Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paruppu Kanji (Sweet Mung Dal Porridge)

Paruppu Kanji is the leaner, no-nonsense cousin of Paruppu Pradhaman although it shares some of the ingredients of the rich pudding. It is a traditional offering for Sivarathri festival which falls in the winter months. After fasting the whole day, family members, friends, and neighbors gather together to give each other support to stay up the entire night praying, singing, and chanting melodious songs and bhajans in praise of Lord Siva. The Paruppu Kanji along with idlis or the sweet crepe-like Vella Dosai provides the staying power of protein as well as a bit of sugar for energy for keeping up the spirited chanting of bhajans.

This year Sivarathri falls on February 20th. Happy Sivarathri everyone!


1/2 cup split, skinless (yellow) Mung Dal
1 cup fresh Coconut, finely ground or 1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup Brown Sugar/Jaggery
1 Tbsp freshly ground dried Ginger (chukku)
1-2 pods Cardamom (optional)

Optional Topping:
1 tsp Ghee
2 Tbsp small Cashew pieces
2 Tbsp raisins


Toast the mung dal until fragrant and lightly toasted; cool.

Wash the toasted dal well and cook with fresh water to cover until very soft. Mash well with the back of a spoon but it is not necessary to puree into a paste.

Stir in the ground coconut along with the brown sugar/Jaggery and cook until sugar dissolves.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

If using coconut milk, stir it in at this point and heat through.

Add a bit of boiling water to get the right consistency; the Kanji should be quite soupy.

Stir in the ginger and cardamom and cover and let rest for a few minutes.

Heat the ghee in a small pan and toast the nuts; stir in the raisins and cook for a few seconds until soft and puffy. If you do not want to use ghee, dry toast the cashews and raisins carefully. Stir into the Kanji.

Serve hot or warm in mugs or bowls. Enjoy!!


Unknown said...

i was recently in sri lanka and had a gotu kola kanji. can anyone please help me in finding out how to make this delicious and healthy herb porridge. thank you

Unknown said...

I was recenlty in Sri Lanka and had the pleasure of eating a healthy herbal Kanji made with gotu kola. Can anyone help me with the recipe of this wonderful breakfast dish. Thankyou

Geetha said...

Hello Kathleen, My search shows that the porridge you have mentioned is known as "kola kenda", a soupy dish made with rice, coconut milk, and of course gotu kola. Most recipes use the fresh herb. I hope this is helpful. Happy cooking!