Well, it’s definitely not Feni or Urak, neither Palm Toddy! It is just the humble ‘Teezan’, the secret to why Goans stay young, healthy and strong.
What is ‘Teezan’?
Teezan is a special Goan porridge. Made in every Goan home especially during the monsoons and winter months. A simple food loaded with dietary fiber and nutrition. A wholesome food that helps build immunity. Laced with coconut milk and Goan Jaggery, this porridge needs one to acquire a taste.
The main ingredient that gives ‘Teezan’ its potency is ‘Nachani’, ‘Raagi’ or Millet. A Cereal, rich in protein, vitamin B, and minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. It contains significant amounts of phenol which act as anti-oxidants and a preventive for heart related degenerative illnesses and cancer. Being gluten-free, with a low glycemic index this ‘power-house cereal’ is suitable for diabetics.
How do Goans prepare ‘Teezan’?
The russet-coloured seeds are easily acquired from the local market as Nachani is grown in Goa. After carefully washing to remove dirt and mud, the seeds are soaked overnight in water. The next day, the Nachani is ground to a fine paste and cooked in coconut milk (add enough to attain porridge consistency).
Stir continuously as it thickens on heating and can get burnt. (Use a whisk for ease of stirring). Then add Goan jaggery or ‘godd’ cut into bits. (Jaggery can be added to taste). Cook for two to three minutes stirring continuously. Serve hot. Teezan is preferably eaten early morning before breakfast or alternatively as a tea-time sweet.
Today, however, ‘Nachani peet’ or Millet flour is readily available off the racks at any cold store or supermarket, making the preparation a whole lot easier. But, the germinated seed method (soaking the seeds in water overnight) is healthier.
Now that the secret as to how Goans stay young, healthy and strong is out, wouldn’t you like to try it too!