Happy Eid to all those of you who are celebrating! 🙂
The month of Ramadan concludes today with Eid, with a lot of festivities, gifts, and food in Muslim homes. I thought it would be fit to make Ramadan Nombu Kanji for lunch today, something that I had been wanting to make for the entire month but somehow never ended up doing. I went on to make this dish today, and it was much loved by the family.
Apparently, this kanji is very popular in the state of Tamil Nadu. ‘Nombu‘ means ‘fasting’ and ‘kanji‘ means ‘gruel’. Commonly made in a liquidy gruel form, with minced meat added to it, this dish is served to fasting Muslims outside mosques during the month of Ramadan, to help them break their fasts every day (around 6 PM). With the goodness of rice and moong dal, this kanji provides energy to the fasters. I might never have known about this dish if I hadn’t read about it on Greenboochi’s cooking blog here. She posted a vegetarian version of the recipe last year, and I found it very interesting.
There are a whole lot of different recipes for Ramadan kanji on the Internet, but I chose to follow this one because it was simple and easy to follow.
I largely followed Greenboochi’s recipe to make the vegetarian nombu kanji, with a few little variations of my own. It came out tasting like moong dal khichdi with veggies, only a lot more flavourful. I so know this is not the last time I have made this dish!
Here is how I made the dish.
Ingredients (serves 2):
3/4 cup raw rice
1/4 cup moong dal
Salt to taste
1 green chilly, slit
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped
5-6 large florets of cauliflower, chopped in two
A handful of fresh green peas
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Red chilli powder, to taste
2 teaspoons garam masala powder
1/2 cup thick coconut milk (I used a store-bought carton, of the Dabur brand)
A fistful of fresh mint leaves
A fistful of fresh coriander stalks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons oil
A small piece of cinnamon
2 small bay leaves
3-4 green cardamom
- Grind the moong dal and raw rice together in a mixer, coarsely. Do not make a very fine powder; you just need to grind coarsely. Keep aside.
- Grind the chopped ginger and garlic cloves to a paste in a mixer, adding very little water. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a pressure cooker bottom. Add the cloves, cardamom, bay leaves and cinnamon. Fry them for a couple of seconds.
- Now, add the chopped onions to the cooker. Fry for a couple of seconds.
- Add the ginger garlic paste. Fry for a couple of seconds more.
- Now, add the chopped carrots and tomatoes, the moong dal-raw rice powder, 4.5 cups of water, salt to taste, shredded mint leaves, chopped coriander, the green chilly, turmeric powder, garam masala, red chilli powder to taste. Mix well.
- Keep stirring till the water begins to bubble, making sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pressure cooker.
- Close the pressure cooker lid and put the whistle on. Allow 3-4 whistles, and switch off the gas.
- Let the pressure come down naturally, and then open the cooker.
- Switch on the gas again, and turn the flame to low. Add the coconut milk to the kanji, and mix well. Let the kanji simmer for a minute or two and switch off the gas.
- Serve hot.
- Like Greenboochi, I made the kanji thick, like khichdi, because we wanted to have it for lunch. If you want a drinkable version, like gruel, you could add more water.
- We loved having this kanji with curd, though it is so flavourful you can have it as is, without any accompaniment. I think a curd raita would go very well with it, too.
- I used the few veggies I had at hand to make this kanji. You could add other vegetables as well, like potatoes, beans and capsicum.
- I used store-bought coconut milk, but you can make your own at home, if you want to.
Have you ever had Ramadan nombu kanji? Do you make it at home, too?