin seeds to it. Mix all the ingredients together and grind them. Fill this flour in airtight and dry container or jar. This flour can be eaten with water or milk by adding sugar or jaggery as per taste. This flour will last almost 6 months.

The procedure for making such flour is varied. In some places barley is used instead of wheat, while in other places whole grams (harbhara/ Bengal gram) are roasted and ground to make flour. Five to seven types of grains can also be roasted together and ground into flour as mentioned above.

– Mrs. Kshama Rane, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa. (February 2020)
3 A 5 A 3. ‘Sattva’ made from wheat or finger millet
Sattva

Wheat or finger millet should be soaked in water overnight, ground with very little water. The resulting sticky flour should be filtered through a strainer.  This needs be dried thoroughly to form a powder called ‘Sattva’. This powder is nutritious and can be eaten after cooking it with water or milk and adding sugar or jaggery for taste. This powder usually lasts 3 months.

– Mrs. Arpita Deshpande, Sanatan Ashram, Miraj, Maharashtra. (February 2019)
3 A 5 A 4. Nutritious food items processed in machines

Milk powder, different powders containing various nutrients for children, such as Lactogen, Cerelac, etc. Cerelac can be eaten as complete food by patients and adults.

3 A 5 B. Food items such as bhakris (A type of Indian bread) dried in hot sun and rotis (A type of Indian bread made from wheat) stuffed with jaggery.
3 A 5 B 1. Jowar (Sorghum) and bajra (Pearl millet) bhakris
Jowar bhakris

Before making these bhakris, you can add chilli powder, salt and hing (Asafoetida) to the flour for taste.

A. Make very thin bhakris of jowar flour and dry them well in the sun. These bhakris last almost a month.

B. Make very thin bhakris of bajra flour and dry them well in the sun. These bhakris are tastier than the bhakris made of jowar flour. They last almost 2 months.

Sun-dried bhakris should be stored in an airtight container. These bhakris can be cut into pieces and eaten with hot curry.

3 A 5 B 2. Rotis made with jaggery
Rotis made with jaggery

Roast the rotis stuffed with jaggery well. After roasting the roti, let it cool completely. Do not place the rotis one on top of the other while they are hot. Once the rotis cool down, keep them in an airtight container. Such rotis last a month or more.

3 A 5 B 3. Khakra (dried and crispy spicy roti)
Khakra

Khakra can be made by adding various spices such as fenugreek, cumin, tangy powders and spice mixes (For example, chaat masala, garam masala, etc.). Add desired spices inthe  wheat flour and make a firm dough. Roll it into a very thin roti. While roasting it on the pan, roast on a low flame while continuously pressing it with a clean cloth. Do not let it puff. Then let the roti cool completely. This item is called khakra. When the khakras have cooled down completely, put them in an airtight container. These khakras last almost 3 months.

3 A 5 C. Laddu (Indian sweet) made from the flour of wheat and other millets
Laddus made from wheat flour

Laddus made from wheat flour and powdered sugar or jaggery last 1-2 months. Laddus made from finger millet flour, chickpea flour (besan), green gram flour, etc. also last 1-2 months.

3 A 5 D. Dried mango and dried jackfruit (Dried thin and soft strips of mango and jackfruit pulp)
jackfruit-poli

These should be dried thoroughly in the sun. When hot water is added to the dried mango, it can be reconstituted into a jam like consistency to be eaten along with regular rotis. These dried fruit pulps / slices can last almost a year if stored in airtight and moisture-free conditions.

– H.H. (Vaidya) Vinay Bhave, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa. (January 2020)
3 A 5 E. Mango pulp
Mango pulp

1. Mix equal amounts of sugar and mango pulp and keep it in the sun until the mixture is completely dry. If such dried pulp is kept in the fridge, it lasts almost 1 1/2 – 2 years and outside the fridge it lasts almost 1 year.

2. Mix equal amounts of sugar and mango pulp and cook the mixture on gas or an earthen stove till it becomes thick. This thickened pulp lasts almost a year in the fridge. (It can develop fungus if not kept in the fridge.)

