Saturday, January 28, 2012

Recipe for Kajal

As modern as we might all be in every other aspect, when it comes to our own children we don't want to take ANY chances. In South India we believe that, "buri nazaer/drishti/bad-eye" might befall a baby if she doesn't apply a bindi. So we make this bindi at home itself so that apart from benefiting from the fact that this is totally chemical free, it also acts as a coolant.
This post is written in anticipation that some mom somewhere wants to get a chemical free solution for kajal for her baby.
Below is the process of making kajal at home. This process had been passed on from generation to generation in my family and every child in my family had used this. In case your concern is only chemicals for you not to use kajal…here is our families secret.
  1. Take 4x4 inch clean muslin cloth.
  2. Dip this muslin cloth in sandal wood paste.
  3. Dry this in shade.
  4. After the cloth is dried, dip this again in the sandal wood paste and let it dry in shade.
  5. Repeat this process from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Basically from sun rise to sun set. (The muslin would have accumulated a lot of sandal wood paste by then.)
  6. After sun set, make a wick of this muslin and light in Castor oil. We light this in a mud lamp (new, slightly big one)…the one we use to light during Diwali.
  7. Take a brass vessel (make sure you use ONLY brass vessel) and cover this lamp, leaving some room for oxygen to assist the lamp to burn. We normally keep a small stone at the base of the vessel for this.
  8. Leave it burning over night.
  9. The next morning, carefully remove the soot deposited on the roof of the brass vessel.
  10. To this soot, add 2 drops of pure ghee (drops depend on how much soot is deposited)…add so many drops which will bring the soot to paint consistency.
  11. Store this in a tight container in a cool, dry place.
  12. Every time you want to apply kajal/bindi for a baby, add a few drops of water and leave it aside for a few mins. Then, gently rub your finger into the kajal mix and apply a little on your little ones forehead/ behind the ear or what ever is your tradition.
There are absolutely no chemicals in this. This is Ayurveda and is an excellent coolant.

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