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Diwali Legiyam / Diwali Marundhu

Diwali Legiyam

On Diwali day, every South Indian Brahmin household prepares and relishes ‘Diwali Legiyam’, a herbal medicine the first thing in the morning. The celebration starts thereafter with oil bath, new clothes, pooja, lighting earthen diyas, bursting crackers and of course gobbling an array of delicious homemade sweets and snacks.

How to make Diwali Legiyam?

It is also known as ‘Diwali Marundhu’, marundhu means medicine in Tamil. A herbal medicine on empty stomach before having loads of high calorie delicacies helps in proper digestion throughout the day. Each family has it’s own recipe of Diwali Legiyam handed down by their ancestors. All the versions are somewhat similar in texture but slightly differs in ingredients used. Most of the ingredients are commonly available in Indian Kitchens. Few other ingredients like chitharathai, adimadhuram(check notes) can be procured from any naattu marundhu kadai or herbal store.

Even though Diwali Marundhu is made during Diwali, you can have this as and when required throughout the year to heal digestion, cold, cough issues. Nowadays branded Diwali Legiyam is readily available in South Indian markets. But making this at home is always better as we can add spices and sweeteners as per our choice. Here is my Grandma’s Diwali Marundhu recipe. Let’s see the simple procedure of preparing Diwali Legiyam at home.


  1. Adimadhuram / Liquorice – 20 g (Mulethi in Hindi)
  2. Chitharathai  / Lesser Galangal – 20 g (Kulanjan in Hindi)
  3. Arisi Thippili / Long Pepper Fruit – 2 tsp
  4. Jaathipathri / Mace Flowers – 5 to 6 nos
  5. Kothamali Vidhai / Coriander Seeds – ¼ cup
  6. Jeeragam / Cumin Seeds – 2 tbsp
  7. Oman / Carom Seeds – 2 tbsp
  8. Milagu / Black Pepper – 2 tbsp
  9. Manjal / Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Jaathikkai / Nutmeg Powder – ½ tsp
  11. Chukku / Dried Ginger Powder – ½ tsp
  12. Vellam / Jaggery Powder – 1 cup, preferably organic
  13. Nalla Ennai / Sesame Oil – ¼ cup
  14. Pasum Nei / Cow’s Ghee – 2 tsp


  • Pound the roots Adimadhuram and Chitharathai in a mortar and pestle. Break them into small pieces.
  • Dry roast the first 8 ingredients till it gets warm and emits flavour. Let it cool.
  • Grind them into a fine powder. Add ingredients from 9 to 11 and mix well.
  • In a kadai, take jaggery powder and ¼ cup of water.
  • Stir till the jaggery melts completely. Let it boil for 2 mins to get slightly thick and sticky syrup.
  • Add the grounded powder and ¼ cup sesame oil. Keep stirring.
  • Let it simmer till it gets halwa-like consistency.
  • When it starts leaving the sides, add 2 tsp of ghee and mix well.
  • Remove from flame. Let it cool.
  • Store it in a clean dry container. Refrigerate if using throughout the year.
  • Relish it in small quantities like a medicine.


  • If you can’t procure adimadhuram, chitharathai, arisi thippili no issues.. just omit these and include the rest of the ingredients.
  • You can reduce the amount of jaggery and add honey at the last stage.

Happy Cooking!

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