Friday, February 19, 2010

Kanjiyum payarum/Rice gruel with green gram

For people like me, 'kanjiyum payarum' (rice gruel and green gram) is synonymous with comfort food. I think its pejorative when kanji is symbolized with poverty or ill health. But it is true.  Some consider it the poor man’s food. Let me begin in defense for this hearty meal stating the cultural relevance the food has in Kerala. On Good Friday, Jacobites (a Christian denomination) after spending a day in prayer and fasting eat Kaji at church in fellowship.  The muslims, during the season of Ramdhan often break their fast with kanji and thereafter following up with their Iftar party which serves party food. I need to add, after fasting for an entire day nothing feels as good as 'Kanji and payar' as my friends say.  Hope this helps to see Kanji as an integral part of our culture. Apart from this without any religious connotation this is equally enjoyed as a dinner and some times even for breakfast by many families.  Even though kanji started being used on somber occasions or talked as food for the poor it was clearly a energy booster. It shakes off melancholy.  I know it must be the sugar kicking in but I hope I have made my case.



Now,  let’s do a comparison with soup. If you take a close look, this dish is a healthy vegetarian soup except that starch and protein are prepared and served separately and each has to make his/ her individual soup on the table. The rice gruel is served with cooked green grams spiced with black and red pepper, mustard, shallots and curry leaves. To substitute the bread, crepes, croutons etc that goes with soup we serve pappadam with the gruel. Pappadam is a thin disc or call it wafer made with black gram or urad dal. These are mostly shop bought and fried at home. You can see how spices,  plentiful in our part of the world, are incorporated to make a hearty soup. Now you know why I call it ‘comfort food.’

Ingredients :

For kanji(serves 2)

Parboiled rice- 1/2 cup
Water- 2-3 cups(there should be enough water left after cooking !)

Method:

1. Wash the rice and pour water.
2.Cook in a pressure cooker for upto 2-3 whistles or until rice is done.

For green gram/cherupayar thoran

Moong beans(green gram)- 1/2 cup
Salt- To taste
water- 3/4 cup
turmeric powder- a small pinch
Grated coconut- 2 Tbsp
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Red chillies- 2
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Oil- 1 Tbsp



Method:
1.Wash and clean the green gram. Cook in a pressure cooker after pouring the water and adding salt and turmeric.
2.Cook on high heat till the first whistle and then simmer and cook for 2 more whistles or at least 15 minutes.( This time period is for my medium sized cooker. This may vary for your cooker !)
3.heat oil in a pan and do the normal seasoning by spluttering the mustard and sauteing the red chillies and curry leaves.
4.To this add the red chilli powder and stir cook for couple of minutes on low heat.
5.throw in the coconut and the cooked green gram , mix well.

Serving Suggestions.

Sprinkle some salt on the kanji and mix well. Serve with green gram thoran, pappad and a pickle of your choice.Sure you will go for a second serving :-). You could serve simple gravies like pulissery with this.
While talking about pulissery I must say that the kanjivellam (water in which rice is cooked) when mixed with some pulissery and a pinch of salt makes a healthy summer drink.

61 comments:

  1. I made this combo once following a fellow blogger's recipe, it was yum. Looks delicious here too.

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  2. I love kanji very much quite healthy and comforting.I enjoyed it a lot when I newly delivered a baby when they feed u only kanji for a few days.Your combo with green gram is very perfect too.

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  3. I love kanji...the combination rocks

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  4. I love the payar more than the kanji.

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  5. Love the recipe...soooo simple yet filling!!!

    Thanx for visiting my space...will be following your space and recipes!

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  6. Such a nutritious dish, feel like having rite now..

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  7. Oh wow, that looks so great!!

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  8. Payaru looks delish. Very healthy too.

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  9. very lovely dish..nice clicks too!!

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  10. Payaru looks so inviting... not to say that Kanji is not good....but I am not a big Kanji fan... love payar and puttu...w/pappadam...mm...

