The special masala kanji (porridge) prepared at Mannarkad Town Hanafi Juma Masjid during the Holy month of Ramadan has earned an iconic status. Interestingly, the unique recipe of the dish is almost half-a-century old.
In most masjids, delicious food items are prepared for the Iftar gathering. The special porridge and prawns chutney prepared at the Hanafi masjid stands out for its unique taste and flavour. The jeera rice for the porridge is brought from Tamil Nadu. Fresh cashews, raisins, onions, shallots, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, coriander leaves, pepper corns, curry leaves, tomato, green chilies and ghee are added to kanji to bring out its unique flavour.
The masala that is required for the porridge is powdered everyday as per the requirement. The preparations begin at 7 am. The dish would be ready to be served by 5 pm. The porridge has a thin consistency and can be enjoyed in a tumbler. It is prepared like this as the porridge would be the first dish that one would be having after fasting for an entire day. The porridge is light on the stomach and easy to digest too. Those who have tasted the masala porridge once would return for it every year during the month of Holy Ramadan. The queue in front of the Masjid often goes past the highway once the porridge distribution begins at 5 pm. More than five hundred people get the porridge from the Masjid for Iftar gatherings at their homes and offices.
At least 250 people gather at the Masjid for the evening prayer and the Iftar. The porridge would be specially served in plates for them at the upper floor of the Masjid. Its been more than fifty years since this delicious porridge has been part of the Iftar celebrations at the Hanafi Masjid. In the beginning, they used to make porridge from 3 kilograms of rice. However, now, around 60 kilograms of rice are used to make the porridge every day. The porridge is cooked and distributed by the group of youngsters who are members of the Masjid. The Masjid committee is proud that they have been able continue this amazing tradition that was started by their ancestors. They are able to do this with the help and support from many benefactors.