Monday, 12 December 2011

Kanjiyum Payarum

Kanji is basically a rice soup and payaru just means a legume typically whole green moong dal. It is a very popular food in Kerala. It is so comforting to eat on a rainy or a cold day. My mom used to make it for dinners atleast couple of times a month. Not to forget how comforting it is to have it to have it when you are sick with fever or cold.

It is usually made with a type of rice commonly eaten in Kerala called the Chemba Rice (Matta Rice). It has a red hue to it with small red lines. I think Kanji used to be more of a poor man's staple, but these days all Star Hotels in Kerala serve them as a delicacy.

Though Kanji tastes great on its own, there are a lot of typical items that go with it. Green Moong is one of them. Some people cook the moong along with the rice. I like it separate. Other things are coconut chammandi (I will have to post this soon. But I miss a key ingredient here and hence not posting), pickle (typically mango or lime) and pappadam. We enjoyed it today with Payaru curry and mango pickle.

If you do not count the time for the things to pressure cook, this literally takes less than 10 minutes to make.


Chemba (Matta) Rice 1 cup (You can use regular rice as well to make it. But chemba rice gives a special flavour)

Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

Cook the rice in a pressure cooker with 6 cups of water and some salt. I used about 1 tsp. Cook for about 5-6 whistles. Done!!!

The lunch was soooo good that 1 cup of rice was a little less for the 3 of us. So note to self, will make a little bit more than a cup next time.

Ingredients for Payaru

Whole Green Gram Dal 1 cup
Mustard 1 tsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Turmeric 1 tsp
Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Hing little
Curry leaves few
coconut 1/4 cup

Oil and Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the moong dal overnight and cook in pressure cooker with out whistle till cooked, but not mushy. Alternatively, you can pressure cook without soaking with whistle on. The aim is to cook well but not mush it up. Drain and keep

2. Heat oil in a pan and add the add the mustard. When it sputters, add the jeera, turmeric, hing and the curry leaves

3. When it sizzles, add the cooked dal, coconut, chilli powder and salt. Typically green chillies ground with coconut (without water) is used. I was lazy to use a mixie :-) This was also good.

4. Stir well and serve with Kanji.

Sending this to the Winter Carnival hosted by Radhika of Tickling Palates


  1. Good one.I have got the rosematta rice, was thinking of what to do with it, got a nice idea now to make the kanji.

  2. Wow wat a comforting food, been ages i had kanjiyum payarum..fantastic dishes together.