3 A 5 F. Mango preserves, raw mango chhunda (Sweet and spicy pickle made from raw mango), etc.
Mango preserve

Ample sugar or jaggery syrup is added to the crushed fruit pulp. The resulting mango syrup needs to be cooked to a thick consistency to make these condiments last longer. As a result, there will be no water left in the syrup and the food item will be long-lasting. No preservative is required to be added to the food item as the syrup is thickened.

3 A 5 F 1. Jam

You may use raw or ripe mangoes to prepare mango jam or preserves. It lasts for almost a year.

3 A 5 F 2. Chhunda made from raw mango (A mixture of grated raw mango and various condiments)

Chhunda made from raw mangoes should be kept in the scorching sun for 15-20 days. It can last for many years.

3 A 5 F 3. Jelly and jam made from Amla (Indian gooseberry), raw mango, strawberry, oranges, etc.
Jelly and jam

These last almost a year.

– Mrs. Arpita Deshpande, Sanatan Ashram, Miraj, Maharashtra. (February 2019)
3 A  5 G. Buy or prepare a variety of long-lasting food items.
3 A 5  G 1. Pickles and tomato sauce
3 A 5 G 1 A. Pickles
Raw Mango Pickles
A. Precautions required to better the shelf life of homemade pickles

If pickles are made at home with the care mentioned ahead, some pickles made from Indian gooseberry, chilli, fresh turmeric tubers, etc. can last 1-2 years. Pickle made with cooked lemons lasts almost 4-5 years. Lemon pickle activates the taste buds of a sick individual; older the pickle gets, the better it tastes.

A 1. Wash your hands and dry them well before commencing the process. The ingredients you have chosen to pickle such as raw mangoes, lemons, Indian gooseberry, fresh turmeric, chillies should be washed, wiped clean and dried.

Roast the ingredients needed for the pickle such as chilli powder, rock salt, etc. so that all the moisture in them is removed. (Rock salt is preferred over iodized salt since iodized salt can spoil the pickle quickly due to its moisture content.) If sugar is to be added to the pickle, it should be dry. Add preservatives if necessary.

A 2. Store the pickle in a porcelain (China clay) jars or thick glass jars.

A 3. Once the pickle is filled in a jar, spread rock salt on the surface of the pickle.

A 4. To present the formation of fungus on the pickled surface : Prepare some tempering in oil (tadka). Cool it down completely. Pour this cooled oil over the pickles so that it is about two finger-width deep.

A 5. Wipe the exposed portion of the jar with a clean dry cloth and tighten the lid of the jar. Place a clean cotton cloth on the lid of the jar and tie it around the neck of the jar with lace or rope.

A 6. Keep the jar of pickles in a dry place. In the past, pickles used to be kept on a high rack or in the temple-room at home.

A 7. The main jar should be kept as reserve stock and not be handled every day. Remove enough pickle for a week from this jar in a small container. Keep replenishing this container as and when required. If possible, remove the pickle from the main jar only after bathing. The big spoon used for removing the pickle from the main jar, the small container to fill the pickle for daily use and the individual’s hands must be dry and clean. Once the pickle is removed from the jar, wipe the outside of the jar with a clean dry cloth and close it as before.

A 8. A menstruating woman should not touch the pickle in the main jar. Do not touch the main jar even during an eclipse. Due to the humid climate of the Konkan region of Maharashtra or other coastal regions, chances of fungus formation on the pickle surface in the jar are slightly higher. Hence, life of the pickle is lesser in such places when compared with hot and dry environments.

– Mrs. Arpita Deshpande, Sanatan Ashram, Miraj, Maharashtra. (February 2019) and Mr. Prasad Mhaiskar, Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. (8.8.2019)
3 A 5 G 1 B. Tomato sauce
Tomato sauce

Tomato sauce prepared without using vinegar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a year. Tomato sauce made with vinegar lasts six months at normal temperature and can last for 1 1/2-2 years in a refrigerator.

3 A 5 H. Chutneys, metkut (roasted and seasoned chana dal powder), etc.
3 A 5 H 1. Wet chutneys made from raw mango, Indian gooseberry and tamarind
A. Raw mango chutney
Raw mango chutney

Make a thick syrup with sugar. Add necessary spices and grated mangoes to the syrup and make chutney. This chutney can also be made with medium ripe mangoes. It can also be made with jaggery syrup instead of sugar.

