Sumaiya Mustafa another member of Abati explains how dhammadai and kayam are made and their benefits. “Dhammadai is made with rice semolina, thala paal (thick extracted coconut milk), eggs, milk and sugar. Eggs in sweet dishes aren’t conventional in Tamil homes. But for this dish, we use eggs. Kayam is more similar to halwa but has a lot of medicinal properties - it is made with 26 native medicinal barks and herbs. Nursing mothers and girls after their first periods are fed with kayam. It is made using ingredients like coconut milk, nuts, palm sugar jaggery, eggs, 26 native medicines and sesame oil,” says Sumaiya Mustafa. Kayam making is a tiny and popular home-based business among many women in Kayalpattinam. “The recipe is many decades old and is still used in many households. We wanted Kayalpattinam’s cuisine and cooking methods to have a wide reach,” she smiles.