Chukku Kanji Recipe / Dry Ginger Porridge / Nombu Kanji Recipe / (Ramadan recipes/ South Indian Iftar recipes)
Chukku Kanji is a popular porridge of Kerala. This is one such porridge that is served at iftar (after breaking the fast) during the month of Ramadhan. Chukku kanji has lot of medicinal benefits as this can also be served during times when you feel sick or have an upset tummy. Usually my mom serves this kanji/porridge with either kaya thoran (means raw banana stirfry) or meen kaya odachathu (which means fish and raw banana mash) for iftar. I love the meen kaya odachathu with kanji’s !
Please read the FAQs (frequently asked questions) for this chukka kanji/dry ginger porridge at the bottom of this page.
Let’s begin to make kanji…
Chukku Kanji / Dry Ginger Porridge / Nombu kanji recipe /(Ramadan recipes/ South Indian Iftar kanji recipes)
Ingredients: (for 2 servings)
Cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp
Dry ginger – one small piece
Fresh coconut shreds – 1 tbsp ( to grind with cumin & dry ginger)
Rice – 1/3 cup (any parboiled or kanji rice – I used parboiled ponni rice)
Garlic – 3 cloves
Hot water (1-2 cups to make kanji/porridge consistency)
To make coconut milk:
Fresh coconut – 1/2 cup (shreds or pieces)
water – (2-3 cups to grind with coconut)
(Optional – a tsp of morunga leaves/ drumstick leaves or(fresh thyme leaves or fresh fenugreek/methi leaves)
Step 1) Wash and drain 1/3 cup of rice and transfer to a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker
Step 2) To a blender, add 3/4 tsp cumin seeds, a small piece of dry ginger and pulse few times and grind for 20 sec. To this add 1 tbsp(or 2 pieces) of coconut and pulse for few seconds. add 2 tbsp of water into the blender, scrape the sides of blender and grind again for 30-40 sec. Filter the ground mixture to the rice pot (and discard the residue in colander/filter)
Step 3) Making coconut milk (First milk and second milk):
Add 1/2 cup of coconut into the blender and pulse few times. Pour a cup of water and grind for a minute.
note: If the mixture is too thick to grind, add 1/2 cup of water to grind smoothly.
Now filter the ground coconut onto a bowl(this is the first coconut milk-thick & creamy).
Squeeze the coconut paste and add the residue back into the blender to prepare second milk.
After adding all the coconut residue to the blender, pour a cup of water and grind for a minute. Now filter this coconut milk into a separate bowl(this is second coconut milk)
Step 4) To the rice pan, add 2-3 garlic cloves, second coconut milk, 1/2 tsp of salt and heat on high and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce to low (or on ‘2’ on numbered cook tops) and cook for 20-25 minutes. (till the rice becomes super soft)
note: sometimes the coconut milk starts to foam and rise up,(to prevent spilling,
open and close the lid few times on first 5 times to let the steam escape
and to settle the coconut foam)
Step 5) Once the rice is cooked(should be very soft), open and mash the rice using a back of the spoon to a coarse paste texture. (You can use a stick blender to mash, but make sure to mash on low setting as the traditional texture of this kanji/porridge is coarse and nice fine). You can also use a potato masher to get the right texture.(the mashing can take 3-5 minutes).
Step 6) Pour 3/4 cup of hot water and mash again for a minute to get a coarse-smooth texture.
note : Do not pour more than a cup of water before mashing well as it would
be difficult to mash the rice to a coarse texture and you will end up having
big grainy texture:)
again pour a cup of hot water and mash for 20 sec( Make it to a medium-runny texture). add salt to taste.( During fasting times, add 1/2 tsp of salt while cooking and adjust the salt after breaking fast before serving). Once you get the medium-thick consistency, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. keep stirring the whole time to prevent scorching at the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to low once it starts boiling.
note: Usually we add a handful of morunga leaves/drumstick leaves to a large pot
of kanji/porridge at this stage. If you can get these leaves, please add a
tbsp at the end of this step. ( I couldn’t find these leaves in wellington, NZ.
So decided to substitute with a tsp of fresh thyme leaves. You can also
add a tsp of fresh methi / fenugreek leaves)
Step 7) Keeping the heat on low, pour the first coconut milk and stir for 8-10 sec.
note: Do not boil after adding first coconut milk as the rich cream tends to
separate and leaves a curdly texture.
Heat for further 10 seconds and turn off the heat. Remove the pan from heat.
Kanji is ready …
-> the kanji/porridge thickens overtime, If it is too thick, adjust the consistency when you cook next time.
-> While cooking rice ( at step 4), make sure the rice to water(coconut milk+water) ratio is 1: 4 ( eg: 1 cup rice = 4 cups (water+coconut milk)
-> Use a heavy bottomed pan to make this kanji to prevent scorching at the bottom of the pan.
-> During fasting times, you can make this ahead at morning or noon and reheat around iftar time just before serving.
FAQs (frequently asked questions) for chukku kanji/ dry ginger porridge:
1)Can I cook in pressure cooker? How long should I cook?
Yes, you can use the pressure cooker for cooking at step 4) . Once the pressure rises, place the weight, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
2)Can I substitute with dry ginger and cumin powder for step 1) ?
Yes, you can substitute with these powders but doesn’t give the original taste of the fresh powder. If you prefer to add powders , add 1/3 tsp dry ginger powder and 1/2 tsp cumin powder for 2 servings.
3)How many days can I refrigerate this porridge?
You can refrigerate this porridge for up to 3 days. (Please do not keep more than 5 days)
4)Is it necessary to add the morunga leaves or other leaves?
No, not necessarily. But if you can get these leaves, please add them as they have a lot of medicinal benefits. (the leaves should look sparingly over the kanji’s)
5)Can we add dried methi/fenugreek leaves or anyother dried leaves?
No. Please don’t add dried leaves as they can totally change the flavor of this Kanji/porridge. (I tried with dried methi/fenugreek leaves and it ruined the kanji…
6)I added too much salt? Any solution ?
Yes, depends on how salty it is ! …best solution will be to add some cooked rice, mash and add to the porridge and pour some hot water to get the runny texture …hope this works:) (If you require some more adjustment, add a cup of thick(first) coconut milk and half a cup of hot water and heat on low for a minute (please do not boil) (Let me know if you faced this situation:)
If you have more questions, please feel free to ask me and let me know how it turned out:)
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These are the side dishes I mentioned at the beginning of this post…let me know if you tried these combos:)