What makes Kanji an ideal meal?

Photo: Shutterstock/Santhosh Varghese

The good old combination of kanji or rice gruel and stir-fried mung beans (cherupayar) is considered one of the most nutritious food items by Keralites. It is often touted as a complete and wholesome dish. The carbohydrates rich gruel and the protein rich mung beans make a great combination.

Meanwhile, rice water is considered a vegetarian soup that is rich in protein. Vitamin B complex and fibre in rice are lost when the bran and the rice water are thrown away.

Nutritional value

Carbohydrates - Around 60% of the energy required by the human body should be supplied by carbohydrates. Rice gruel is loaded with carbohydrates.

Vitamin B1 or Thiamine - Rice bran is a rich source of Thiamine which is essential for the health of heart and the nervous system. So, try to consume gruel made with red rice that contain bran.

Fiber - Gruel that contains fibre could prevent fat deposition and control life style diseases.

Interestingly, all these nutrients would be more in overnight rice gruel. It is a common misconception that cholesterol and fat deposits would go up if gruel is consumed regularly. It must be noted that the rice gruel becomes the ‘villain’ when the high energy obtained from it is turned into fat due to lack of exercise. So, rice gruel is not an ideal food if you do not have habit of exercising. Also, diabetic patients should consume rice gruel in limited portion as it contains sugar that is easily absorbed.  

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