Diwali Lehiyam | Diwali Marundhu | Best Medicine for digestion

Diwali has been an awaiting happy festival every year celebrated with lighting lamps, blasting crackers and enjoyed with myriad sweets & savouries. Diwali indeed begins with the auspicious Diwali Lehiyam or Diwali Marundhu which is the first thing to be eaten in the empty stomach.

I still remember my mom wakes up every year at 2.30 am to put Rangoli and to prepare Vada, Suzhiyam and so on. I remember waiting for the moment when my dad put Gingelly oil and Sikhakhai paste over my head. And when we would be ready, the first thing after prayer to get into the tummy is this Diwali Lehiyam.

So, what's special in Diwali Lehiyam? Diwali Lehiyam is an age-old tradition which has been prepared for every Diwali to alleviate digestion problems which we experience due to heavy food on the tummy. We will be super happy and our tummy would be super sad getting all the lip-smacking sweets and oily savouries. 

Can we stop eating lovely inviting dishes which just makes us drool over it? It's impossible, right? And so is the Diwali Lehiyam introduced by our ancestors which eases digestion and makes the tummy super happy. There are many variations in the ingredients used and the simple Diwali Lehiyam recipe is with home available ingredients like ginger, cumin and peppercorns.

Many brands sell Diwali Lehiyam and they use about 25 to 30 medicinal ingredients to prepare it. Having said that, all kinds of Diwali Lehiyam uses Ginger or Dry ginger as the star player. Mine is a simplified yet powerful Diwali Lehiyam with selective medicinal ingredients which we can get easily from the local shops and even from Amazon as well.

Traditional Method:

  • The traditional way goes by soaking the ingredients in the water overnight or at least for a few hours and then continues by grinding and filtering them.
  • The filtered thick water is then cooked along with the Jaggery to perfection to get the Diwali Lehiyam.

Nowadays, the ingredients are powdered and then cooked along with the Jaggery. What to put and how much to put is very important in the taste of the Diwali Lehiyam. Ajwain plays a major role in easing the digestion and it enhances the taste as well. 

Can I use Ginger instead of Dry Ginger?

  • Yes! you can.
  • If using ginger root, peel off about 50 grams of ginger root and extract the juice out of it using mixer jar.
  • The ginger juice is then should be kept untouched for about 20 minutes. The clear juice should be added along with the other ingredients to make Diwali Lehiyam and the white deposit at the bottom should be discarded. 
  • Also, the amount of jaggery should be increased to calm down the hotness of the ginger.

Shall I use jaggery instead of Palm Jaggery?

  • Yes! you can. 
  • Traditionally, Jaggery is used to make Lehiyam. But most brands use Sugar to prepare this.
  • Palm jaggery is the best choice and it has its medicinal property to play in this Lehiyam.
Let us discuss the medicinal property of the Ingredients:

Thippili/Long Pepper:

  • Alleviates indigestion and intestinal gas.
  • Helps prevent heartburn.

Adhimadhuram/liquorice root:

  • Helps cure a sore throat.
  • Holds good antiviral and anti-microbial properties.
Sitharathai/Lesser galangal:
  • Helps in respiratory ailments such as asthma.
  • Helps in curing severe and contiguous cough.
Dry ginger root:
  • Increases the immune cells as it contains several times the 'gingerol' (a spicy substance present in the ginger root!) than the fresh ginger.
  • Great Appetite stimulator and it helps ease digestion.
  • Great medicine for cold.


  • The active enzymes present in Ajwain helps prevent indigestion, intestinal gas and bloating.
  • Great medicine for Chest congestion and cough.

So, the medicinal ingredients which we carefully hand-picked are great to prevent the lungs from the smoke that are produced by the crackers and are great in healing the digestion problem.

Homemade is always the best and I hope you try this Homemade Diwali Lehiyam for this Diwali festival. I also recommend trying my other Diwali Sweet recipes.

Motichoor Ladoo - healthy steam-cooked Ladoos with no oil.

Black Rice Halwa - non-sticky healthy halwa prepared with black rice and palm jaggery.

Makhana Burfi - an easy and healthy burfi.

Gulabi Kalakand - rich milk sweet with rose petals.

Moong Dal Jamun - Healthy Jamuns prepared with Moong dal.

You may like this also:

Bajra butter Murukku -A quick and instant crunchy savoury.

Furthermore, sifting the ground powder more than once through a fine colander paves the way for a smooth Lehiyam. I sift just once, that too with a colander having big holes. So, mine is not a smooth version and we love having coarse tits and bits on bites. If you are a person bothering about the smooth texture, kindly sift at least twice.