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  11. yummy delicious combo and such a wonderful comfort meal!

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  12. This definitely sounds comforting and very nutritious!

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  13. Very nice..Comfort food. its been long, since w had kanji and payar..enthayalum kazhicha pole aytundu eppol..Thank you friend

    Love
    Kairali sisiters

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  14. Simple and comfort food...Nice combo

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  15. Healthy & comforting food, i loved the moong thoran also...

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  16. looks so comforting and tasty.

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  17. enteyum shajideyum thursday item aanu ethu. ethu kazhichu kazhnjal enthoru sughanu alle..kidu thanne..:)

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  18. hearty food that is sure priceless!!it's a tempting combo anytime of the year :)
    TC

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  19. my son's doc told me to give him rice kanji and i dint know what it was. thanks for sharing this. we eat this with boiled and mashed spiced potatoes and pickle. looks scrumptious.

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  20. Never had rice kanji....looks so healthy and delicious.

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  21. wow, this looks great and as always, beautiful presentation!

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  22. The best and perfect combo...nice click too!

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  23. The whole meal does look heart and comforting....I too would definitely love to try the same :)

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  24. its ausumn...bcz...its an alltime favourite combo of every keralites...

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  25. Awesome Combination. Glad to see such a tasty and healthy preparation. Keep posting such nice recipes.

    Deepa

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  26. Simply healthy and tasty recipe!!!thnx 4 sharing..;-))

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  27. semplice, dolce, ... di casa, brava buon fine settimana ciao

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  28. How I used to sulk when my mom makes this...but now i miss this one...so very nostalgic...

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  29. I feel like the fact that it's called gruel makes it sound that much more hearty. And the spices make me think that it absolutely has to be delicious!

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  30. wow..nice blog...while seeing kanji and payar...i remembermy grandmaaa...iam following u dear..if u get time came vist my blog..http://mykitchen-been.blogspot.com/

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  31. Hello Sunitha & Nami, I will start this comment by telling you how much I have missed you these past few weeks. I am now off to stroll around your blog to see what I have missed.

    Looks yummy...reminds me of home.:)

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  32. Def. sounds like comfort food....

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  33. nice,kothippichu konnallo
    endu foodundakkiyalum kanjiyum,payarum,kadumangayum koodunna ruchi kittumo?

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  34. Easy on the digestive system .Simple healthy and comforting.Will try it.

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  35. I am a sucker of healthy recipes and would like to try this for sure.

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  36. Kanjiyum payarum sounds like a great combo' a must try one...truly comfort meal:)

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  37. Great combo...very comforting too. Lovely clicks.

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  38. i eat mung beans and in fact I featured it in my recent post. But the spices that you use here are a lot different to what I use... next time I cook mung beans (which I normally do on a Friday- why Friday? I don't even know why haha!)I will definitely try doing it your way. I have in fact copied your recipe to try...

    Thank you for visiting my site... Great to meet you Gulmohar. I hope to see you around... and btw, my name is Malou!

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  39. I am down with a cold and this looks damn soothing..

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  40. that is a perfect combo at any time... the payaru is cooked perfectly... looks really good...

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  41. Great simple yet tasty! looks yummy and healthy.

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  42. The name 'gruel'sounds very comforting!

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  43. thats a wonderful combo... thanks for leaving so nice comments on my blog.. keep in touch... :)

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  44. thats a wonderful combo... thanks for leaving so nice comments on my blog.. keep in touch... :)

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  45. Filling combo,love green grams :D

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  46. kanji is not my fav but payaru kanditu vayil vellam niranju..sherikkum

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  47. Lovely to see our Kanji and Payaru in so much dignity...it's my all time favorite...

    Thank you for visitng my blog...

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  48. This looks like a wholesome, healthy and yummy meal!!!! I am so tempted by that pickle on the rice in the 1st click!!!!

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  49. My all time fav pick me up food !!

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