Remembering your roots: Deepavali hamper that supports farming

Speaking to DT Next Dr K Vijayalakshmi, founder and CEO of Sempulam Sustainable Solutions says, “The organisation has always worked towards helping farmers market their traditional rice varieties under our campaign Namma Nellu. We supervise the cultivation and other processes to ensure everything goes smoothly. Farmers are paid a premium price at the point of purchase itself.”
Snacks and sweets made from indigenous rice varieties
Snacks and sweets made from indigenous rice varieties

CHENNAI: This Deepavali gift your loved one tradition and heritage through Namma Nellu and Sweet Karam Coffee’s range of snacks and sweets made from indigenous rice varieties. The special Deepavali hamper consists of two savouries- kaivari samba ribbon pakoda and thooyamalli karasev and three sweets- kothamalli samba rice dates laddoo, navara rice cashew laddoo, and karuppu kowni athirasam. Priced at Rs 999.

Speaking to DT Next Dr K Vijayalakshmi, founder and CEO of Sempulam Sustainable Solutions says, “The organisation has always worked towards helping farmers market their traditional rice varieties under our campaign Namma Nellu. We supervise the cultivation and other processes to ensure everything goes smoothly. Farmers are paid a premium price at the point of purchase itself.”

She says the organisation aims to preserve the heritage and tradition of cultivating these rice varieties and the varieties on the verge of extinction. “This year Sweet Karam Coffee has partnered with Namma Nellu to unearth the taste and health benefits of these rice varieties and to create a sense of awareness among people. This is more than just losing out on a rice variety. It’s about losing out generations of culture and tradition,” she adds.

Was it easy to figure out which rice variety would be suitable for a particular delicacy? She answers, “Absolutely not. For two months it was all about trial and error. Because each rice variety is different from the others in terms of consistency, texture, taste and even the preparation method. We might want to use a particular rice variety because we might think it would be perfect for laddoos, but when we take the texture into consideration, we would have to start from scratch.”

Each of these rice varieties has its own health benefits. For example, the kaivari samba ribbon pakoda is made with kaivari samba. This rice helps lower blood sugar levels extensively. The thooyamalli kara sev made with the rice variety thooyamalli is rich in vitamins and is good for the nerves. It also aids in improving digestion.

The kothamalli samba rice dates laddoo is made with traditional rice variety kothamalli samba, which is packed with proteins, iron, magnesium, and calcium. The navara rice cashew laddoo is made with navara rice, a traditional rice variety of Kerala. This rice works towards building the body’s immune system. The karuppu kowni athirasam made with karuppu kowni rice, is rich in antioxidants and helps the body to slow down cell damage.

“This hamper is perfect in the sense that it not only ensures you eat healthy this festive season but also makes sure you remember your culture while doing so,” she says.

The hamper is available at sempulam.com/gifting and sweetkaramcoffee.in.

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