Leftovers are so very minimum in our home - we cook only what we can…
Ramadan Nombu Kanji/Rice Porridge
A little late in the coming and the month of Ramadan just got over a few days ago. But this rice porridge, Ramadan Nombu Kanji is a south Indian specialty dish made specifically in the month of Ramzan/Ramadan to be served after a day of fasting. This porridge is fully packed with all things good and is tasty, healthy and nourishing – perfect enough, it helps compensate all the fluid loss, fatigue that fasting sometime may cause to people.
But not just in the month of Ramadan, I make this super delicious porridge through out the year mostly for breakfast. It is filling, simple to make and healthy.
The dish is made in big vessels in the masjid[Mosque] and is distributed to all who come to get it to break their fasts or simply served to all the local people in area. I have seen my dad’s friends specially calling for this dish during the month of Ramadan and my mom making it to share with them all.
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Generally the Ramadan Nombu Kanji is slow cooked so all the ingredients stew together to get the signature flavor. It takes about 4-5 hours altogether to get the dish ready to serve. But things have changed, there are quicker methods to make the dish nowadays without compromising the taste.
My recipe of the Ramadan Nombu Kanji, the rice porridge is one of the simplest recipes you’ll see anywhere and it is so easy to make, you will also start making it in home anytime you feel like tasting some.
Vegan or Non-Veg Version – Mine is Vegan!
There are several versions of this rice porridge available – majorly vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The non-vegetarian version may have minced chicken, lamb or mutton and has a different taste.
Mine is a vegan version, some what plain compared to other recipes you’ll see – plain as in no other vegetables other than what is necessary but just perfect recipe for someone who is starting to make the dish.
An Ingredient Check
The recipe below may look like it has a lot of ingredients – true, but it is all pantry staples and healthy someway and will come together easily giving you the most divine food.
I always group the ingredients for this dish into two – One the cook all together and one for the tempering, added finally to the dish to finish.
Although the title says it as rice porridge, there is some lentils in the recipe. We use the yellow lentils[Moong Dal/Mung Bean] in the recipe in a 3:1 ratio.
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The recipe calls for Coconut milk. You can use ground coconut paste in its place, if you like.
The rice in the recipe is raw rice, you can find it in the store aisles as Raw/Pongal rice. If you think the rice may not cook to a porridge texture, use broken rice. But I always use rice and it does cook to perfect consistency and texture.
It all depends on how you cook this dish and how long you cook this dish.
Choose the cooking method
The dish can be cooked on stove top in a deep thick bottomed vessel, pressure cooker, slow cooker or in an electric pressure cooker like an instant pot. I cooked it in my instant pot.
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Whatever the method you choose, the taste will be the same. Time is the key and your presence in the kitchen depends on the method you choose.
Slow cooking – You will have to ensure there is enough water in the pot always, takes at least 3 hours and you may have to keep checking to ensure the Kanji is not getting stuck to the bottom of the vessel.
Pressure Cooker – Takes about 5-6 whistles to get the dish cooked, addition of lentils may cause the excess water to come out of the vent, so cook in low flame. Relatively faster.
Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker – My favorite method, dump all the ingredients, set the mode and wait for it cook & complete.
Texture/Consistency of the Kanji
The amount of water determines the pouring consistency of the porridge. Initially we will need 4 cups of water to cook the rice,lentils and other ingredients. Later 2-3 cups water maybe added when you coconut milk and cook.
What is Ramadan Nonbu Kanji/Rice Porridge without Masal Vadai??!! No way.. You need Vadai to go along this dish – Check my recipe below if you like.
I think I have said enough about the major points in the recipe – Check it out below:
Ramadan Nombu Kanji/Rice Porridge
- Thick bottomed big pot or pressure cooker or electric pressure cooker like instant pot
Stage 1 – Cook all together in the cooker or a pot
- 3/4 Cup Raw Rice About 170 grams. Washed and drained. Use broken rice if you cannot find it in markets.
- 1/4 Cup Yellow Lentils/Moong Dal About 50 grams. Washed and drained. Use Red lentils – Masoor Dal optionally.
- 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1 Large Onion Sliced
- 1/2 Small Tomato Chopped
- 3-4 Whole Green Chilli
- 5-6 Sprig Fresh Coriander Leaves Washed and Chopped
- 5-6 Sprig Mint leaves Washed and Chopped
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic Peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 tsp Ghee/Clarified Butter Use Oil if no ghee
- 1 tsp Salt Adjust as needed
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder Optional
- 4 Cups Water Use the same measuring cup for rice, lentils and water
Stage 2 – Add and boil For 5 minutes
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk Or ground fresh coconut
- 2-3 Cups Water Adjust as needed for consistency
- 1/2 tsp Salt Adjust as needed
Stage 3 – Tempering
- 1 Small Onion Sliced
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1-2 Small Whole cinnamon bark pieces
- 1-2 Whole Cloves
- 2 tsp Ghee/Clarified butter Or Oil or Use a teaspoon of both if needed.
- Stage – 1 : Add all ingredients in the stage 1 together in a thick bottomed deep pan or pressure cooker or instant pot.
- If cooking in instant pot, set pressure seal and set rice mode. Relax. If in pressure cooker, cook for 4-5 whistles. If in slow cooking, in a pan or big vessel cook until the porridge consistency is achieved. Add water to the pan if the water level reduces while slow cooking.
- Once the ingredients are cooked and the pressure is vented[If using pressure cooker], SLIGHTLY mash the cooked rice and lentils with vegetables. DO NOT OVER MASH.
- Stage 2: Add the coconut milk, water as needed and salt to adjust.
- Cook in low flame, for about 5-10 minutes until the kanji mix just come to boil. Use the same pan or cooker or instant pot[Saute mode] for this step. Mix with a ladle if you fee like it is getting stuck to the bottom.
- Stage 3: In a frying pan heat ghee/oil, add the whole spices, onion slices and ginger garlic paste.
- Fry until the onion is golden brown in color.
- Pour the fried onion, spices and all together to the kanji.
- The Ramadan Nonbu Kanji/Rice Porridge is ready.
- Serve warm with Mint Chutney and Masal Vadai.
- Use the same cup to measure water, rice and lentils.
- Use ghee or oil as per preference. Ghee gives the flavor and the aroma for the kanji, though.
- Adjust water and salt as needed.