Kanji (കഞ്ഞി) or Rice Gruel is the perfect comfort food from Kerala.Even today farmers and farming people devour this as their privileged breakfast in this part of the region.For elders and invalids it still remain as the healthy dinner for several reasons.Considering Kanji‘s easily digestible attributes,most of the households regard it as an absolute sick-friendly diet .
Traditionally Kanji is made with broken parboiled rice (podiyari/പൊടിയരി) and served in plates along with a spoon made of jack fruit leaves called as kumbil ila.Usually the accompaniments will be payar/cherupayar puzhukku,achar,chammanthi and pappadam.Even now the delicious kanji is made with puzhukkalari/parboiled rice with the nutritious bran in Kerala.
Kanji , which I am presenting here is with white rice, still delicious and comfortable along with cherupayar/mung dal sauté.
1 cup rice
4 cups water (and more if needed)
salt as needed (or if you wish)
- If you are using parboiled rice,soak it in water for half an hour.
- Wash the rice and place it in a pot.Pour water and bring to boil.Once boiled reduce the flame and cook for almost 30 mts or till cooked.Check in between.You can pour water if needed.
- Once cooked,mix in salt.Kanji should be thin and loose with enough water.
(If you are using a pressure cooker,use 2 cups of water and after the first whistle reduce the flame and cook till another 2 whistles.Open the cooker after been cooled ,add enough water and salt .Simmer for 10 mts.)
Cherupayar Olathu (sautéed Mung Dal)
1 cup Mung Dal
3/4 cup water
Handful of shallots
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp chilly flakes
Half tsp crushed black pepper corns
2 sprig curry leaves
Half tsp mustard seeds
coconut oil as required
- Wash and soak cherupayar/Mung Dal in water for 10 mts
- Pressure cook the mung dal along with water and salt.After the first whistle reduce the flame and cook for another 6-7 mts.Allow it to cool.
- Meanwhile crush the spices mentioned
- Open and check the Mung Dal is cooked properly.It should not be overcooked.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Now add the crushed spices and saute for 2-3 mts or till they are well fried and release a nice aroma.
- Mix in the cooked mung dal and sauté well till it is mixed well with spices and get dry.Check the seasoning and salt.
- Serve with hot kanji,achar (pickle) and pappadam (kerala wafers)
*If you are cooking the mung dal in a usual utensil,add more water and cook.