B. Indian gooseberry chutney

Indian gooseberry chutney can also be made similar to raw mango chutney.

C. Tamarind chutney

Soak preserved tamarind in water for half an hour and then squeeze the juice from it. Make a thick syrup of sugar or jaggery and add tamarind juice, red chilli powder, salt, a little black pepper and coriander-cumin powder and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the gas when all ingredients are properly mixed.

After these chutneys are cooled, store them in glass jars. If kept in a refrigerator they last 1 and 1/2 year; otherwise, their shelf life is about 1 year.

– Mrs. Arpita Deshpande, Sanatan Ashram, Miraj, Maharashtra. (February 2019)
3 A 5 I. Sandige, papad, etc.

These items last almost a year.

1. Sandige : In some regions ‘sandige’ are also known as vadagams / vadas.

Sandige

A. Sandige are made from white and green parts of watermelon; vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin, papaya, cabbage, as well as soya beans.

B. Sandige can also be made from yam (sweet potato) and kharvadya (kharodya) made from sorghum (puffed sorghum).

C. Sandige can be made from pulses (split) such as green gram, black gram, Chickpea, moth beans, etc. You can also make sandige by mixing all these pulses together.

sandige can also be cooked as a vegetable. Do not add salt while making sandige of bottle gourd, pumpkin, etc. because salt makes it difficult to cook them later. If you want to make sandige as a deep fried side dish during meals, then you can add salt in them.

– Mrs. Chhaya Vivek Naphade, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa. (May 2020)

2. Grated root vegetables : Grated yams and potatoes

3. Papad : Papads can be made from black gram, green gram, rice, finger millet, poha (Flattened rice) and jackfruit pulp.

Papad

4. Papdya (smaller version of papad) : These can be made from jowar, rice, sago pearls or potatoes. You can also prepare wheat kurdais (deep fried items which resemble chaklis) which can be dried and stored.

– Mrs. Chhaya Vivek Naphade, Sanatan Ashram, Ramnathi, Goa. (May 2020)

5. Chillies with various stuffing (like spiced sago pearl paste) or stuffed chillies coated in milk curds. These are then sun-dried and stored for future use.

– Mrs. Arpita Deshpande, Sanatan Ashram, Miraj, Maharashtra. (February 2019)

6. Jackfruit seeds

3 A 5 J. Drinks that quench thirst and to some extent hunger
3 A 5 J 1. Lemon, orange and sweet lime concentrates

Add an equal amount of sugar to the lemon juice and fill it in a glass jar and keep it in the sun till the sugar is completely dissolved. Depending on the intensity of the heat, it usually takes 15 to 30 days for the sugar to dissolve. Concentrates of oranges and sweet lime can be made in the same way as lemon. These concentrates last 2-3 years without refrigeration. Refrigeration changes their taste, hence, it is not advisable.

3 A 5 J 2. Aam panna (raw mango concentrate)

Boil raw mangoes, extract the pulp, add sugar or jaggery to make panna. Fill this drink into a glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator. This will last between 12 and 18 months. Depending on the place (such as ‘Kokam [Garcinia indica] concentrate’ in Konkan region of Maharashtra) and seasonal fruits, a variety of fruit pulp can be made into long-lasting concentrates.

– Mrs. Arpita Deshpande, Sanatan Ashram, Miraj, Maharashtra. (February 2019)
3 A 5 K. Biscuits with more nutrients, shelf life chocolates that last 5 years, dry fruits, etc.

During adverse times, sudden evacuation may be required. Getting stuck in a new place for some unforeseen reason is also a possibility. At times, in such situations, food may not be available. Under these circumstances, the above-mentioned food items can be very useful.

To read Part 4, click here Preparation required to survive during the adverse times Part 4

Reference : Sanatan’s forthcoming Text series – ‘Preparations required to survive the adverse times’

(Copyright : Sanatan Bharatiya Sanskruti Sanstha)

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