Lastly, Lehiyam consistency is a very important thing to consider. The oil has to separate and the Lehiyam still has to be in the consistency to drop from the spatula. It seems runny when hot but once cooled down completely would turn out to be a thick Lehiyam. When you take a small chunk and roll into a ball, it should hold the shape without sticking to the fingers.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
🍽  Yields: 450 gms (approx)

Diwali Lehiyam

Great medicine for indigestion which makes use of dry ginger, ajwain seeds, palm jaggery and other medicinal ingredients like cumin, pepper and long pepper.

What to Use? [1 cup=200 ml]
To Dry Roast and Powder:
  • Ajwain/Carom/Caraway seeds/Omam - 1/4 cup
  • Dry ginger root/Sukku - 3 pieces (each of size  2-inch)
  • Liquorice/Athimathuram - 2 pieces (each of size 1-inch)
  • Lesser Galangal/Sitharathai - 2 pieces (each of size 1-inch)
  • Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1/8 cup
  • Black Pepper - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Long pepper/Thippili - 1/8 cup
  • Coriander seeds - 1/8 cup
  • Cloves - 6
  • Green cardamom - 5
For Making Diwali Lehiyam:
  • Ground powder - 1 cup
  • Palm Jaggery - 1 1/4 cup
  • Water - 3/4 cup
  • Gingelly oil - 1/4 cup
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp (optional)
Steps Involved:    
  • Dry roast all the ingredients listed under "To Dry Roast and Powder" and grind to make a fine powder.
  • Sift the ground powder twice through a fine colander to get a smooth Diwali Lehiyam. 
  • Take palm jaggery in a pan, add water, dissolve and filter the syrup.
  • Mix ground powder, palm jaggery syrup and gingelly oil in a pan, and stir continuously over the flame until the oil starts to separate.
  • Cool down the mixture and store in an air-tight container.
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    For comforting the easy understandability of the recipe, the step by step, detailed procedure along with the picture is shown below:

    Step-by-Step Procedure with Pictures

    How to Make?

    • Take 1/4 cup of Ajwain seeds and dry roast it.
    • Slightly hit dry ginger, lesser galangal and liquorice using mortar-pestle and dry roast them. Roasting is not needed. Warming is enough.
    • Take 1/8 cup of coriander seeds and dry roast them until the aroma seeps out.
    • Take 1/8 cup of cumin seeds and 1 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper in a pan and dry roast them. 
    • Now, add 1/8 cup of long pepper and dry roast them until the white colour starts to show off.
    • Lastly, add cloves and cardamom pods to the pan and dry roast them.
    • Cooldown all the ingredients completely.
    • Transfer the ingredients to a mixer jar and grind to get a fine powder.
    • Sift the powder through a sieve once or twice to remove the coarse particles from it. I sift it once as we love coarse particles in the Lehiyam. To get a fine powder, sift more than once through a sieve with fine holes.
    • The sifted powder measures about 1 cup (200 ml).
    • Now, measure 1 1/4 cup of palm jaggery and add to a pan. Add 3/4 cup of water to it and stir to dissolve. 
    • Filter the syrup to get rid of the impurities. 
    To Make Diwali Lehiyam:
    • Add the ground powder to a wide non-stick pan. 
    • Add the filtered Palm Jaggery syrup to the powder in a wide pan.
    • Add in the gingelly oil and start to cook over a flame.
    • Stir continuously to avoid any lumps in the Lehiyam.
    • Once the oil starts to separate, add a little ghee to it. This step is optional.
    • Now, the Lehiyam should be in the flowing consistency. Turn off the flame.
    • Let the Lehiyam cools down completely. You can see the Lehiyam gets thickened enough to make a firm ball.
    • Store in an air-tight container and enjoy a small ball after every heavy food. 

    Visual Treat:

    Video for "Diwali Lehiyam":


    • Use a wide non-stick pan to make the job easier. 
    • Palm jaggery could be replaced with Jaggery.
    • If using fresh ginger root, increase the quantity of the Palm Jaggery or Jaggery. 
    • If you are underdone, you can't make balls out of it as the Lehiyam can't hold the shape. If you are overdone, the Lehiyam would turn hard like a rock. The right consistency is that the oil has to separate and the Lehiyam should be in the flowing consistency meaning that it should drop down from the spatula.

    Wish you a Happy and Healthy Diwali 2020!