Sambarachi Pez – Rice Gruel (Kanji) Flavoured with Spices
Prep time: 15-20 mins | Cook time: 10 mins | Servings 2-3
- 1-1/2 cups raw rice (surai/belthige/kolam or even broken basmati)
- 1-1/2 to 2 cups water
- salt to taste
- 1 cup thick coconut milk (1st extract) * see notes
- 3 cups thin milk (2nd and 3rd extracts)
- 1-1/2 discs (approx 100 grams or to taste) palm jaggery (pele god/vole bella)
- 1/8th cup ghee
For the spice roce (extract):
- 6 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain/omam)
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ‘For the masala’ to a paste using 3-4 tablespoons of water (from the 1/2 cup) and transfer the contents into a muslin cloth and squeeze out the juice into a bowl. Repeat the process adding the balance amount of water to the ground paste and squeeze out the juice. The process should yield 1/2 cup of this juice. Discard the ground ingredients (‘kojanti’ as we say in Mangalore)
2. Pressure cook the raw rice, water and salt till the rice is soft and tender (about 3-4 whistles). Let the pressure cooker cool down to room temperature then open and stir the contents.
3. Add the masala extract (ground and extracted), thin coconut milk and powdered jaggery to the cooked rice and cook on a medium low heat till the jaggery melts. Stir every now and then to avoid the mixture from scorching.
4. Add the thick coconut milk and give it one boil on a low heat – keep an eye on this as thick coconut milk can curdle very easily.
5. Add the ghee, mix and remove from heat. Serve hot.
1. If you are serving this to a new mother during her confinement period always use freshly extracted coconut milk. Do not use commercially available coconut milk powder (dehydrated) or coconut milk from tins mainly because they contain preservatives which is avoidable at all costs. To extract 1 cup of thick milk and 3 cups of thin milk you need approx 2 cups of freshly grated coconut (from 1 large coconut)
2. This dish was prepared for me by my ‘balnti-posteli’ during my post delivery confinement. I did not prepared it personally as I was still on bed rest, but I requested the lady to measure all the ingredients using my standard measuring cups and give me the accurate recipe which I typed out as she dictated it. Please use your judgement while preparing this.
3. Since this yields quite a bit of gruel it was refrigerated and served to me the next day too. I think I ate this for 2 days (don’t quite remember). If you subscribe to the old school of thought and believe that new moms must be served fresh food everyday then please halve the recipe or scale it down to meet your requirements.
4. Do note that the amount of coriander seemed too much to me too and its flavour stood out very strongly in the kanji but I was made to eat it anyway. If you are experienced in preparing confinement foods then please adjust the quantities of the masala accordingly.
5. This is a traditional collection of home remedies and each of these has been either cooked or tried personally by me. If you have a medical condition/health problem please consult your doctor before trying out any of the pre or postnatal recipes.